The Timothy Pastoral Apprenticeship is a church-based theological training program designed to prepare men for pastoral ministry. There are two components of the program:
- The Apprenticeship Component. Students are placed in a church within the network of participating churches to develop a close mentoring relationship with that church and its pastor. This relationship is designed to devote the student to prayer, the Word, and hands-on ministry experience. (Apprenticeship Component details)
- The Academic Component. Students engage in a rigorous 60-credit academic curriculum worked out in community with their mentor pastor, other students, and other pastors in the TPA network. (Academic Component details)
Thus the TPA is not a chiefly academic enterprise with “supervised ministry” as a peripheral requirement or option. It is a truly church-centered training. Under the loving care of a local church and mentor pastor, students learn and grow in ministry by doing everything: preaching, teaching, praying, discipling, worshiping, leading, visiting, counseling, organizing, and suffering.
Mentored service and learning in a local church are the very heart of the TPA. As such we feel the TPA is a revolutionary paradigm for theological training with countless advantages over the traditional seminary model in the United States (see the Propositions).