Pastoral Fellowship Program at FBCA
We believe God has uniquely equipped First Baptist Church of Alexandria to be an incubator for ministry, missions, and pastoral leadership. Throughout the fellowship program, we seek to unveil regular, day-to-day ministerial life and provide individuals aspiring to be pastors with an ecclesiological and pastoral framework for doing the work of ministry. How do we effectively develop leaders and disciple makers? How do we care for the sick and needy? How does church polity affect the function of the local church? These questions, and others will be fleshed out in practicum ministry experience. Fellows will contact all aspects of church life by spending a portion of the year working with each ministry FBCA offers, from early childhood to ministering alongside the elderly saints in our church.
In addition to observing church life today, FBCA Pastoral Fellows will spend a portion of their time engaging in conversation with great pastors and church leaders through assigned reading. Through these conversations and their interaction with our church’s life, fellows will discover that we believe the local church is the appointed method to share the gospel and advance Christ’s Kingdom on Earth.
Fellowship Structure and Work
FBCA Pastoral Fellows should not expect to use the program to help them answer the question, “Am I called to the ministry?” Instead, we are looking for individuals who have already answered a call to ministry and are seeking church ministry experience and training. Moreover, FBCA does not build ministry on fellows (ministry development, leading small groups, etc.). There will be opportunities to exercise these gifts, but the fellowship program is designed to expose you to the FBCA ministries already active in making disciples, serving Alexandria, and reaching the world with the Gospel.
The fellowship lasts approximately ten to twelve months, and can occur either from September to July or January to October. We expect a fellowship applicant to have completed at least 25 seminary credit hours (about two semesters), but beyond that fellows can be everything from current seminary students, recent seminary graduates, to seasoned pastors the Lord is transitioning into new areas of ministry.
A portion of the fellowship office time (less than half) will be spent reading significant texts and processing your learning through written papers, one-on-one mentorship, and group discussions with the pastoral staff.
Who is Eligible?
We welcome applications from individuals who are aiming at pastoral ministry and who are able to affirm the FBCA statement of faith. A stipend is available and expenses related to the fellowship will be covered by the church, but this does not include health care. A minimum of 25 seminary credit hours (about two semesters) is required. Fellows will have access to funding opportunities to support continued seminary education.
The church cannot promise housing to fellows but will endeavor to provide housing at no or minimal cost. Alexandria offers a public transit system with easy access to most parts of the city. Therefore, a personal vehicle is not necessary but having access to a personal vehicle would not be inadvisable either.
A Typical Week
The fellow’s week includes attendance at staff meetings, worship services and discipleship activities of the church, staff prayer times, fellowship learning discussions, a few weddings and wedding rehearsals, a few funerals, fellows’ accountability and supervision times, and any spontaneous meetings that arise in the course of a week. Fellows will support and at times lead ministry activities of the church. Fellows can also expect to serve in some general office administration.
Additionally, we ask fellows to schedule one-on-one lunches with Bible Fellowship and Lifegroup leaders, teachers, deacons, and church support staff members. Fellows also meet with a variety of new and old members of the church. These meetings provide the fellows with an opportunity to learn about various aspects of the church’s history and life.
Fellows become members of First Baptist Church of Alexandria during the time of their fellowship in order to best fold into the life of the congregation. Lastly, we ask each fellow to be an active member of a small group (Bible Fellowship or Lifegroup).