what is the Emmaus Pastoral residency?



We call this a residency because participants agree to live in our city (Kansas City) and in covenant with our members at Emmaus Church. Each participant is agreeing to immerse themselves into our community and our city to honor the Lord, build friendships, make disciples, and serve the church. Residents will have the opportunity to gather regularly with our pastors for discipleship and formation. Each month the residents will participate in reading or listening on a topic of the month and then will meet with a pastor to discuss said topic. 

EPR addresses the following areas:

  • Theological Clarity
  • Spiritual Formation
  • Ability to Teach
  • Pastoral Care

Our prayer and desire is to help men begin and continue in a journey of growing in their knowledge of God so as to walk in a manner worthy of Him in pastoral ministry (Col. 1:9-10). This happens in several ways as we desire for the elders at Emmaus and the men we train to:

  • be formed  in godliness and confidence in Christ
  • be stable and consistent pastors who care for the souls of the sheep as they are cared for by Christ and sanctified by the Spirit
  • be honest about our sin and weakness while finding a greater fortitude and confidence in Christ's victory over sin and death
  • grow in their freedom in Christ and in their ability to help others walk in the freedom of Christ,
  • soak in and pour out gospel grace and healing,
  • love Jesus and love others as they seek to lead the church faithfully.

So while a theological seminary is beneficial, we firmly want to situate the primary ministerial, spiritual, and theological formation in the local church. Indeed, theology is the basis and sustenance for the Christian life. In other words, we desire to see the man of God seek spiritual and virtuous formation that undergirds their marriages, parenting, friendships, and pastoring.


Do I have to be a member of Emmaus to be a Resident?

  • Yes. Each resident must be a member of Emmaus Church. A major benefit to EPR is that the Elders and other residents get to walk through life with you for a few years. This allows you to be known in such a way that strengths can be highlighted and weaknesses can be exposed. The relational aspect of the residency is one that cannot be taken away. Jonathan Leeman says, “Pastors are exceptional church members.” By being a member with us for 2 years, we get to see how well you “member”.

I’m not sure if I’m called to be a lead pastor; can I still apply?

  • Yes. The residency is to aid in the holistic health of men who desire to pastor, this does not only include lead pastors. So, while we make sure that each applicant desires to pastor, we don’t only accept those who desire the role of lead or senior pastor.

Do I have to be in school? What if I’m in school?

  • We know that the calling to pastor is a calling to prepare and to continue preparing throughout life. EPR is only one aspect of that preparation. We encourage those who believe they are called to pastor to take the opportunities available to learn theology in a formal academic setting. However, theological education is not a requirement for the residency.

Is there a minimum age requirement to apply for EPR?

  • There is not a minimum age. However, as a general rule we look for men who have completed college or are in the mid 20's or older.

What is the end game of the residency? 

  • Residents who complete the two years of EPR will receive a letter of graduation and will be presented to Emmaus as graduates of the residency. We will also work with you for recommendations and connections to pastoral ministry opportunities and when the time comes for you to leave us to join another faith family, we will work with you to send you with the blessing of our church. 

What is the process of applying for the residency? 

  • Fill out the application on this page. 
  • Interview with a pastor.
  • Join Emmaus and get connectedI

 Does the residency offer financial compensation?

  • Residents are not compensated.

What past residents have said

"I wholeheartedly believe that Emmaus Church may have had the most significant impact on my life since our move to Kansas City (and that includes doctoral training). The Pastoral Residency, along with the other residents, are a important part of that impact."

- Timothy Gatewood, Ph.D.

"These 2+ years will strengthen you in your holiness, theology, community, shepherding, and preaching. Emmaus and this Residency were the reason Kristen and I chose to come to KC. Come join us!" 

- Joseph Lanier, Pastor of Discipleship, Fairview Baptist Church, Apex, NC

"If you desire the office of pastor, and you need training, consider moving yourself to Kansas City to train under the godly, kind, Christ-loving shepherds at Emmaus Church. Nothing has been more instrumental in my development than walking through day to day life in this church as part of their pastoral residency. Emmaus is in it for the long haul—they don't desire to train quick and impatient men who gain head knowledge or experience for the furthering of their own kingdom, but rather they spend the intentional time to prepare men for ministry by inviting them into the slower, more foundational life of the local body, intently focused on growing the kingdom of God. You won't learn church growth principles, convenient strategies, or gimmicky tricks here, but you will learn what faithfulness to the Word, the Sheep, and the Gospel means." 

- Drake Osborn, Pastor of Liturgy and Teaching, Grace Church, Waco, TX

How to Apply

The Pastoral Residency begins every two years in January. If interested, you may apply at any point. Residency applications will be reviewed and processed by the month of November, prior to the start of the next EPR.


For more information or further questions: epr@emmauskc.com