What is the WEI Residency?
WoodsEdge Community Church is committed to equipping the next generation of leaders for the advancement of God’s kingdom in the city of Houston and beyond. In order to accomplish this, we want every resident to leave the WEI residency with three things: Biblical/Theological training (1 Tim 4:16), a strong understanding of holistic disciples-making ministry (Matt 28:18-20), and a deep Christ-centered community (Heb 10:24-25). We pursue these goals through hands-on ministry experience both on a church staff and out in the community, strong mentorship from church leaders, and an integrated seminary education through Dallas Theological Seminary.
What is the ideal age of someone in the Residency Program?
The ideal Resident is just coming out of a traditional undergraduate education. We have created an experience for this group in mind.
Who is the Residency Program for?
The Residency Program is best suited for recent college graduates who are committed to attending seminary and pursuing vocational ministry with their degrees.
What should I expect in regards to finances?
We want you to be prepared for ministry. Because of that, we are choosing to invest a large investment into each resident.
During your first year, you will be formally hired as a part-time staff member of WoodsEdge Community Church and compensated at an hourly rate based upon hours worked.
During your first year, WoodsEdge Community Church will cover 100% of you DTS Tuition (approx. $24,000).
During your second year, every WEI Resident is expected to work full-time in the marketplace. While we do not place residents, the church will assist in finding a place to get that experience.
During your second year, every WEI Resident will receive a $9,000 scholarship for their remaining seminary degree plan (roughly 50%).
So how much will seminary cost?
The master of arts in Christian Leadership degree from Dallas Theological Seminary costs approximately $40,000. WoodsEdge Community Church will cover the first $24,000 (Year 1) and DTS will provide an additional $9,000 (Year 2). Therefore, each resident stands to pay about $7,000 out of pocket to earn their Masters Degree
What financial support is offered for the Residency Program?
Additional costs necessary for living expenses or tuition should be covered by the student. We strive to make sure our residents can finish their time in the program without incurring any debt. Residents in the past have received discounted housing from members of the church. Furthermore, the first year of the residency intentionally caps the student’s hourly commitment on staff so that they have the opportunity to pursue other marketplace work if they so desire. During the second year, residents are expected to work full-time outside of the church in order to gain marketplace ministry experience.
How valuable will I be when I finish?
When you finish this program, you will have one year of church staff experience with WoodsEdge Community Church, one year of marketplace work experience, your master of arts in Christian Leadership degree from Dallas Theological Seminary and a host of resident/disciple-making experiences.
How long is the Residency Program?
Twenty-two months, beginning each August and ending with graduation from Dallas Theological Seminary.
How much time will it take each week?
Residents work 20 hours per week in one of the following areas:
- WoodsEdge Kids
- WoodsEdge Student Ministry
- Adult Ministries
- Group Life
- Communications and Media Production
- Prayer and Care
- Worship and Tech
- Business and Administration
- Missions and Outreach
Is the Residency Program limited to postgraduates?
Yes. The Residency Program requires a 4-year undergraduate degree.
How many people are accepted into the Residency Program?
Class sizes will vary from year to year, but we want to create a close-knit, intimate experience. We will typically accept between 5-7 residents each year.
When does the Residency Program start?
The program begins each August and follows the DTS calendar. Applications open November 1 each year in preparation for the next fall class.
Where would I live?
Residents are responsible for finding their own housing. In the past, some residents have opted to live together or have found reduced cost housing with members of our church.
Can I participate in the Residency Program if I’m in seminary at another institution?
Can I apply if I don’t live in the United States?
Unfortunately, we are unable to accept international applicants at this time.
Can I do this program if I already have credit hours with DTS or another institution?
The Residency Program is tailored specifically for the Masters in Christian Leadership degree through DTS, where the students will receive credit for their WoodsEdge work and courses. Since it is a program and the students are in a cohort together, participation in this program would typically require you to have less than 15 hours of the introductory biblical and theological studies to align with the program. If you’re interested in pursuing your degree through DTS, we can explore your admission to the Residency Program based on your individual circumstances. You would be required to complete all the required Leadership Experience classes and work with DTS to manage the additional coursework needed for other programs.
Can I pursue a THM with the residency program?
Yes. However, you would be required to complete all resident courses over the 22-month period. Additional courses can be taken in addition to the program or after the program is completed and will require working with DTS to manage the specifics on your coursework. Tuition costs beyond what is offered by WEI Residency and the DTS Partnership Scholarship would be the responsibility of the student.
If I have more questions, who can I ask?
You can contact our Residency Director directly at
What does it look like to work at WoodsEdge Community Church?
The goal for your first year of residency is to enroll with other residents in order to take DTS courses as a cohort. Your 20 hours working on staff your first year will vary depending on the ministry team you reside in. However here are some things every resident can expect their first year:
- Cohort Spiritual Formation
- Philosophy of Ministry Seminars
- Vision Trips into the city of Houston
- Weekly Staff Prayer Meeting
- Ministry Team Meetings
- One-on-one time with the Residency Director
Residents can also expect a residency retreat in the fall, a conference together in the spring, and mission trip together in the summer.
We also expect all our residents to live in Biblical community, serve the church out of love rather than obligation, and engage in disciple making in their circles of influence.
The goal of your second year is to experience life and ministry in the marketplace. After all, the vast majority of the church spends their time out in the world rather than in a church office. The second year focuses on disciple-making movements, evangelism, community building, and church planting. The cohort will continue to meet together, share together, pray together, and minister together throughout their final year.
The residency formally ends with a commissioning from the church and the commencement ceremony at Dallas Seminary.