Archive for the 'School of Ministry' Category

This 1-Year Ministry Residential Experience is One of the Best Investments Our Church Makes


In 2013, we began the Cross Church School of Ministry, a one-year ministry residential experience that prepares leaders for life, ministry, and gospel advancement globally. Can you imagine what it is like to receive thirty new Ministry Staff members in one day and then launch them out of your ministry one year later? This is what we do in the Cross Church School of Ministry. In fact, we believe our next class will be the largest yet, equipping and empowering an estimated fifty students.

By August 1 of this year, ninety-nine students will have graduated from the Cross Church School of Ministry in our first five years. Most have launched into furthering their educational degrees, mostly at the masters or doctoral levels, others launched into full-time ministry, and fourteen of our own Ministry Staff members have graduated from the School of Ministry.

We Complement

The purpose of the School of Ministry is not to replace what our universities and seminaries do by way of theological education, but to complement them. The School of Ministry will provide a unique opportunity for any young man or woman called to ministry and Kingdom service to gain practical ministry experience in the Cross Church setting.

Students can come to the School of Ministry any time during or following their college or seminary career. They will receive classroom, mentorship, and hands-on experiences to prepare them as leaders for life, ministry, and Gospel advancement globally.

We give each student full-time local church experience, something they cannot get from an academic setting. School of Ministry graduates will understand local church ministry, and it will alter the way they live, lead, and extend the Gospel throughout their lifetime.

We Prepare

We prepare God-called leaders.

We prepare them for life. Our students are prepared for all of life, not just life in the church. We prepare them for marriage and family, even though a few are married already. We prepare them with life principles from relationships to finances, to health and wellness.

We prepare them for ministry. As students choose their one-year ministry track from one of the many we offer, they are under the mentorship of one or more of our pastors in this area of ministry. As well, they are permitted, encouraged, and expected to lead. The mentor and his ministry become their safety net so they will not fail, but learn and grow continually.

We prepare them for gospel advancement globally. We pour into these students the mission of our church and the Great Commission of our Lord. We want them to impact their region, their nation, and their world for Jesus Christ. Local ministry is part of our weekly activities. National ministry is accomplished when our students are sent on two mission trip experiences in the United States. One of our national trips usually includes the Washington, DC, region for our students to be reminded of the history of our nation. The students also participate in at least one international trip during the year. This gives them the opportunity to minister, evangelize, and learn about our international work through the Southern Baptist Convention.

We want our graduates consumed with Acts 1:8 and Matthew 28:19-20.

We Educate

The most unique commitment we have established from day one is to provide students the privilege to earn hours of credit at the bachelors and masters levels. We have too many partnerships with academic institutions to list here, but some of these institutions are now granting as many as ­­­­­30 hours of credit for the one-year tenure here. Additionally, a few of our students choose to take online classes.

Here is the joy: Students do not have to lose a year of education by coming here, but in fact strengthen their future resume while gaining college or seminary credit. As well, they earn one year of full-time ministry experience from our church by the time they graduate. That is why many of our students go from here to full-time ministry.

We Launch

With one year of full-time ministry experience, we launch these graduates to complete their education, enter full-time local church ministry, or even go to the mission field.

Developing and launching God-called leaders is what we do at Cross Church through our School of Ministry. 

Connect with Us Now

If you or someone you know has an interest in learning more about the Cross Church School of Ministry, please email our President, Dr. Ed Upton, at It is NOT too late to join us as we begin our next cohort in August.

Now is the Time to Lead,

Ronnie W. Floyd

Guest Post | There Is Still Time to Join Us for This Next Year at the Cross Church School of Ministry, by Edward Upton

Ed-blogToday, welcomes guest writer, Dr. Edward Upton. Dr. Upton is the President of Cross Church School of Ministry.

This summer has been a wonderful and productive time so far at Cross Church. We took over 900 people to Beach Camp, over 300 to Middle School camp, and over 2,000 are participating in VBX this week. Over the course of these events, we have seen well over 200 people baptized, and there will be many more before the summer is complete. Needless to say, it is an exciting season in the life of our church, and our Resident Ministers of the Cross Church School of Ministry have been heavily involved throughout the entire summer!

Here at Cross Church, our mission is to reach Northwest Arkansas, America, and the world for Jesus Christ, and in the School of Ministry, you can play a vital role in that mission. Our one-year residential ministry experience is designed to prepare the next generation for life, ministry, and gospel advancement globally. We firmly believe that training and education can open a whole new world to men and women who have given their lives in service to the Lord. Both formal education and practical training are necessary for ministry, but few are able to achieve both at the same time. In the School of Ministry, that combination is made possible through our unique partnerships and gifted staff.

Exciting New Opportunities

There has never been a better time to be part of our School of Ministry here at Cross Church. We are creating an environment that masterfully blends both formal theological education and practical ministry experience. This is one of the best ministry training opportunities in the country, and we are improving it each year. Over the course of the last few months we have been developing new and stronger partnerships with all of our Southern Baptist Seminaries. We have also entered into a partnership with the North American Mission Board to train church planters, and are developing a new partnership with the International Mission board to prepare our missionaries for work around the world.

It’s not too late!

The best part is, there is still time for you to join our team. Simply visit and click Apply Now. The next cohort starts on August 20, and we would love to have you join us. Over the next 12 months, a whole new group of dedicated ministry students will take part in an international mission trip, several North American mission trips, and each week serve on staff with one of the greatest ministry teams in America. You will leave here more equipped than ever, and if education is your next step, we will give you a substantial head start toward either graduate or undergraduate degrees. If you are called to ministry, and want to receive training but want to start working now, you should definitely consider joining the Cross Church School of Ministry. So, whether you are degree seeking or just looking for more practical experience, if you join us next year at the Cross Church School of Ministry, I promise it will be one of the greatest years of your life and you will see lives changed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Dr. Edward Upton
President, Cross Church School of Ministry