EXSEL Discipleship Program participants experience distinctive opportunities for vocational and spiritual growth as they serve alongside their mentors—many of whom are seasoned military leaders and their families. Through group and one-on-one mentoring, EXSEL interns gain valuable life experience as they learn about themselves, the character of Jesus, and the challenges of a life surrendered to Christ.

Who is EXSEL for?

Young men and women between the ages of 18 and 24 who desire to grow and mature in their Christian faith and are committed to serve Christ’s Kingdom through the Officers’ Christian Fellowship ministry at White Sulphur Springs.

When does it start?

Applications are accepted November through February. Decisions on who is accepted are announced by 15 April. Once accepted, the incoming intern will receive several communications from the EXSEL Director regarding what to expect, what to bring, etc. The new interns arrive at WSS the last week in August and begin training immediately. The following May, after successfully completing the Fall and Spring semesters of the EXSEL Discipleship Program, the interns will be assigned leadership positions on our Summer Senior Staff as a capstone leadership event, serving in those roles until the summer ministry season ends in early August.

How does it work?

EXSEL applies an integrated approach to discipleship by linking experience, service, and leadership in each of three developmental areas: spiritual growth, vocational training and academic opportunities. We employ time-honored spiritual disciplines, a challenging variety of vocational opportunities, mentoring by seasoned leaders, regular informal and formal assessment and feedback, and Christian community in a delightful 1,000+ acre Allegheny setting to generate meaningful developmental opportunities for our interns.

Spiritual Growth

Opportunity for discipleship is just about as close to what the first-century church experienced as you can find. Interns join the White Sulphur Springs community, where we work, serve, eat, play, and “do life” together.

Through this immersive environment, relationships are formed. From these relationships, discipleship blooms. EXSEL interns are provided “formal” opportunities for spiritual growth through directed readings, seminar-style discussions, journaling, and reflective papers and presentations.

The weekly formal discipleship training covers relevant topics such as: Christian worldview and apologetics, knowing and understanding God’s will, prayer and meditation, marriage and relationships, engaging our culture with a biblical perspective, financial stewardship, and servant leadership.

Discipleship happens throughout the rest of the week in one-one-one discipleship relationships with a member of our ministry team, by working and serving shoulder-to-shoulder with the ministry team on a daily basis, and in our homes as we welcome them as part of our extended families.

Vocational Training

Interns will have the opportunity to work and serve as members of the White Sulphur Springs team, gaining valuable experience across a wide variety of vocational areas.

Opportunities exist to serve in areas such as guest services and hospitality, marketing, youth programs, horse program, facilities and maintenance, food service team, housekeeping, and programs and operations.

Regardless of where you serve, each intern will receive practical skills training in a face-to-face mentoring relationship with their ministry team leader. Through the course of the program, interns will advance from observer/server to learner/server to practitioner/server to leader/server, in a context reminiscent of the close relationships of the “trades” over a century ago.

The EXSEL model of “experience, serve, lead” comes together in vocational training, in which interns apply their accumulated spiritual, vocational, and academic experience through the year to serve and lead in the servant-leadership model of Jesus Christ.

Academic Education

Due to the vocational demands of EXSEL, members have a limited opportunity during their off-time to participate in academic activities. To the extent they are able, they may enroll in distance study programs which support their personal goals and are consistent with their academic progress and abilities.

Interns wishing to get a head-start on future college plans—and those wishing to add to their undergraduate education—may enroll in the distance-learning programs of their choice. However, we recommend they limit themselves to a minimum number of hours during the fall semester so they can become more familiar with the demands of the discipleship and vocational programs.

Those without plans for college may use their off-time, and are encouraged, to develop individual reading and study on topics or skills of interest to them that will help them develop and grow towards their future vocational interests and calling.

Are you ready to be challenged to grow and mature as a disciple of Jesus?

Download the 2019 Application
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