Why Residency?

Doctors leave medical school and go right to practice, right? Wrong. They head out to be mentored! They have their heads filled with incredible information, but need help in applying it. The same goes for pastors. We have great schools preparing awesome students for ministry, but the church has a role in this training process, too. Christ Wesleyan is committed to preparing the next generation of church leadership.

Why Christ Wesleyan?

Christ Wesleyan Church is the perfect place to do your residency! We’re in a rural environment in Central Pennsylvania, yet situated in the middle of everything (three hours from Philadelphia, D.C., New York City, and Pittsburgh). Our leadership team has longevity. Our Lead Pastor has been here his entire ministry – 34 years! Our Youth Pastor has been with us for 10 years! Our healthy, mission-focused congregation is the ideal place to begin your ministry.

Meet Our Lead Pastor

It is my privilege to share in these formative days of your ministry along with Pastor Erik, our primary point person in our Residency Program.

While at Christ Wesleyan, you will experience dynamic worship, excellent ministry practice, and a myriad of service opportunities that will enhance your calling and prepare you for a lifetime of effective ministry leadership. You will also take part in a personal discipleship and mentorship program that will allow you to deepen your faith and strengthen the uniqueness and influence of your calling.

As with every area of your life, I know you can be counted on to fulfill your residency here at Christ Wesleyan with Kingdom-driven excellence to share the light of Jesus Christ with as many as possible.

Serving with you,
Arlie Davis, Lead Pastor

“…and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” – 2 Timothy 2:2

Current Residents


James McLean came from the town of Machias, New York and recently graduated from Houghton College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology with a minor in Biblical studies, and a concentration in Pastoral Ministries. He has a deep love for youth ministry and hopes to be a youth pastor for as long as possible.

James’ favorite writer and theologian is Dietrich Bonhoeffer. James has served on staff at many Christian summer camps as both a counselor and a camp pastor. He feels God is leading him to a very long tenure as a youth pastor, and hopefully one day as a youth ministry professor. James has said, “I hope to be a youth pastor for a long time, sharing in the work and action of the living, and moving God, as he reaches out to young people.”

During his residency at CWC, James will be in charge of Sunday morning youth programming, where deep discipleship will be his focus.

His hobbies include: reading, hiking, playing with dogs, and having deep, thought provoking discussions.


Mia Harrington is from a small town called New Tripoli, Pennsylvania and comes from a family of 10 kids! She attended Indiana Wesleyan University for both her Undergrad and Master’s degrees. Her undergrad degree is in Youth Ministry and her Master’s degree is in Practical Theology, through the Kern Program.

Mia came to Milton only by God’s plan. She longed to be closer to home, as she had lived in Indiana for 5 years, and CWC seemed to keep coming up as the church for her. Her previous experience includes acting as the Fifty6 Pastor at College Wesleyan Church in Marion, IN. Her favorite Theologian is Karl Barth. Mia has said, “Christ Wesleyan, I knew, could be a great home for me. And so far I have been loving my time here.”

During her residency at CWC, Mia will be working alongside Pastor Branden as a Youth Resident Pastor, focusing on Middle School spiritual development on Wednesday nights, while also acting as a small group leader for high school programming

Her hobbies include: volleyball, hiking, reading, and drawing/painting.

Past Residents

“Residency at CWC helped me to discover and refine my calling as a church leader. It kept me accountable and challenged me to become better. I would recommend Residency at CWC to anyone looking to grow in their investment of the local church.”
– Jared Dimmick, Youth Assistant Director at Christ Wesleyan Church

“The Residency Program at Christ Wesleyan has given me a great start into my youth ministry experience. I partnered side by side with great mentors who helped stretch and grow me. The hands-on experience provided what the classroom could not, and so much more.”
– Luke Wilson, Youth Pastor at New Hope Wesleyan Church

Leadership Endorsements

“Residency programs are valuable because the resident is developed through real-time ministry responsibility but in a context that emphasizes learning as well as leading. Experienced ministry leaders invest in them while they, in turn, invest in others through their ministry role.”
– Dr. Wayne Schmidt, General Superintendent of the Wesleyan Church

“Residency programs for pastors have proven to increase the confidence, ability, and stability of pastors for the long haul. To be a resident pastor at Christ Wesleyan with Arlie Davis and staff increases the benefits exponentially. A rare opportunity.”
– Dr. Jo Anne Lyon, General Superintendent Emeritus of The Wesleyan Church

“Most young pastors are thrown into circumstances for which they’ve never been prepared. The residency program gives an opportunity to experience ministry with the gentle support of a veteran pastor coming alongside to assist! Arlie Davis is seasoned, theologically savvy, and perseverant. That means when he speaks, it’s worth listening. Bottom line: this is a great program.”
– Dr. Jim Garlow, Pastor of Skyline Church

What does Residency look like?

Your residency experience develops you into a mature leader by focusing on these six elements:

  1. Ministry Experience – The purpose of the residency is to ensure that you have the leadership capacity and know-how to effectively and competently lead as a pastor. In order to do this, you need significant and real-life ministry experience.
  2. Leadership Coaching – Two times per month you and your resident coach will meet one on one for at least 45 minutes to discuss leadership. The purpose of the Leadership Coaching meeting is to ensure that you are growing in leadership competence during the residency.
  3. Personal Development – Personal Development focuses on who you are rather than what you do. Two times per month you and your coach meet one on one for at least 45 minutes for personal development. The purpose of this meeting is to ensure that you are growing both personally and as a Christian during the residency.
  4. Leadership Training Curriculum – The Leadership Training Curriculum is unpacked during a weekly training meeting and gives valuable insight into different types of leadership. The Leadership Training Curriculum covers self-leadership, relational leadership, and organizational leadership.
  5. Church Culture – Being part of a healthy team is contagious. You benefit from being invited into a staff and church culture that is thriving. Within this context, you pick up nuances and attitudes that separate healthy teams from other teams.
  6. Evaluations – The evaluation process provides feedback to you and to your coach and mentor about the residency and your readiness for pastoral ministry. The evaluation process includes weekly resident reports, monthly coach reports, as well as strategic evaluation meetings.

Residency Leadership

Pastor Erik is the Relational Care Pastor and director of Residency at Christ Wesleyan Church. He has ten years of ministry experience and has been with Christ Wesleyan for four years. His passion for residency comes from his call to disciple God’s people. Pastor Erik has two Bachelors of Arts degrees (Music and Religion) from Houghton College, a Masters of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary, and is working on a Doctor of Ministry Degree at Asbury Theological Seminary. He is recently married to his lovely wife, Ashley.


Ready to take the next step for Residency at CWC? Submit an online application to get started.

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