I needed More than knowledge

The longer I am in ministry, the more I am convinced of the need for pastoral training and discipleship within the local church. My wife and I moved to North Carolina so I could attend seminary- I was eager to get in, get my degree, and go plant a church. But God quickly pulled the E-Brake on those plans, and instead led me through a long season of maturation and development.

Seminary gave me a great theological foundation but it lacked the “hands on” ministry experience I knew I needed.  Towards the end of my MDiv God helped me see my need for personal pastoral development: development that would have to extend beyond reading and abstract knowledge.

The value of hands on experience

In response I prioritized interning at my church in Raleigh-Durham.  After serving in a number of different capacities I ended up working with Pastor J.D. Greear doing research, traveling & sermon review.  Bit by bit I learned how to apply my theology to local church ministry.

I was also invited into a group of aspiring pastors that meets weekly to discuss books, work through pastoral issues and develop preaching.  JD & our Church Planting Pastor, Mike McDaniel, helped us learn to think through tough issues and practically apply Scripture.  That group continues to be invaluable to my development as a pastor.

If I had rushed into ministry – just taken the first youth pastor job that popped up or something like that – I don’t think I’d be where I am now as a pastor.  I attribute so much of my readiness to lead a campus of The Summit Church to the mentorship I found in Pastor J.D. and the staff at the Summit.

If you’re looking to sit around a coffee table and discuss theology our Apprenticeship Program probably isn’t for you. But if you’re eager to learn theology and then apply it in pastoral ministry, the Summit Apprenticeship Program could be a great fit.  The theological & practical investment I’ve received at the Summit has shaped my understanding of pastoral ministry more than anything else.  If you aspire to pastor, plant or revitalize a church one day, I’d highly recommend checking out this initiative.  For more details about the Summit Apprenticeship Program & to apply visit

Curtis Andrusko (@curtisandrusko) serves as the Associate Pastor of Connections at the Brier Creek Campus of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, NC.