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 – 35 years! Our previous Youth Pastor, Pastor Branden, was with us for 11 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 Branden, 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

Residency Leadership

Pastor Branden Mestach serves as the pastor of our Sunbury Campus and our Residency program. Branden has his bachelors from Indiana Wesleyan University in Youth Ministries & Business Administration, and has his Master’s Degree in Ministry Leadership from Wesley Seminary. In June 2013, he married his beautiful wife, Nikky. In May 2019, they welcomed their first child. Branden has been part of the pastoral team at CWC since 2008.

Current Resident

Kyle Roberts is from the small town of Canisteo, NY in the Finger Lakes region. He graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2018 with a Bachelors in Christian Ministries and is in the process of getting his Masters in Practical Theology at Indiana Wesleyan online. Kyle received his call to ministry in the summer of 2009 while working in the story section of his home church’s VBS. That call has continued to grow into a passion for all kinds of ministries. His previous experience includes interning and serving as assistant pastor at Sweetser Wesleyan Church in Indiana, and was a resident chaplain at Indiana Wesleyan for a year. During his residency at CWC, Kyle is leading the Elementary and Preschool worship programs in KidzWay. He is working with the rest of the KidzWay leadership team with how they can better serve and deepen the faith of the children and parents who are involved with KidzWay. His hobbies include cooking, singing, playing guitar, and baking homemade bread (especially sourdoughs).

Past Residents

“I have been so thankful for my residency here at Christ Wesleyan Church. Through this experience, I have been continually formed into the type of leader I feel God has been calling me to be, and have been able to really hone in to where and how God wants me to serve for His Kingdom. This has been a place where I’ve felt safe to learn not only how to deal with easy things in ministry, but have also been given the confidence and support to deal with the difficult things as well. And through it all, I have felt an overwhelming encouragement from the congregation and staff to use my gifts and abilities to continue to do the work of the Lord. This experience has affirmed in my heart the importance of young people using a residency as a stepping stone into church leadership.”
– Mia Harrington, Youth Director at Christ Wesleyan Church (Milton Campus)


“Residency taught me the importance of stepping up when needs arise, and the importance of personal growth. I had great mentors and great friends invest in me during my residency experience and I would recommend a residency program to anyone who is planning on going into the ministry.”
– James McLean, Student Ministries Pastor at Christ-Centered Church


“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, Production Coordinator & Youth Support at Harvest 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.


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

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