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Training Leaders

Watermark Institute

Preparing Tomorrow’s Church Leaders

Do you feel called to work in ministry? We can help you take the next step.

The Watermark Institute is designed to strengthen churches by investing in their future leaders—people like you. The Institute allows you to gain hands-on ministry experience while receiving in-depth biblical instruction.

Apply Now

Institute Applications are open for the class of 2024-25.

Apply Now!

"My year in the Watermark Institute showed me more about the everyday practicalities of church leadership than any other formative influence in my life. To lead without relying on what I learned there would be impossible!"

Garrett Raburn

"I came into the Watermark Institute worn out and close to giving up on the church. God used my year in the Institute to instruct my head in the truths of Christ, refresh my heart for a greater love of Christ, and re-energize my hands for service to Christ. I now have a greater love for Christ than ever before and that has led to a greater impact for Christ."

Derek Mathews


Check out answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

How do I apply?

To begin the process, please complete the Institute application at the link above. Applications are open November 1 through February 1 and the Institute begins the following August.

When can I apply?

Applications open on November 1st for classes and the Institute begins the following August. The application deadline is February 1. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, so applicants are encouraged to apply early as spots may be filled before the deadline.

How many people are accepted into the Watermark Institute?

It varies depending on the year. In a typical year, we receive hundreds of applications and accept between 40-50 people into the Institute.

How long is the program?

Each Watermark Institute class meets for about 10 months, from August through May.

Do I have to move to Dallas?

Yes. The Watermark Institute is an in-person program located in Dallas, TX.

Where will I live?

If you are single, we will provide an apartment for you to live in with other Institute participants. If you are married, a stipend will be provided based on your Institute track (Resident or Fellow).

How much does The Institute cost?

$0. We see the Institute as an investment into the future of churches around the world and a way that we can serve the overall body of Christ.

Can I get Seminary credit for The Institute?

We partner with multiple seminaries to provide credit for those who complete the Watermark Institute in good standing. Credit varies based on the Seminary you choose to attend.

Will I just be fetching coffee and lunch?

Institute participants are seen as valuable members of the Watermark Community Church staff and are treated as such. All Residents and Fellows are treated as a part of our staff, and jump into serving with meaningful responsibility on their ministry teams immediately.

Didn't answer all of your questions?

Fill out this contact form with your question and one of our team members will follow up with you.