The Protégé Program is a year-long intensive spiritual growth, leadership development, and ministry immersion experience at National Community Church in Washington, DC. The program is designed to focus on three core areas: character, community and calling. As an NCC Protégé, you will be given the opportunity to learn from some of the most innovative thinkers and creators in ministry, participate in the day to day activities of church staff culture, stretch yourself as a leader, and lay a firm foundation for a life-long pursuit of the passion and vision that God has placed on your life. The program is geared toward young leaders who are post-college (or equivalent) up to 35 years old.

As a protégé, you will choose a ministry department to focus your efforts throughout the year. If you love kids- we’ve got them, and we want you to help us create environments for them and teach truth to them! If you are passionate about seeing the marketplace and the church collide, we would love for you to experience the management behind Ebenezers coffeehouse. If you love creating environments where community is built and transformational growth happens, our discipleship team would love to take your passion even further! Love creating videos? Our media team wants to invest in your talent to tell the story of God through moving pictures. If you are a worship leader, we would love to pair you up with other talented and anointed worship leaders that want to take your gifts to the next level!

In addition to your department work, you will attend weekly protégé huddles. These huddles are led by Heather Zempel and Emily Hendrickson (program directors). You will also have the opportunity to meet with Mark Batterson (lead pastor) several times throughout the year. Huddles offer ongoing discipleship training and leadership development in a small group environment that focuses on topics such as Leading Yourself Well, Character Killers, Dreaming God-sized Dreams, Leadership Rhythms, and Dynamics of Teamwork.

If you have specific questions about the program, feel free to email us at

Applications for the 2016-2017 class should be submitted by May 13th, 2016.

  • Campus Pastor

    The effectiveness of a multisite strategy rises and falls on the character and giftedness of the Campus Pastor. Campus Pastors must carry the vision and recreate its DNA within the unique community in which they serve. Working alongside one of our Campus Pastors, you will learn how to lead and mobilize weekend ministry teams, serve the local community, and provide pastoral care to a location. This is for people who will be pursuing a Campus Pastor role at another church or participating in a church plant in the next two years.

    Potential Projects:

    • Mobilize Weekend Ministry Teams
    • Lead outreach projects
    • Help strategize how to improve your location
    • Provide pastoral care
    • Champion NCC vision and values at your location

    Department Mentor:

    Campus Pastor
  • Creative Media

    We love telling the story of God through great design, video, photography, and film. So whether your main focus is video production, graphic design, photography, or even if you’re just a gear head, we’d love to help you grow in your gifting. Our media team is composed of gifted artists that are committed to helping people have an encounter God through their craft.

    Potential Projects:

    • Creative video & sermon illustrations
    • Create graphics, posters, postcards, & other print media
    • Work on a Short Film crew from writing to filming to post production
    • Capture live events through photography and/or video
    • Record weekend services

    Department Mentor:

    Andy Pisciotti
  • Ebenezers Coffeehouse

    We believe that God has wired our church to be in the middle of the marketplace. Jesus not only taught at the synagogues, but he met with people at wells too. Coffeehouses are modern day wells; they are a place where the community and the church can intersect. As a coffeehouse protégé, you will not only be fully trained as a barista but you will be trained on the ins and outs of management and be a part of our mission to do marketplace ministry well.

    Potential Projects:

    • Serve as a barista
    • Experience budgeting and ordering products
    • Assist with staff management
    • Learn general business practices

    Department Mentor:

    Heather Corsi
  • Family Ministry

    Finding ways to make the gospel sticky for kids goes beyond finger-painting and crafts. It requires strategic relationships and intentional discipleship. On the Family Ministry team, you will be exposed to creative ways to train, develop and lead young people to the Gospel and encourage and support their families to lead at home. You will strategize and implement leadership development tools and training for volunteers who invest in the lives of kids.

    Potential Projects:

    • Assist in leading kids ministry at one of our campuses
    • Curriculum writing and implementation
    • Design environments for events and Family Experiences
    • Recruit and train volunteers
    • Create unique discipleship tools for families to utilize at home
    • Learn the unique complexities and opportunities of family ministry in a multisite context

    Department Mentor:

    Nina Schmidgall
  • First Impressions

    The NCC First Impressions team includes: Hospitality, Connections, Safety, and Utilities. As a team, we aim to communicate loudly and clearly: “You are seen, you are valuable, we love you exactly where you are, and, you belong here with us.” The First Impressions role is equal parts logistics and relational. First Impressions creates the space for people to feel safe and like they belong when they enter into our community; we want NCC to be a place to encounter Jesus without any hindrance.

    Potential Projects:

    • Assist with Ministry Recruitment plans and process
    • Communicate with leaders and volunteers
    • Create training manuals for each volunteer team
    • Develop systems for streamlining and organizing content, information, and FAQs
    • Rotate between each location to learn and grow the multi-site process, team leadership, and volunteer management

    Department Mentor:

    Krista Back
  • Groups

    At NCC we believe that discipleship happens best in the context of relationships. Small groups are our strategy for growth. On the Groups team you will be exposed to our small group initiatives, equip and train leaders, and support our overall discipleship strategy.

    Potential Projects:

    • Lead a core discipleship group
    • Serve as a coach for small group leaders
    • Create environments for leadership development
    • Serve as a Small Group Director at one of our locations
    • Develop and write curriculum to be used in small group settings

    Department Mentor:

    Laura Holland
  • Miracle Theatre

    One of our core convictions is that the church should be in the middle of the marketplace and we believe that movie screens are modern stained glass. The Miracle Theatre is a newly launched second run movie theatre and live performance venue. As a Miracle Theatre protégé you will get a hands-on, behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to run a movie theatre and venue, and be a part of our marketplace ministry on Barracks Row.

    Potential Projects:

    • Learn movie and event programming
    • Serve as Front-of-House Theatre Staff
    • Assist with staff management
    • Learn general business practices

    Department Mentor:

    Juliet Main
  • Missions

    Our missions department is formed around assisting the poor, caring for the sick, and transforming through reconciliation. We strive to be on mission every day together wherever and whenever. As a protege you will work on both our local and international initiatives as we empower and equip NCCers to strategically live out our missional mandate as found in Acts 1:8.

    Potential Projects:

    • Work on our identified causes and how the church engages both locally and internationally. Causes such as: homelessness, anti-trafficking, child advocacy, and HIV/AIDS
    • Assist with training our missions leaders
    • Promote and mobilize our short-term mission teams
    • Help develop and refine our missions strategy
    • Promote our local service opportunities such as Second Saturday Serve and Living Room
    • Engage in city level advocacy and coalitions.

    Department Mentor:

    Jill Carmichael
  • Prayer

    NCC Prayer is dedicated to creating safe spaces for people to encounter the love of God through prayer. To that end we aim to support NCC’s prayer ministry in four main areas: intercession, inner healing prayer, training & equipping, and personal prayer ministry appointments. Teaching and using spiritual gifts we partner with the Spirit to bring people into their identity, healing and freedom in Christ. We’re equipping the church to learn to shift atmospheres in their places of employment to see His kingdom come. We’re brokering hope, one prayer at a time. NCC Prayer is fast paced, high touch and high content.

    Potential Projects:

    • Assist in leading and coaching campus prayer teams
    • Develop curriculum and train leaders
    • Plan and help facilitate team nights
    • Participate in prayer ministry appointments
    • Work directly with the Pastor of Prayer to develop prayer strategies for NCC

    Department Mentor:

    Heidi Scanlon
  • Production

    Production Ministry's main role is to create engaging environments by using audio, lighting and video projection to transform our locations into unique expressions of worship and truth. We also support the vision of other ministries by coming along side them in event planning, running, and installations. Because we serve multiple unique locations and venues, you will be exposed to a wide range of opportunities for learning, growth, and experience.

    Potential Projects:

    • Lead production teams in a multi-site environment
    • Organize tech training events for volunteers
    • Work on campus upgrade projects/campus launches
    • Assist with lighting design, maintenance, and programming
    • Assist with stage design ideas and construction
    • Lead special events and outreach production

    Department Mentor:

    Mike Semmel
  • Worship

    Our worship department is committed to creating sounds and environments that draw people into the presence of God. They believe that excellence honors God, and God honors excellence. You will have the opportunity to work alongside talented and anointed artists and songwriters, as they seek to glorify God through worship. For more info check out

    Potential Projects:

    • Collaborate to write and produce music with other NCC worship leaders
    • Lead weekend services at one of our locations
    • Learn how to manage band in a multi-site setting
    • Training in worship leading skills

    Department Mentor:

    Kurtis Parks
  • Youth Ministry

    Our students are not the soon-to-be or future Church, they are the Church now. Our heart is to equip students for the work of ministry today, believing that age isn’t a disqualifier. On the Youth Ministry Team, you’ll gain exposure to what it looks like to engage youth in the city, develop as a communicator and pioneer innovative ways of doing youth ministry.

    Potential Projects:

    • Create environments that engage students
    • Assist with planning and executing Summer Camp and Winter Retreat
    • Plan local mission projects
    • Partner with parents in their child's spiritual formation
    • Lead a small group
    • Build connections with local schools

    Department Mentor:

    Steffen Humbert

What is the primary goal of the Protégé Program?

The Protégé Program is a training and proving ground for emerging church leaders. During your Protégé year, you will accumulate valuable experience, mentors, and knowledge that will prepare you for stepping into the next phase of your God-given calling. Our desire is that your Protégé year will give you the experience you need to find a full-time staff position in a local church or para-church ministry.

What qualifications are you looking for?

Previous ministry and leadership experience is preferred and specific experience in the desired ministry focus area is certainly favored. We also look for people who have a clear sense of calling and dare to dream big dreams for the Kingdom of God. We are also big believers in attitude, flexibility, sense of humor, ability to work within a team environment, so we weigh those heavily.

When are the dates for the program?

The Protégé Program runs from September (the Thursday after Labor Day) through August (the last Sunday of August).

Is this just an internship?

No. It's much more. It's hands-on ministry, where you'll be treated as a staff member and held to the expectations of staff members. You won't be treated like an "intern." You'll be viewed as a vital part of our staff team.

Does NCC provide housing for Protégés?

NCC does not currently provide housing. However, we do have some Protégé housing opportunities available at our ministry center in Anacostia at the Southeast White House. Lodging is provided in exchange for 15-20 hours a week of additional service at the ministry there. Otherwise, our staff will be available to give guidance on areas of the city that might provide affordable housing.

Can I get college credit?

Currently, the Protégé Program is not designed to be a seminary or Bible college experience; therefore, we are not currently offering any college or seminary credit. However, if you believe your current Bible college or seminary would be willing to offer independent study or internship credit for your involvement, then we are willing to work with you and your academic institution to provide them with the necessary documentation.

What is the cost to complete the Program?

There is no cost to attend the NCC Protégé Program, but you will need the finances to support you and your family for one year in Washington, DC. You may accomplish this through fundraising, working a part-time job, or some combination of the two. If you are single, you should expect to need approximately $1500/month to cover rent, food, and other necessities to live in Washington DC. NCC will cover all of your materials for the program.

Can I seek part-time employment?

The program is typically a full-time commitment which requires 40+ hours a week. It is our expectation that some protégés will need to secure part-time employment. However, we ask that ministry expectations and time requirements take precedent over outside work schedules. Please be sure to let us know during the application process if you will be seeking a secondary job so we can make sure your availability matches your department’s needs.