Spiritual Life

Vocation and Ministry Exploration

The Church Leadership, Pre-Ministry, and Ministry Connection at Southwestern is designed for students who are exploring a call to ordained ministry, lay ministry, and other forms of spiritual and religious leadership and ministry.

Students in the program come from a variety of backgrounds, faiths, and theological outlooks.  They often have special interests in children’s ministries, youth ministry, camp and outdoor education ministries, and pastoral counseling, in addition to worship leadership, music, preaching, and teaching. 


Students may participate in any or all of the following activities to strengthen their skills for ministry and to explore the meaning of Christian discipleship, service and calling.

  • Regular meetings with the chaplain
  • Opportunities for a mentorship relationship with clergy and lay in the community
  • Leadership development programming
  • Keynote Speakers from various forms of ministry
  • Spiritual formation groups
  • Internships in churches and other areas of interest
  • National Church and Society Seminar Program

Scholarships from $1,000 - $10,000 are available on an annual basis for qualifying students in the program.

The David Knox Porter Award in Pre-Theology is given to students who excel in academic and religious life and who plan to attend seminary after graduation. 

Other programs and fellowships are available through national organizations such as The Fund for Theological Education, the Festival of Young Preachers and denominationally related programs.

Students interested in “Ministry Connections” are encouraged to contact the Office of Spiritual Life.