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A two-year process to help individuals discern a call to vocational ministry and to provide foundational ministry training in the core areas of content, competency, and commitment.


A member of River and Leadership Community


  • Core Content/Staff Instructors
  • Core Competencies/Staff Supervisor
  • Core Commitments/River Mentor


  1. Read all assigned material before the bi-monthly meeting
  2. Write a two-page personal response/application paper per topic before the bi-monthly meeting. The paper should address:
    • A description of the topic and why it is important to vocational ministry
    • Practical/personal application of the topic to life and ministry to others
    • A plan for continued growth in the topic area (books to read, classes, conversations, practice, etc.). The paper should be submitted to River Staff instructors at least 48 hours before the bi-monthly meeting
  3. Prepare a ten-minute presentation on the topic before the bi-monthly meetingThe goal of this ten-minute presentation is to give an overview of the key points of the topic and how they apply to vocational ministry; the individual should prepare as they though they were going to teach a summary of the topic in 10-minutes.This presentation should not be a book report or a regurgitation of the individual’s two-page paper.
  4. Watch the assigned ministry toolbox video and be prepared to discuss at the bi-monthly meeting.
  5. Attend the bi-monthly meeting (2 hours) led by River Staff to discuss the current topic and ministry tool.At the meeting, each individual will give his/her presentation, followed by group discussion. The group will discuss the assigned ministry tool for the section.

Content Topics:

  1. Theology
    Core Christianity by Michael Horton
    A Concise Theology by J.I. Packer
  2. Philosophy of Ministry
    Meet with Terry Williams for Philosophy of Ministry and Sequence in Learning by Need Training (2 hours). Interview Dave Mitchell, Risa Rehmert, Glenn Davis, and Brenda White about Philosophy of Ministry. Begin writing a 5-7 page personal philosophy of ministry (due at the end of RMT)
  3. Culture
    To Change the World by James Hunter
    Renaissance by Os Guinness
  4. Apologetics
    The Universe Next Door by James Sire
    Mere Christianity by CS Lewis
  5. Hermeneutics
    How to Read the Bible for All it’s Worth by Gordon Fee
    The Book of God by Ben Avery
  6. Leadership
    The Making of a Leader by Robert Clinton
    A Failure of Nerve by Edwin Friedman
  7. Spiritual Development
    Hearing God by Dallas Willard
    Renovation of the Heart by Dallas Willard
  8. Evangelism and Discipleship
    The Master Plan of Discipleship by Robert Coleman
    Fools Talk by Os Guinness
  9. Scripture
    Read the Bible
    Work through Bible survey resources at
  10. Biblical Counseling
    7 Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman
    Love into the Light by Peter Hubbard
    Effective Biblical Counseling by Larry Crabb


  1. Perform ongoing ministry activity as assigned by staff supervisor
    • Individuals are expected to be involved in ongoing personal ministry related to the topics listed below
    • In addition, staff supervisors will assign ministry-specific tasks associated with the below topics
  2. Meet with staff supervisor (weekly or bi-weekly)Staff supervisor will debrief ongoing ministry and specific ministry assignments in the following area, provide feedback and encouragement, and cast vision for ongoing ministry

Core Competency Assignments:

  1. Teaching/Preaching
    • Individuals will prepare and present biblical teaching in a ministry-specific setting
    • Teaching should be supervised by staff or video recorded for feedback purposes
  2. Crisis Counseling/Life Direction Counseling
    • Individuals will debrief recent counseling experiences with staff supervisor and ask for feedback
    • Staff supervisor may debrief their own counseling experiences as teaching tools
  3. Evangelism
    • Individuals will debrief recent, personal evangelism experiences with staff supervisor and ask for feedback
    • Individuals may be assigned responsibility for ministry-specific evangelism trainings or initiatives
  4. Discipleship
    • Individuals will debrief recent, personal discipleship experiences with staff supervisor and ask for feedback
    • Individuals may be assigned responsibility for ministry-specific discipleship trainings or initiatives
  5. Leadership
    • Individuals will plan, organize, lead, and evaluate a ministry event under the supervision of staff supervisor
  6. Other assignments as assigned by the staff supervisor.


  1. Maintain consistent direction in core commitments
  2. Meet with River mentor (bi-weekly)

Core Commitment Topics:

  • Moral Purity
  • Spiritual Disciplines
  • Life Balance (Diet, Exercise, Budget, Time, Boundaries)
  • Key Relationships (spouse, dating relationships, family members, roommates)
  • Other