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Training Leaders

Watermark Institute

Where Tomorrow’s Church Leaders Get Their Start

Are you a recent (or soon-to-be) college graduate? Do you have experience leading in ministry, and are strongly considering making that your full-time career? The Watermark Institute Residency is designed for you.

The Residency provides biblical training, discipleship, and real-life ministry experience for recent college graduates (typically 22 – 24 years old). It helps people prepare for vocational ministry by developing their natural gifts and sharpening their skills. This 10-month-long deep dive into the Word of God provides both theological training and hands-on experience in ministry. It is a “residency” in the same way that young doctors go through residency; the church is a teaching hospital, and the Residency allows you to learn from and work alongside more experienced church leaders.

Be a Part of the Institute!

The deadline for 2022-2023 class applications is February 1. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, so spots may be filled before the deadline.

Apply Now!

Hear the Heart Behind the Institute

Listen as Elder and Lead Pastor Blake Holmes talks about the intent of the Watermark Institute and what they look for in candidates during this episode of the Church Leadership Podcast.

Listen Now

Residency FAQ

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

Who should apply?

The Residency is for recent college graduates who are already leading in ministry, are strongly considering vocational ministry, and are looking to take the next step in training and experience.

How do I apply?

To begin the process, please complete the Institute application at the link above. Applications open in November for classes that begin the following August.

When can I apply?

Applications open in November for classes that begin the following August. The application deadline is February 1, 2022. Applicants are encouraged to apply early though. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, so spots may be filled before the deadline.

How long is the program?

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

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 about 50 people into the Institute.

Do I have to move to Dallas?

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

Where will I live?

We will work with you to either provide a place to live or provide a housing allowance. The majority of Institute participants are provided an apartment by the program. If a participants is married, a stipend may be provided to help cover a portion of the rent.

How much does the Watermark 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.

Do Residents receive financial compensation?

Residents are provided with housing (or a housing allowance). They are encouraged to work part-time to cover other living expenses. We strongly advise you not to apply if you have a considerable amount of student or consumer debt.

What do people do after completing the Residency?

One of the goals of the Institute is to help Residents figure out their best next step. Many go directly into full time ministry, some attend seminary and others may decide to pursue a different vocation.

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