Frequently Asked Questions

Should I go through ReTrain?

Are you leading a ministry? Are you serving in a local church or ministry context? ReTrain students are men and women who lead ministries. We are looking for men and women who meet the qualifications of deacon or elder as outlined in Scripture and have demonstrated the character and competencies for leadership within their local churches. Our desire is to equip these men and women to lead their ministries well.

For those who are not currently serving in a local church or ministry context, or who are not sure how God is calling them to ministry, Mars Hill Church hosts a robust internship program. It’s designed for those who want to serve the church through hands-on experience, and may or may not know what area they would like to serve. For more information, check out the internships page.

I am called to be a lead pastor. Will ReTrain make me a lead pastor?

ReTrain exists to lay a theological foundation and raise up a philosophical framework for the pursuit of Christian ministry in the context of the local church, but ReTrain is not seminary and ReTrain will not equip a leader fully. Rather, ReTrain will set a trajectory of faithful ministry and lifelong learning by providing participants with the necessary and universal competencies needed in Christian service.

What is Resurgence?

Look around. The Spirit is up to something. There is a resurgence of biblically faithful, passionate believers on board with the mission of spreading Jesus’ name. This is a movement anchored by a theological foundation of four points: Jesus-centered theology, Jesus-modeled relationships, Jesus-empowered living, and Jesus’ mission. Resurgence exists to train the head, heart, and hands of leaders.

For more information about Resurgence, please visit us here.

What is Mars Hill Church?

Mars Hill Church is all about Jesus, and we exist to make disciples and plant churches in his name.

Mars Hill Church is a group of people whom Jesus has saved and sent to be missionaries. We come together as one giant family to worship Jesus in 14 local church locations in four states. Each week, you can expect singing, biblical preaching, and prayer.

For more information about Mars Hill Church, please visit

When are applications available and due for the 2013–14 academic year?

Applications are now open and are due by May 31, 2013.

When are classes?

Check out our course calendar here for dates.

Can international students apply?

At this time, we are unable to provide the proper visa support for international students to study at ReTrain. We would love to have international students with us soon, so please check back here for the most current information.

Can women attend?

Yes, we encourage women to apply. While ReTrain can be used for training elders, that is not its only purpose. We are complementarian, not hierarchical, and as such, we believe that women should be theologically and practically trained for the ministry.

Is distance learning available? Can I complete the course online?

ReTrain is designed to be completed in person, and this year we are offering ReTrain in multiple locations to reduce the amount of travel for many students by hosting both local class sessions and Seattle-based intensives.

Those at a distance will still be required to travel to Seattle for two (2) week-long intensives in August and January. The six (6) Friday–Saturday weekend sessions in September, October, November, February, March, and April will be offered at our video conferencing locations, which will still require some students to travel regionally.

The current students who come from out of state usually fly in an evening before the session, attend class, and then fly out on the last evening of session. Some even return to preach at their home churches the following Sunday morning. Many out of town students rent hotel rooms together to remain in community while getting a less expensive rate.

How big are the classes at ReTrain?

Our inaugural class (2009–10) size was 75 students, and the current academic year (2012–13) has 118.

Who is the typical ReTrain applicant?

We do not have a typical applicant—we have a great variety of students whom Jesus has called to be on mission through leadership in some way.

Can I plan a visit to tour the ReTrain facility?

We encourage you to answer all of your questions by reviewing our website, or speaking with one of our staff since the “ReTrain facility” is essentially Mars Hill’s Ballard church, where we currently host our class sessions. You are always welcome to visit Mars Hill and attend services at the Ballard church on Sundays.

Where is ReTrain located?

The ReTrain is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, as ministry of Mars Hill Church.

Classes will be hosted live in Seattle. The two, week-long sessions will require all students to travel to Seattle, and the following sites will host via remote technology for the six weekend sessions:

Offices are located at:
Resurgence Training Center
1411 NW 50th St
Seattle, WA 98107

Who administrates and teaches at ReTrain?

The administrators and teachers of ReTrain gladly embrace the Mars Hill Church statement of faith and are members of Mars Hill Church or other like-minded congregations and institutions. All teachers are chosen because of their exceptional knowledge in their respective field of study and their ability to teach in a useful and practical way. All teachers are world-class academicians in well-respected institutions or pastors who have the appropriate teaching credentials and ministry experience.

What does it mean that ReTrain is a “cohort-based” program?

A “cohort-based” format means that a limited number of students will be admitted to the program, placed in cohorts, and will go through the entire program with those in their cohorts. Each cohort consists of approximately 10–12 students based on the primary location where they attend class sessions. Cohorts will be made up of mixed-gift leaders including lead pastors, worship leaders, small group leaders, biblical living pastors, administrative pastors and leaders, and other elders and deacons who are in leadership in their local churches.

Do I need a college degree?

ReTrain is a master’s level program, thus a baccalaureate degree or its foreign equivalent with a 2.6 cumulative GPA is ordinarily required. However, if you are over 21 and have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree (demonstrated life experience, self study, and/or other formal education) then you may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

How difficult is the ReTrain program? How much work will it be?

Our academic programs are designed to challenge, stretch, and educate our students. We are committed to providing world-class faculty and accordingly, our programs are robust and in line with other master’s-level programs.

There will be a fairly rigorous load of reading and papers and projects required for each monthly class session. Students can expect approximately 750–1,000 pages of reading and 15–20 pages of writing for each of the four courses. This is a graduate-level program, equivalent to one semester’s work, spread out over two semesters.

Is ReTrain accredited?

ReTrain on its own is a non-accredited program. However, as a ReTrain student you will have access to many great partnerships with quality seminaries. For many, ReTrain is a great step to working towards an advanced degree and these schools have honored us by agreeing to grant you graduate level credit (up to 12 credits for the 2013-14 year) in their programs.

Which seminaries transcribe ReTrain credits?

How do I get my credits transcribed at one of these seminaries?

Students will need to apply, be accepted, and matriculate at these schools for the credits to be transcribed.

Of note, Western Seminary allow students to earn credit concurrently with their ReTrain studies. If you’re interested in continuing your education after ReTrain at Western, talk to us about applying with Western as well.

Also, Reformed Theological Seminary offers ReTrain graduates a 33% tuition discount on their annual, published rate per credit hour. This discount is for full- or part-time course work completed in residence and by extension at RTS.

We are extremely grateful for these partners and co-laborers in providing leadership training to serve Christ.

How much is tuition for 2013–14?

Program fee is $2,750, whether you’re from Mars Hill Church, an Acts 29 church, or another church outside of our network.

Tuition covers the entire program for the 2013–2014 academic year, but does not include miscellaneous fees for travel, lodging, required textbooks, and living expenses. Books, on average, are $75/class.

Tuition is due semesterly during the academic year. Additional tuition payment detail will be communicated after program admission.

When is tuition due?

Next year we expect to have two tuition deadlines, on August 5, 2013 and January 1, 2014 before classes start. We will encourage students to pay in full by August 5, but will be glad to accept two equal installments on those dates. More details will be available with acceptance letters.

Is ReTrain eligible for federal aid or grants?

As ReTrain is not an accredited educational institution, our program is not eligible for any federal aid to be applied to tuition funds.

Are there any scholarships available?

There are no specific scholarships available for tuition from the Resurgence Training Center. We work as hard as we can to keep the costs low and pass savings directly to all of the students, reflected in a more than 50% reduction of tuition fees last year.

We also understand that many people in ministry are often volunteers or paid minimal salaries. If finances are a deterrent to your application for admission, we will gladly accept a one-page explanation letter of your financial situation at the time of your application. We cannot guarantee that there will be funds available to meet your needs, but will gladly take your situation into consideration when reviewing your application.

Are there internships available?

There are no internships available for ReTrain students.

The Mars Hill Internship Program is a robust program designed to serve the local church by training and discipling its participants. Because of the commitment required of ReTrain students and of interns, we do not recommend taking on an internship while completing ReTrain. Please see for more information on the Mars Hill Internship Program. Applications are open all year.

If your question has not been answered here, please contact us here.