Top Ten Questions (part two)

Questions I Get from Students
By Sean Badeer, Lead Recruiter

This is the second in a two-part blog about questions. Part one was about questions we receive from church leaders.

I am a big believer in the next generation. I don’t buy into the negativity that often surrounds millennials in the workplace. Those negative voices aren’t talking the same students that I’m talking to. These young leaders are the not only capable, but they have passion and purpose and want to see the church impact communities, reach their peers, and change the world.

The students that I talk to are always in need of the same two things: A proven path and a trusted guide. That is why Leadership Pathway exists, and that is why I’m often advising students to choose a path that will lead them to long term success. That usually leads to questions about residency because it plays such an important role in a student’s success.


Why should I do a residency when I could take a ministry job somewhere right now?

Because 1) the primary goal for you as a student is not to get a job, but to be healthy in ministry so you can be in it for the long haul. This has a lot to do with how you start your career. 2) Just because you can get a job somewhere doesn’t mean that you can get the right job, where you have the freedom to grow and develop into the leader we all need you to be. 3) After a residency, we guarantee that you’ll get a job. And it’s not just the job, it’s the quality of where you are starting. We know the quality of this type of start is better. We see students just ahead of you with options in front of them after a residency.

What’s the difference between a residency and an internship?

An internship can mean a variety of different things. Usually, it means getting some exposure to a particular field of work and getting some experience under your belt. When we talk about a residency, we are talking about something very different. This isn’t about getting your feet wet, this is about diving in and swimming with everybody else. You can expect to be working full-time alongside other staff, receiving coaching from someone on staff, and being pushed out of your comfort zone.

There’s an implication with an intern that they’re still “figuring it out.” The implication with “residency” is that this student has decided that they’re doing this for real some day. It’s just a matter of time.

How long is a residency?

The time commitment of a two-year residency is a big part of it. 2 years give you consistency, giving you the opportunity to actually lead something. In reality, we tend to talk about “more than one year” because by the eighteen-month-mark most are already making plans for the next step forward.

Do I have to wait until I graduate to start my residency?

No, you don’t! In fact, when I meet graduates who are looking to do this, I usually say “I wish I could have met you as a sophomore or even as a freshman to begin this conversation.”  Students who have *finished 2 years of college are eligible to start a residency. This enables you to finish your degree online while you are in your residency.

*By the way, we know some amazing church leaders who are two decades down the path who never went to college at all. They’re life time learners. That’s the principle. We have residents on the Leadership Pathway who came out of the armed services, or who only did some college and then dropped out. Each path is unique, but it’s the proven path with a trusted guide that we’re after. No matter your situation here us saying that if you want to do this, we can get there together!

Where will I be placed?

Placement looks different for every student, and we will work closely with you throughout the process. We have some students apply for residencies at specific locations and others who are open to being placed anywhere. Our goal is not to fill positions as much as it is to find the right fit for what you’re looking for. So the question usually is, where do you want to be placed?

How much does it cost?

Leadership Pathway charges nothing to the student. However, this is a significant time commitment, and in that sense, it’s going to cost you a lot.

What are you looking for in a resident?

First and foremost, we are looking for called, gifted, and passionate people who want to be church leaders. This is not a gap year program. We are working with you to help prepare you for a role in full-time ministry at a local church, and we take that commitment seriously.

When interviewing candidates, we are always looking at these specific questions:

  • What have you led?

  • Are you an influencer / leader of others?

  • Where do you dream of being in 5 years?

What makes a residency so special?

There are 3 main contributing factors that make residencies work effectively, and they can be summarized as follows:

  • Length of stay

  • Coaching and Leadership Development

  • Opportunities to lead

What will my coaching be focused on?

Your coach will work with you on the soft skills that churches have told us they are looking for in their next hire. Our soft skills coaching is based on 24 core competencies that all great leaders need in order to succeed. 

How do I get started?

The best way to get started is to apply on our website. Once you’ve applied, we’ll interview you and get the conversation going. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Sean Badeer at

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