Learning Structure

Brentwood Baptist’s philosophy of leadership training is supported by
three guiding principles, three core beliefs, and three foundational purposes.

Philosophy of Training

Brentwood Baptist’s philosophy of leadership training is supported by three guiding principles, three core beliefs, and three foundational purposes.

  • First, we believe that church and Kingdom leaders are best developed, equipped, and shepherded in the local church. The purpose of the Ministry Residency is not to replace what our universities and seminaries do, but to complement them.
  • Second, we believe that leader development is most effective when it blends formal group learning environments with real life ministry experience under the mentorship of seasoned ministry leaders.
  • Third, we believe men and women should be trained in the areas God has gifted, impassioned, and called them.

We further believe the supremacy of God, the centrality of the gospel, and the priority of mission informs our leader development strategy.

Finally, we believe the purpose of the Ministry Residency is to develop leaders who are continually growing in heart (being), learning in head (knowing), and serving with hands (doing).

Formal Learning Structure

One of two foundational approaches to learning and skill development in the Ministry Residency is a centralized formal process around a series of seminars, classes, and cohorts.

Seminars: Weekly seminars facilitated by church staff and outside experts focusing on life, ministry, disciple making and kingdom advance using a combination of lecture, Socratic, small group, and project specific learning approaches

Classes: Residents participate with selected lay leaders in established multi-week advanced church leadership training programs such as Model-Netics. 

Cohorts: Residents meet regularly with other Residents and program leadership to experience community, share, and reflect upon their learning experiences.

The content of these formal learning environments is structured around the findings of a seven year Lilly Foundation Study on how ministers can sustain, over a lifetime, a healthy and fruitful ministry. Their findings support Hebrews 3:12-15. The most important practice was participation in a structured learning community of peers focusing on five characteristics of resilient pastoral ministry.

Spiritual Formation: Involves the process of both deepening one’s relationship with Jesus and becoming more and more like Him.

Self-Care: Involves attending to one’s social, emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual life and setting up patterns that will promote health in all those areas.

Emotional and Cultural Intelligence: Involve both self-awareness and an awareness of the context in which one is ministering.

Marriage and Family: Involves creating and maintaining healthy and happy relationships with one’s spouse and children.

Organizational Leadership and Management: Involve developing the skills necessary to both lead and manage a growing and ever changing ministry and church.

Experience Based and Core Learning

The Supervisor and Resident jointly determine a customized schedule of experience-based learning environments that are gleaned from the Resident’s Learning Goals and Experiences Plan.

The Supervisor will work with the Residency Director to insure the experiences below, as well as others that may not be on this list are scheduled, and as much as possible, see that a two-step process is followed for each experience:

Step 1: Observe/Participate in the experience followed by a time of reflection and equipping with Supervisor and/or appropriate Ministry Leader

Step 2: Lead or co-lead the experience followed by a time of reflection and equipping with Supervisor and/or appropriate Ministry Leader

The following seminars, experiences and learning opportunities are considered core and will be a part of each resident’s training plan.


  • Kiersey
  • Church Governance
  • Social Media
  • Pastoral Care and Counseling
  • Personal Financial Management
  • Time Management and Prioritization
  • Assimilation
  • Groups and Volunteers
  • Next Generation Ministry
  • Family Ministry
  • Staffing and Hiring
  • Conflict Management
  • Developing and Casting Vision
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Leading from Your Strengths

Seminar Experience’s

  • Discover New Member Class
  • Worship Planning and Leadership
  • Ordinances: Lord’s Supper and Baptisms
  • Sermon or Teaching Planning and Presentation
  • Gospel Presentation
  • Ministry and Hospital Visitation
  • Financial Management
  • Weddings
  • Funerals
  • Resume’ Writing
  • Interviewing Skills
  • Counseling Children
  • Developing a Team and Team Work
  • Developing a Prayer Strategy

Brentwood School of Ministry and Spiritual Formation Classes (one day workshops)

  • Pastoral Ministry
  • Missions and Evangelism
  • Spiritual Formation and Discipleship
  • Christian Leadership

Conferences and Workshops

  • Model-netics
  • Immersion Conference

Reading Group

  • Soul Keeping  |  John Ortberg |
  • Conformed to His Image |  Kenneth Boa
  • Biblical Preaching | Haddon Robinson
  • The New Pastor’s Handbook | Jason Helopoulous
  • Designed to Lead  |  Eric Geiger and Kevin Peck
  • Elders and Leaders  |  Gene A. Getz
  • Bible Doctrine  |  Wayne Grudem and Jeff Purswell
  • The Drama of Scripture  | Bartholomew & Goheen
  •   Inductive Bible Study | Fuhr & Kosenberger
  • Dangerous Calling  |  Paul David Tripp
  • The Resiliant Pastor | Mark A. Searby
  • Onward| Russell Moore
  • Good Faith | Kinnaman & Lyons


  • Overnight Soul Care Retreat
  • Participation in the Annual Brentwood Baptist Ministers Retreat

Campus and Congregation Observation

  • Avenue South Camps
  • Brentwood Baptist Campus
  • Lockeland Campus
  • Nolensville Campus
  • Station Hill Campus
  • West Franklin Campus
  • Woodbine Campus
  • Kairos Congregation


  • Attend All Staff meetings
  • Attend Lunch and Learns
  • Attend Quarterly Staff meetings
  • Attend Staff Chapel
  • Attend Selected Departmental Staff Meetings
  • Participate in Quarterly/Annual reviews
  • Participate in goal setting

Ready to take your next step?