ACCELERATE is a one-year, full-time apprenticeship designed for leaders who are called to ministry leadership as staff at an existing church, a multi-site campus, or a new church plant. We prepare leaders for children's ministries, student ministries, worship arts, adult ministries, small groups, or church administration.
Accelerate provides powerful, real-world, practical, relevant ministry leadership experience working alongside Saddleback Church ministry experts, as well as access to some of the most respected church pastors and ministry leaders in the country.
Regardless of what you majored in, where you went to college, or your level of ministry experience- if you feel called to ministry leadership we can prepare you!
The ACCELERATE Apprenticeship challenges the belief that you need to continue sitting in the classroom to prepare for ministry leadership. We place apprentices on ministry teams where they learn "on the job" getting hands-on real life experience leading a ministry.
A year of actual ministry leadership experience at Saddleback Church combined with a hyper-focused leadership training curriculum will prepare you for your next steps on the path of ministry leadership.
LEAD, LEARN, LEAN
LEAD: Spend a year learning to lead Saddleback Church ministries. Gain valuable, effective, and actual leadership experience.
LEARN: Learn about the Leader, the Vision, and the Work of Ministry Leadership through specially designed training.
LEAN: Lean on Saddleback pastors and staff to mentor you in your leadership and your faith.
3 Trimester Format
Discover (Months 1-4)
Develop an understanding of your leadership styles and gifts while learning effective ministry leadership, strategies, and methods through hands-on, practical, relevant leadership opportunities.
Develop (Months 5-8)
Continue developing as an effective leader while you practice and hone your skills, and gain more leadership experience through increasing leadership responsibilities as we walk alongside you.
Deploy (Months 9-12)
Spend 4 months on a Saddleback multi-site church campus leading all aspects of your ministry; putting all your skills, strategies, methods, and knowledge to work.
Apprentices will be engaged in at least 40-50 hours of weekly hands-on ministry leadership training and 2.5 hours of weekly classroom training centered on learning and developing healthy personal leadership habits, a healthy philosophy of ministry leadership, and healthy methods or ministry leadership. This combination of tacit and explicit learning combines to create a healthy leader, which is at the heart of a healthy church.
- Adult Ministry
- Adult Small Groups (including online small groups)
- Women's ministries
- Men's Ministries
- Single's Ministries
- Couples Ministries
- Work Place Ministries
- 20s/30s Ministries
- Children's Ministry
- Student Ministries
- Junior High
- High School
- College age
Note: Some ministry areas require specialized talents and skills. These would be a requisite for apprenticing in that ministry.
ACCELERATE Certificate of Ministry Leadership: Upon completion of the program, Apprentices will be awarded a Certificate of Ministry Leadership from Saddleback Church.
Masters Degree Options
Unique to the Saddleback Church Leadership Academy, ACCELERATE Apprentices have the opportunity to earn their Master’s of Ministry Leadership or Theological Studies from one of our partnering universities or seminaries. Participants will apply for admission to the partnering university or seminary as well as the Leadership Academy. Participants will be enrolled students in the university or seminary where they are pursuing their master's degree and tuition will paid directly to the university or seminary, but will spend their days here at Saddleback Church. We have partnered with universities and seminaries to provide online or on-campus options to best suit your learning style.
ACCELERATE is designed for:
- Recent college or seminary graduates who are pursuing a church staff ministry role.
- Current church staff members who are seeking to significantly upgrade their ministry skills and experience.
We don't belive that you have to have a certain major, or attend a certain college to be a ministry leader. We want to equip and empower people of all majors, degrees, and colleges to pursue their calling and desire to lead and serve in ministry. If you are currently on staff at church or new to ministry and looking to take your skill-set and experience level to the next level through a year-long leadership experience at the scale and pace of Saddleback Church, ACCELERATE is for you.
Leading- Full-time, 40-50 hour a week, un-paid residency. The exact schedule is worked out with a ministry team leader based on the needs of the specific ministry a participant will be involved with. The emphasis will be on developing effective leadership through hands-on leadership opportunities.
Learning- 2.5 hours of weekly classroom training that develops healthy personal leadership habits, a healthy philosophy of ministry leadership, and healthy methods of ministry leadership. The specially designed leadership development curriculum is unique to the Saddleback Church Leadership Academy.
Trimester 1- The Leader
Trimester 2- The Vision
Trimester 3- The Work
Leaning- Grow as a leader and as a disciple of Christ through a close mentoring relationship with Saddleback pastors and staff.
ACCELERATE apprentices will work at our Lake Forest campus for 2 trimesters and then move to one of our Southern California multi-site campuses for their 3rd trimester.
Housing is available at our Rancho Capistrano Campus- "The Ranch"- for $500 per month (double occupancy) including all meals.
Tracks begin each September, January, and May.
Applications should be submitted one month prior to the Track start date.
Tuition is $250 per month ($3000 for 12 months)
Recruitment is on-going. The first step begins by completing the Saddleback Leadership Academy Application
Master's Degree Options
Vanguard University: Master of Theological Studies
The Masters of Theological Studies at Vanguard University training for participants to reflect theologically on the role of the church in contemporary society and to develop skills necessary for effective ministry within local churches, mission agencies and para-church ministries. The courses in this program are designed to produce theological and research competencies in three major areas of study: Biblical Studies, Theology and Ethics, and Leadership Studiespovides broad, practical training in biblical studies, theology, and leadership.
Rockbridge Seminary: Master of Ministry Leadership
The Master of Ministry Leadership degree (MML) is a professional degree designed for men and women who have a bachelor’s degree and are Saddleback Church Leadership Academy ACCELERATE Apprentices . The focus of this degree is on developing servant leadership skills for local church ministry. The ACCELERATE Apprenticeship program experience counts as 20 units towards the 52 unit