When Caleb McClarren graduated from college, he accepted a residency with a church in the Detroit, Michigan, area. During his time as a resident at Cornerstone Baptist Church, Roseville, he became a more experienced pastor. As he reflected on his training, Caleb said, “From the way I pray, to lesson planning, to preaching, to people care, there is hardly a day that goes by that I don’t reference the time that I spent as a resident.” Today, as the student ministries pastor at Grace Church, Morton, Illinois, he is training the next generation of pastors by hosting their first student ministries resident, Alex Bode.

When Grace decided to launch a pastoral residency, Caleb developed the requirements and job description, and they posted the opening at several colleges. Now, Alex, a graduate of Boyce College in Louisville, Kentucky, has already completed his first year at Grace, and they have asked him to stay on for another year. While he works closely with Caleb and leads the middle school ministry, Alex is being trained in all areas of pastoral ministry.

Eventually, Grace Church will send Alex out to serve a local church, equipped and experienced. Caleb summarizes his passion for the program by saying, “I want to play a part in sending men out to make disciples and to lead churches for the long haul.”