Ministry Trainee Programs

A great way to maximise your gospel ministry is to do a ministry trainee program.

What are ministry trainee programs? 

Taking a lead from biblical models of on-the-job training (e.g. Phil. 2:20), ministry trainee programs are one or two year placements with Bible-teaching churches to provide practical experience of gospel ministry. The focus is on helping individuals understand and train for the sort of gospel work that is suitable for them. The majority of trainees are men and women who have just graduated but more and more are older – and there are now some opportunities that are part-time.

Ministry trainee programs aim to act both as a testing of the water of whether full-time gospel ministry is right for the trainee, and as a stepping stone into full-time gospel ministry if it is right for them. These placements will provide great experience of gospel ministry, in a context of training and mentoring, that will help in discerning whether gospel ministry is for the trainee or not. UK-based ministry training schemes are run by local churches and the ideal is that the church has the attitude of ‘train, train, train’ and the trainee the attitude of ‘serve, serve, serve’.

Each trainee will have the following three main components in different proportions depending on the individual situation of the particular church:

  • Practical service 
  • Bible and ministry training (often a day a week on a regional training course)
  • Bible teaching in ministry

What’s the next step?

The first step is to talk through the possibilities of full-time gospel work with your church leader (the minister, or student worker etc.). Then take a look at the placements listed on our site and see if there is one that you would be interested in doing and then contact the church.

If you're a church leader hoping to set up a ministry trainee programme in your church, please  if you'd like some advice. We'd be very happy to talk things through with you and/or send you our latest financial guidance.

Where could I train?

There are training churches all over the UK. If you want to find out more about the needs in different parts of the country, check out these resources:

There are also lots of different kinds of churches in which you can train. Don't overlook smaller churches or church plants or going overseas.

When is the best time to look?

The best time to look for a ministry training post is between November and February, which is when most churches are looking to recruit for the following September. However, there are also placements available to apply for before and after this time. Check out our vacancies page to see what's available.

What do I do for funding?

Many churches provide all or most of the funding required by ministry trainees. They will also be in a position to help you raise funds if required. Don’t be put off by this: the Bible says it is a blessed thing to give to support gospel work. There are also various trusts that you could write to, including the Gospel Partners Trust.