PREPARE for Pastoral Vocation

Immerse is a Master of Divinity program through Northwest Baptist Seminary and in conjunction with Mennonite Brethren Seminary that focuses on context-based learning. The context of ministry provides the environment for learning rather than the traditional classroom. All the reading, writing, courses, and assignments focus on developing and demonstrating mastery of ministry outcomes. Students develop the knowledge, skill, and character required to be servant-leaders for the Body of Christ. Overseen by three mentors and with the goal of observed mastery, students are equipped for ministry through competency-based theological education.

Candidate

• Minimum education: Bachelor's Degree
• Men & women wanting to be equipped to work in the church

Commitment

• 3-4 year Degree Program
• Pastoral Interns: 45-hours/week
• Pastoral Interns / Student: 10-hours/week

Cost

• Partial or full scholarships are available
• Books and resources supplied
• Small living stipend and some benefits provided

Compelling Communication

Students will refine their ability to communicate (orally, verbally, electronically, etc) God’s Word in God’s world with convictional knowledge, Christ-like character, and skillful competence in order to bridge barriers of understanding and maximize Christological clarity.

Proficiency in Biblical Hebrew and Greek

Using current tools, students will become proficient in engaging Greek and Hebrew in order to know God’s Word more deeply, better understand it, and more effectively teach and apply it.

Instructional Components

Most Ministry Leadership Outcomes will include a 7-week instructional seminar, meeting one day per week for 1.5 hours per session. While shorter than a traditional semester, these courses will be a catalyst for learning from a seasoned instructor and among peers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Both student types are required to complete their M.Div. within 3-4 years, neither are considered part-time options. The difference is how much time you invest at the church while completing your course-work.

  • Pastoral Intern: 45 hours / week
    • Work in the office during the week with their time split between their studies (25 hours) and ministry commitments (20 hours).
    • A small living stipend is paid, some benefits provided, and tuition and resource/book costs are covered.
    • Provides comprehensive exposure to ministry as you become part of the daily life of the church and the office.
    • This is ideal for those seeking to work in pastoral ministry as there are more opportunities to take advantage of the day-to-day rhythms of pastoral work.
  • Pastoral Intern / Student: 10 hours / week
    • A minimum of 10 hours / week are completed in a designated ministry which provides the context of learning. This allows the student a place to meet their ministry leadership outcomes for the Immerse program, but have more flexibility over when their studies are completed.
    • Tuition and resource/book costs are covered.
    • Ideal for those who are unable to commit to a full-time position and require more flexibility in their schedule.

Competency-Based Theological Education (CBTE), at its heart, seeks to successfully prepare students for this unique combination of theological proficiency and practical, ministerial care.

In CBTE, much of a student’s time is spent in the church working alongside other pastors and engaging in the real work of ministry. Assignments have a direct connection to a student’s work within the local church and, in addition, they are taught how to take their theological knowledge and communicate it effectively through their preaching and teaching. Through ongoing mentorship, involvement in the inner workings of ministry, and the numerous opportunities to develop and hone skills, CBTE provides an ideal environment in which students can become fully equipped leaders within the church.

One of the unique characteristics of CBTE is its ability to address the development of character alongside growth in knowledge and skill. This characteristic is captured in the Immerse program utilizing the language of convictional knowledge, skillful competence and Christ-like character.

LEAD is a clarifying acronym of the educational integration of this competency-based model:

L – Learn (about) (convictional knowledge)
E – Embrace (with heart) (Christ-like character)
A – Apply (in life) (skillful competence in general)
D – Disciple (others) (skillful competence in leading others) -> Mastery Observed

Northview’s CBTE programs are rooted in Scripture. Therefore, students will incorporate God’s Word as the central basis upon which they build. Students will master the appropriate tools for constructing structures to support effective life and ministry. By doing this it is expected that students will determine the passages of the Bible that are applicable to the given situation (MLOs/ODAs) and will evaluate everything (including other readings) through the lens of Scripture.

Find a more detailed description of what CBTE is HERE

Our goal is to accomplish the application process in the least number of steps for prospective candidates while also providing adequate information about the program itself. The following outlines the 3 steps–before you apply, applying, and after you apply–of the application process.

Before you apply, we ask that you attend a 1-hour Immerse Info Session. The intent of the info session is to provide you with an introduction to the Immerse program. We see this as part of the discernment process–understanding what the Immerse program is helps you determine if it is a fit for your own career goals. This session will cover the following areas:

  • What Immerse is,
  • How we accomplish the learning outcomes,
  • The vision for Immerse,
  • What you can expect from participating, and
  • An explanation of the application process.

Info Sessions are held twice a year–one in October and one in January.

Application packages are made available following the info session.

Applications are accepted between October 1–January 30. The written application package includes a 2-part questionnaire, a DISC Assessment, a signed Participant Agreement, 4 reference letters, a curriculum vitae with a cover letter, and a sample of your written work.

In February, after the application deadline, applicants will be invited to an Entry Assessment where they will participate in group activities and have a personal interview.

Applicants will be notified by April 30 regarding their acceptance into the program.

All applicants must meet the entry requirements of Northwest Baptist Seminary students. Their website states the following: “As a fully-accredited Masters of Divinity program, Immerse has a number of academic requirements for entry into the program. Additionally, as an immersive, context-based program, the student must meet other requirements related to their ministry-context and affirmation of the network partner that runs their iteration [see above for the Northview application requirements].

These requirements include:

  • Bachelor’s degree with a 2.50 GPA (or 60 undergrad credits with a 2.50 GPA)
  • Employment (or potential) in your ministry context
  • Support and endorsement from your ministry leadership team
  • Approval from your network/denomination leadership”

Immerse offers a unique combination of classroom learning and hands-on ministry experience that prepares pastors for vocational ministry in the local church.

Based on the flexible structure of the Immerse Program, students with different career aspirations (Church Planting, Missionary, Pastor, etc) will find this MDiv degree adaptable to their long-term goals. Although the core theological foundation will remain the same for all students, certain assignments may be adjusted to fit the individual’s ministry goals.

The Church Planting Residency will be one avenue in which Immerse students can pursue a specialization.

If you have a desire to specialize, we recommend that you begin conversations with our Immerse team to see what arrangements can be made and if the Immerse program is a suitable fit for your ministry goals.

Please visit Northwest Baptist Seminary’s website for more information regarding costs. Northview assists with tuition costs and helps cover book and resource expenses.

Applicants are responsible for their own living arrangements, food, transportation, and other personal bills/expenses.