HARVEST TRAINING CENTER -FAQ’s
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL WEEK LOOK LIKE?
The typical week includes four days of instruction, coaching, group discussion, guided reading, case studies, sermon preparation and church plant planning. Significant ministry involvement is also expected on the weekends and some evenings, including opportunities to preach and teach. Occasional field trips take us out of the office for one or more days.
IS THERE HOMEWORK?
Not homework, per se. Almost everything we do is accomplished during the day. Occasionally, residents may study for a sermon in the evening, or catch up on reading. Residents are expected to be part of a small group and to take part in elder meetings.
HOW LONG DOES THE PROGRAM LAST?
Typically August through November at Harvest Bible Chapel in Elgin, Illinois (although those dates may flex slightly from year to year)
HOW MANY RESIDENTS DO YOU ACCEPT?
The Harvest Training Center is highly specialized. In order to maximize the amount of personal attention each resident receives, we admit only a select number of qualified men each year.
ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A CERTAIN PERSONALITY PROFILE?
We have seen God use different personalities to plant healthy, growing churches and do not subscribe to a stereotypical view of the church-plant pastor.
What we do look for, and what the high calling of a senior pastor requires, is strength in four key areas:
A candidate must be able to faithfully preach the Scriptures giving attention to the practical application of scripture to life.
A candidate must demonstrate godly character (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9).
A candidate must have competence as a preacher, shepherd, manager, and builder.
A candidate must have alignment with the theology and methodology of Harvest.
HOW MUCH FORMAL THEOLOGICAL TRAINING IS REQUIRED?
We require a minimum of thirty hours of Bible and theology on the graduate level. Preference is given to those who possess a Master of Divinity degree. Exceptions may be made for candidates with significant ministry experience, and exceptional preaching and leadership gifts.
CAN RESIDENTS WORK IN ADDITION TO TRAINING?
Due to the rigorous nature of the program, it is not feasible for residents to work in addition to their studies.
HOW DO RESIDENTS PROVIDE FOR THEIR FAMILIES?
This is a full-time paid residency. Housing is also provided for the duration of the program. Currently, these total approximately $3,500 per month. Residents are required to raise a portion of their own support, as a way of demonstrating their commitment to church planting and as an exercise in fundraising.
ARE WOMEN ADMITTED TO THE PROGRAM?
No. Harvest Bible Chapel is a complementarian church, joyfully affirming the traditional, biblical roles for men and women. Since the Bible reserves the role of senior pastor for men only (1 Timothy 2:12; cp. 1 Corinthians 14:33-35), and since our mission is to train senior pastors, only men are admitted to the program.
HOW ARE RESIDENTS’ WIVES INVOLVED IN TRAINING?
Since many residents have young families, most wives spend a significant portion of each day caring for their children. Yet we believe strongly in a team approach to ministry and it is essential for residents’ wives to grow alongside their husbands. During their residency, couples are part of a small groups and wives have monthly book studies, community events and accountability groups to aid in spiritual formation, and events are held which provide opportunities to dialogue with experienced pastors’ wives. Those who want additional involvement are encouraged to be part of Women’s Ministry.
CAN WIVES WORK OUTSIDE THE HOME?
Yes, although couples need to count the cost. The program is just four months in duration. We encourage the wives to learn and grow alongside of their husbands, and to form significant relationships with the other wives. But we understand that certain circumstances may make working outside the home necessary.
WHAT ARE THE EDUCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR CHILDREN?
The three major options are home school (inherently flexible), private school (Harvest Christian Academy onsite), or public school (within walking distance of resident housing). There are advantages and challenges unique to each, and no one choice fits all resident families.
DOES HARVEST BIBLE CHAPEL BELONG TO A PARTICULAR DENOMINATION?
No. We are a conservative, evangelical, non-denominational church.
WHERE DO RESIDENTS LIVE?
Harvest Bible Chapel has dedicated apartments from a nearby complex rented for Training Center residents. The apartments are not adjacent one another, but scattered throughout the complex, providing both proximity for the wives and a measure of personal space.
DO YOU PROVIDE HEALTH INSURANCE?
Not at this time. We can assist you in finding an affordable plan, if you desire coverage while in the program.
WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?
The Harvest Training Center is located at the Elgin Campus of Harvest Bible Chapel (1000 North Randall Road, Elgin, Illinois, 60123). Being located inside the church provides easy access to all ministries and leaders of the church. We are in a suburb of the greater Chicago area, with interstate access to the city.
HOW DO I APPLY?
Simply complete and submit this short-form application.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Submitted packets are reviewed by the leaders of the Harvest Training Center. Applicants are notified within a month if they may advance to the next step, a series of phone interviews regarding motivation for church planting, doctrine, and character. If the process continues, applicant couples attend interviews onsite, after which the final selection decision is made.
HOW LONG DOES THE APPLICATION PROCESS TAKE?
Decisions are generally reached within two months of receipt of application packets and initial contact.
IS THERE A DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION?
Yes. Since space is limited, applicants are encouraged to submit their packet as early as possible.
WHAT IF I APPLY TO THE PROGRAM, BUT MY PLANS CHANGE?
If your plans change, and you wish to remove your application from consideration, please notify us as soon as possible.
Does Harvest Bible Chapel offer specific training for Worship Leaders?
We train Worship Leaders to lead the people of God in Vertical Worship. Our worship program spans four full weeks at Harvest Bible Chapel’s Elgin Campus. For additional information please fill out the short-form application