WSOM Key Components

The classic biblical example of ministry training is that of Paul with his young protégé Timothy. At the end of his life, Paul charged him in four main areas: 

Mentoring | 2 Timothy 3:10-14

Life on Life Influence

The Christian life was never meant to be lived in individual isolation.  God Himself lives and works in community.  Learning, therefore, must occur in a relational community.  It is our conviction to have a biblical model where leaders are developed relationally, life-on-life mentoring.  Each candidate will be assigned a mentor who will work with them throughout their WSOM experience. The mentor is a seasoned ministry leader who is available and willing to invest in the life of the candidate. The successful mentoring relationship will include:

  • Regular meetings to review all aspects of the WSOM experience and for prayer
  • Commitment to steadfast prayer for the candidate
  • Feedback from any observed practicum or ministry

Mentor Selection

The mentor is a seasoned ministry leader who is available and willing to invest in the life of the candidate. Mentors should be selected in consultation with the Mentoring Coordinator of WSOM. Once agreed upon, the student will approach the mentor to gauge interest and explain the necessary commitment. If the mentor accepts, he/she will be expected to attend periodic mentoring training seminars.  Mentors need to be the same gender as the student.

Mentor Training

Training will be scheduled as needed.

Biblical Foundation | 2 Timothy 3:15-17

It is our firm conviction that the Scriptures are the Word of God and are sufficient for life and ministry. This high view of Scripture has been, and by God’s grace will continue to be, a distinguishing feature of Wintonbury and one we fully intend to pass on this value to our candidates.

We are further convinced that the Bible is not an eclectic library of various writings; rather, it is one great story – an EPIC. It is our desire to help each student understand the broad sweep of the great redemption adventure related to us through Scripture.

Furthermore, Paul instructed Timothy to watch his life and doctrine closely (1 Timothy 4:16). Specifically, he was to make sure that his life and doctrine were in keeping with a sound reading of Scripture. Therefore, in addition to studying the broad epic story, we will also study Scripture at the detail level as it relates to life and ministry.

With these two goals in mind, we will offer a comprehensive academic program so that candidates become workman who correctly handle God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:15).

Trained to Teach | 2 Timothy 4:1-4

Although not every candidate will be pursuing a teaching ministry, we do expect all our ministers to be competent to teach at basic levels. At some point in ministry, we all have the opportunity to influence people toward Christ and when that opportunity arises, it is our desire that each candidate will be able to teach those people as opposed to “bringing them to the pastor.”

With this in mind, we will require each candidate to teach the following during the three-year program:

  • Sharing the Gospel (not a course to teach – candidate needs to simply share the gospel competently)
  • Observation in a teaching context

These courses can be taught in tandem with another student and feedback would be solicited from class participants.  The student’s mentor will attend at least one session to give feedback as well. These courses can be taught in any setting such as Sunday School, small groups, family, and even with just one other individual.

Ministry | 2 Timothy 4:5-8

Most schools award credit for the acquisition of knowledge.  Testing becomes the mode of validation. It is our conviction that leaders should be people who are competent to do ministry rather than mere possessors of knowledge. With this in mind, each candidate will be assigned a ministry internship that will last the duration of the three year program. The goal is to acquire practical ministry experience and to develop and validate ministry competency. The internship will include:

  • Setting of ministry goals
  • Quarterly ministry review with appropriate staff leader
  • Final learning report at the end of the internship
  • Written feedback from those ministered to