For too long, theological education has been divorced from the local church. Men and women have been sent off to faraway places to study in ivory towers when the work of the gospel happens through blood, sweat, and tears in the streets of our cities, in the family of God’s people, the church. We believe the training of potential pastors, planters, leaders and missionaries is best done in the context of the local church.
Since her beginning in 2006, Karis has trained over 30 interns. Those graduates have been sent across America and around the globe, planting and helping plant gospel-centered churches. Karis Church offers multiple opportunities for men and women to develop their understanding of the Bible, improve their leadership skills and discern their calling to vocational or lay ministry.
“It was a joy to work with a former Karis intern as he was in the final stages of preparing to plant his church. His time with Kevin and Karis prepared him well to plant. I’m thankful for their work with him and their continued investment in individuals in the early stages of ministry through their internship program.”Elliot GrudemFounder and PresidentLeaders Collective
Lead School - One Year (5 hours a week)
Students in Karis Church’s Lead School complete year one of Porterbrook Learning in small, weekly, discussion cohorts. They also come together once a month for a theology and ministry discussion with a Karis Church leader. While in Lead School, students gain leadership experience through a ministry service area and accompanying project. Students are also regularly shepherded by Karis Church elders. Lead School begins each fall and is typically suited for those desiring to serve in lay church leadership.
Karis Internship - Two Years (20 hours a week)
For men and women who feel a calling to vocational or lay church leadership and desire to discern and develop their gifts, Karis Church offers a 2-year, intensive ministry internship. Interns must be church members who have completed an application and interview process. During the course of their internship, students complete years one and two of Porterbrook Learning, along with additional reading assignments. They gain valuable ministry experience while immersed in the life of a healthy local church. Interns attend regular staff meetings and training sessions and are provided additional church responsibilities and leadership opportunities. Students are shepherded during their two years by Karis Church elders. They also have the option to pursue a discounted seminary education (instead of Porterbrook) through Southern or Midwestern seminaries while staying onsite in Columbia.
Karis Internship - Summer (20 hours a week)
Some college students may choose to pursue a shorter, summer internship through Karis. Summer interns will experience some of the same opportunities of traditional interns - theology study, ministry experience, elder shepherding, etc. - yet just over a ten week period. Although the summer internship has proven valuable for many, it’s recommended that most students commit to the two-year option.
Residency Program - One-Two Years (20 hours a week)
Residencies are designed for those who have completed the Karis internship or seminary studies. They are best suited for those who have discerned their calling to church plant here or overseas and desire additional ministry experience, along with guidance and support during the planting process. Students typically go through the Karis Church eldership process, and complete a ministry strategic plan, along with other next-level leadership responsibilities (preaching, MC leadership, etc.). Residents may also choose to pursue seminary studies during their residency stay.
Note: each program utilizes Porterbrook Learning, which comes at an inexpensive, discounted cost-per-course