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Cohort Church Mentor

Cohort Church Mentor

Thank you for your interest in learning about the Mentorship for the Western Seminary Urban Ministry Cohort that earns students a Masters of Arts in Ministry and Leadership degree. The cost of this program is significantly reduced through their local church's mentoring investment. This investment on the part of the church is not one of money but of intentional discipleship. Mentors will work with students and Western to assess ministry competency in numerous areas, including:

  • Spiritual Formation
  • Practice of Ministry
  • Exercise of Leadership
  • Awareness of and sensitivity toward diverse cultures
  • Recognition of and use of student's giftings, strengths, personality, and emotional intelligence
  • Application of ethical standards
  • Theologically informed worship practices

A church mentor is a required component of this cohort program. Each student will need to have someone from their local church who commits to be part of their educational process and serve in the role of Church Mentor. This Mentor will need to be a full-time pastoral staff member who has enough experience to understand the ministry the student is involved in at the local church. If the student is on church staff, the ideal person in the Mentor role would be the one the student reports to on staff. This way it can be incorporated into the current meetings already in place with the student, providing support and insight into their ongoing ministry.

 Mentors must commit to:

  • Pray for the student as they add on seminary classes in addition to their normal ministry life
  • Attend a one-time initial Mentor training meeting with Western Seminary at the Sacramento Campus
  • Connect with Western Seminary via phone or web-conference as needed to go over the syllabus and ensure that their mentee is on track toward meeting the required competencies
  • Utilize the church and its ministries as the "classroom" for the student
  • Meet with the student three times per semester to review the two papers and two assignments for that semester’s ministry formation course
  • Commit to mentoring a student over the three-year program (see below for exceptions)
  • Allow students to prioritize their once-a-month Friday commitments to class (i.e., enable students to attend class in lieu of a retreat or church function, if necessary)

If this is something that interests you, or if you are reading this and not a student, but may know someone on your church staff who would be a good fit for this, please contactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Cohort Host and Curator.

Answers to Commonly Asked Mentor Questions

Will the mentor be paid?

Not with money. Since we are partnering with the church, the investment the local church mentors make through their time saves the student money on courses taught traditionally by professors in a classroom. The local church gets their ministry enhanced by the education the student receives, the student earns a degree, and Western enhances its mission to do advanced training with and for the Church. It's a win-win-win.

Does the mentor need to commit for the entire length of my program?

That would be ideal. But we understand in a local church that roles change over time. The church mentor may need to change over a three-year time period, but we do want to have the local church commit that they will provide a mentor for the entirety of the student's studies. While we hope whoever starts in that role will stay in it as long as possible, we ask that Western Seminary is informed so that it can work with the student and local church to provide someone else to take that role if it becomes necessary.

How does Western (or the mentor) know if the mentor or student is qualified for this cohort?

photo 1519915734606 32d972e3b9b7Students will need to apply for the Master of Arts in Ministry and Leadership (MAML) Program as any student would need to. Part of that process is asking the designated mentor to be a reference for the student’s admission. Mentors can elaborate in that letter why their student should or should not be admitted to the MAML cohort program. If the student is admitted, they will then be considered for admission to the cohort.

In the process of considering the student for the cohort, Western Seminary will also assess the quality of the mentor in numerous areas, not limited to:

  • Church role
  • Experience (both career and at that church)
  • Education
  • Doctrine
  • Current relationship with student

Again, if you have any questions about the mentor role, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., host and curator of the cohort.