The program involves a three-week residency each summer for three years and independent parish projects conducted after each residency. The culminating project is a thesis of publishable quality. During each residency students will take a required core course and an elective course relevant to the student's learning goals, as well as participate in a colloquy. The colloquy serves to develop learning goals, determine electives, design the parish project and thesis, and examine students' preaching.
Between September and March, after the first residency, students design and conduct the Preaching Ministry Project. In this independent project, designed in collaboration with an advisor and a group from the congregation, students explore an assumption or idea about preaching through a rotation of four videotaped sermons, which are evaluated by advisors, faculty, and parishioners. After the third residency, students research and conduct a final extended project and write a thesis.
Courses are taught by faculty from the ACTS schools and renowned teachers and preachers from across the country.
Each residency also includes the presence of a nationally known keynote speaker. Particular strengths of the program are the inter-seminary, interdisciplinary faculty; peer interaction during residency; and faculty/student collaboration between residencies.