Cost

Tuition fee for the 2017-2018 school year is $6,800 for full-time students and $3,400 for part-time students.

This includes all tuition, internship and mentor arrangements, food, our two retreats, and access to all books and materials required. It does not include housing, or the cost of your mission trip. However, the course involves learning about fundraising and mission support, and we will support you in raising the funds for your trip.

We offer an early-bird fee reduction of $200 for people who apply by March 1st, 2017. 

Half of the tuition is due at the beginning of school, with the rest payable in equal installments over the next six months.

There are some need-based scholarships available – please contact us to discuss these.


Dates

The year begins in early September and finishes in mid-July. For full-time students this entails a full-time commitment for nine months in Portland and two months overseas. Part-time students are committed to two 9-month blocks of classes, and different practicum arrangements.  We have a week-long break for Thanksgiving and Easter, a three-week break at Christmas, and various national holidays off.

If you need to know exact dates, please email us – we will publish them when they are confirmed.


Weekly Schedule

We have all our classes on Mondays and Tuesdays, with full-time students attending all classes, and part-time students attending on Mondays only. Wednesday to Sunday is left open for people who have jobs (most of our students work part-time), internships, mentor meetings, Bible groups, and homework. Each day begins with breakfast and devotions at 9:00. We have one class in the morning, followed by lunch, then two classes in the afternoon. We finish the day with a dinner together at 5:30. The cost of all meals is included in the tuition.

We have meals together a lot! A highlight of the year is the relationships – the deep friendships that form as we press into life in Jesus together. Meals and breaks give us lots of opportunity to form these bonds and develop community. We get to know each other, learn to be vulnerable, share what we wrestle with, support each other, and do life together.

On Sundays you work in your internships, but not all day without a break.  Sometimes you will have intern hours elsewhere in the week (youth night, or working with a missional community start-up for example). We always make sure that you can attend one gathering, and try to balance the load across the week when possible. 


Internships

Internships are the opportunity for you to learn to serve – which takes a lot of character and sacrifice... Christ-like attributes! Sometimes this means doing what needs to be done, and slotting in where you can be the biggest blessing. This might be helping lead with the kids team, or assisting a missional community startup in your church. But it should also involve you having the opportunity to test your calling, serving in ways that provoke you to examine how you can serve with vision for your gifts. We want to ensure that internships give you meaningful opportunities to develop as a person and leader. This will always involve serving under the supervision of a leader who can help you to grow. We will work with you to help you identify possible internships. We can often assign people to ministries at Westside, but also have connections with other organizations. If you attend another local church, or are already involved serving somewhere, we encourage you to explore some internship possibilities there.


Mentoring

Before you start the program we will help you to find a mentor. This is someone who is part friend, part coach, who will encourage and support you, as well as challenge you and hold you accountable. You will meet regularly with your mentor, usually several times a month. This could be grabbing coffee, going over for dinner, or going on a walk.

Mentors are generally not staff (who you have opportunity to connect with anyway), but people who are experienced, mature, godly, and passionate Jesus-followers. This gives you a connection to someone living on mission who can provide perspective from outside full-time vocational ministry. They will be there to discuss what you are being challenged by, to support, encourage, and pray for you. You will also talk about life, vision, Christian character, and walking in the Spirit, with them – hopefully learning some of the lessons they have learned.


Retreats and Conferences

We have two retreats per year, one around the end of October, and the other around mid-February.  We get away as a group to reflect, worship, eat, and have fun together.  The cost of retreats is included in the tuition fee. We organize retreats for full-time and part-time students separately, since these groups often have different commitments. 

We also support some conferences during the year. These are opportunities for us to serve our community. During these conferences we work some extra hours, but also get to attend and participate. This sometimes means working on our normal days off, but we will be flexible and iron out any conflicts with other work commitments.