Pastoral Residency Program

Our pastoral residency program provides an opportunity for individuals heading into pastoral ministry to gain practical experience in a local church context. Pastoral residents are mentored by the lead pastor of their church through an intentional, goal-oriented approach. They also participate in leadership development experiences provided by the denomination.


This program is for individuals who are on the path to vocational ministry. This includes those aspiring towards lead pastor roles, as well as other types of associate positions such as children’s pastor or youth pastor. They must possess the following:

  • Pursuing a goal of vocational church ministry
  • Completed a theological degree or be currently enrolled in a theological program
  • A demonstrated giftedness for pastoral ministry
  • Theological alignment with the Be In Christ Church of Canada
Program Design

Pastoral residents are hired by a BIC church for a one-year contract position. Residency positions typically run from September to August. At the end of the contract the church may apply to extend the residency position for a second year.

During the year the lead pastor mentors the resident in an intentional, goal-oriented way. It is expected that the lead pastor will discern with the resident what their future ministry work may entail, and then provide opportunities to learn those skills through practical experience with subsequent feedback and processing. The pastor meets online with the Residency Program Director on a quarterly basis to discuss the resident’s work and development.

As a part of their residency positions, pastoral residents participate in our BIC Emerging Pastors learning cohort from October to May. This cohort meets one day per month and focuses on leadership development, ministry skills, personal development, as well as BIC distinctives and spiritual formation. The cohort is comprised of the pastoral residents, as well as other church leaders who are typically in the earlier stages of their ministry journey.

Residents are also expected to attend the spring and fall LEAD events organized by BIC Canada during the year.

Funding Structure

The pastoral resident is hired by the church and is on the church’s payroll.

BIC Canada will reimburse the church for half of the resident’s salary, up to 10 hours per week. For example, for any position that is 20 hours per week or more, BIC Canada will pay the cost of 10 hours per week. For positions less than 20 hours a week, BIC Canada will pay half. This is based on a maximum hourly rate of $20 per hour.

The church is responsible for paying any staff expenses (e.g., mileage) in alignment with their local church policies.

BIC Canada pays for all costs related to the leadership development programs that the resident is required to attend (Emerging Pastors cohort, LEAD events).


Pastoral residents do not need to be credentialed with BIC Canada. However, if they complete the credentialing process and are approved by the Credentialing Overseer, BIC Canada will grant pastoral credentials for the time period of their residency position.

Criminal Record Check

The church must ensure that the resident completes a Criminal Record Check, including a Vulnerable Sector report, as a condition of employment.

Application Process

Reach out to the Residency Program Director, Melanie Wigg, for an exploratory conversation.

Following that conversation, the pastor and potential resident should complete, sign, and submit the Application Package to Melanie Wigg. She will follow up regarding the approval process for the application.

Picture of Melanie Wigg

Melanie Wigg

Pastoral Residency Director