What Are the Expectations?
Every program based on collaboration needs to have at its core a set of agreed-upon standards that are carefully maintained by everyone involved, both in academics and in ministry. There aren’t a lot of hoops to jump through, but the ones that exist are extremely important in preserving the integrity of the program, Northwest Baptist Seminary, and FEB Pacific.
The student. A student who wishes to join the YLTP must be willing to commit to their church for the duration of the program, which is usually around three years, serving as an intern under the mentorship of a seasoned ministry worker approved by FEB Pacific. In addition, students need to be prepared to spend on the order of 20 hours per week in pursuit of academic study and be able to shoulder a third of the overall cost of the program.
The mentor. Like the YLTP student, the mentor is expected to be willing to make a commitment to the student for the duration of the program, offering meaningful ministry leadership opportunities and working to enhance the student’s capacity for full-time vocational ministry. The YLTP student is not just an extra set of hands to help with crowd control at youth events. The mentor shows commitment to the student and the YLTP program by agreeing to the following standards:
- Meeting with the YLTP student at least once weekly for an hour to focus on student development, not ministry planning.
- Committing to be present at least 50% of the time where the YLTP student is leading in ministry, particularly during the first year of the program.
- Reading and critiquing the YLTP student’s written academic work, especially for the core youth courses.
- Participating in the Leadership Functions course held at the FEB Pacific convention each April.
- Helping FEB Pacific and NBS staff evaluate the YLTP program on an annual basis.
In order to be considered for a mentoring role, the potential mentor must have at least five years of youth ministry experience in one location and be able to show evidence of evangelism, discipleship, ministry equipping, and leadership multiplication.
The church. Again, the key word for local churches who are considering taking on YLTP students is commitment because the church must be willing to employ the YLTP student as an intern for the duration of the program, generally on a full-time basis. The exact nature of these arrangements is somewhat flexible, but the intent is that the church would provide basic living expenses and cover one-third of the tuition costs for the program. The church should also understand that although the student is “employed” by the church, at least half of their time must be spent in pursuit of their studies, not in the direct work of ministry.2182