ONSITE SCHOOL FAQs
Why should I apply to Encounter School?
The Encounter School of Ministry is a dynamic training program designed to teach, equip, and activate you in the full supernatural lifestyle of Jesus so that you can walk with God in intimacy and demonstrate his love and power to the world around you! We believe that as disciples of Jesus embrace their identity and live out of the inheritance Jesus won for them, their mission, ministry, and God-given dreams will flourish in every season of life.
What is the application process
All prospective students must apply online here. The application is free. Applications are open until all spots are filled. Any prospective students who are not accepted must wait until the following year to reapply. Once you complete all the required fields for information and attach a picture, we will confirm that we received it and begin our discernment process. You should know if your application is accepted within 2-4 business days.
When is the application deadline?
Application deadline for onsite schools varies based on location and start date. No new students will be accepted after the 2nd class of the first quarter. Dates for Fall 2020 are as follows:
Orientation (Year 1 & 2) – Sept. 8th
First Class (Year 1 & 2) – Sept 14th
New Student Deadline – Sept 21st
Orientation (Year 1) – Sept. 15
Orientation (Year 2) – Sept. 14th
First Class (Year 1) – Sept. 22nd
First Class (Year 2) – Sept 21st
New Student Deadline – Sept 29th
Orientation (Year 1 & 2) – Sept. 7th
First Class (Year 1 & 2) – Sept 14th
New Student Deadline – Sept. 21st
Orientation (Year 1) – Sept 10th
First Class (Year 1) – Sept 17th
New Student Deadline – Sept 24th
Is there a minimum or maximum age to apply for Encounter Online Campus?
The minimum age is 18 years old (or 17 if you are a high school graduate). There is no maximum age!
Can I start at any quarter of the school year?
No, students are required to start with Quarter 1 on Identity. It is the foundation for all other quarters, which can be taken out of sequence as necessary.
Do I need to commit to a full two years to apply?
No. After the first year, students will be able to choose whether or not they want to continue and finish their second year of the school.
Can I attend the school through distance learning or Livestream?
We do offer an online campus option starting in Fall 2020. As we pilot our online platform, we welcome students who can not attend an onsite school due to distance, to learn more about distance learning here.
Is it possible to split time between an Online Campus and an Onsite Campus?
Although an Online Campus provides new opportunities for instruction that Main Campus and Satellite Campuses may utilize to their advantage in the future, we recognize that it is not ideal to move between learning communities. Because our curriculum content is best received in an atmosphere of faith, which is fostered by earned trust in the context of a consistent community, it is not an option for students to move between campuses at their discretion.
What kind of spiritual support is needed?
Though we offer pastoral direction for our students (students can make appointments through their student dashboard with trained prayer ministers), we want all students to have mentorship relationships that go beyond our walls.
Spiritual mentorship doesn’t necessarily mean seeking out a trained spiritual director. It simply requires finding a trusted, joy-filled person of faith who has an awareness of the ebbs and flows of the spiritual life and wants to see you reach your God-given potential.
I'm not Catholic, can I still apply?
Yes! Our applicants come to us from all walks of life: college students, working parents, church leaders, grandparents, laypeople, religious sisters, priests, and Christians from various denominations. Although we teach all content with fidelity to the Catholic faith, we honor and welcome all Christians and disciples from all denominations who are passionate about Jesus and growing in the supernatural to apply and continue their walk with us!
Is there childcare available?
Unfortunately, no it is not. If you have specific questions regarding attending school and children, please submit your question through the related campus inquiry at the bottom of the webpage.
What is the cost of tuition?
The tuition for the upcoming school year is $230 per quarter (with a discount if you pay by the year) and includes admission to the Encounter Conference. Required books and Mission Trips cost extra.
What is the refund policy?
In the event that a student pays the annual tuition option and withdraws from school for whatever reason, they may receive a prorated refund figured by calculating the remaining classes of the school minus a withdrawal fee ($50). The $100.00 deposit to hold the spot for new students is non-refundable.
Are scholarships available?
Each campus has its own policies regarding scholarships. Please check with each campus.
Curriculum & Graduation
What Is the General Curriculum for Ministry School?
Each quarter consists of 8 classes and is sequential in nature. Quarter 1 is foundational to everything that we teach and can not be skipped or taken out of sequence. Each class in every quarter is vital to prepare you for the next class. Making up missed classes is vital for your growth and can be done by listening and taking notes to audio recordings found on the student dashboard. Our curriculum is as follows:
Q1 – Identity and Transformation
Q2 – Power and Healing
Q3 – Hearing God and the Prophetic Gifts
Q4 – Inner Healing and Freedom
Q5 – Power Evangelization
Q6 – Intimacy with God
Q7 – Advanced Ministry Training
Q8 – Leadership and Deployment
What are the graduation requirements?
To graduate, students must complete the following:
- All 8 quarters with at least 80% attendance and 80% completion of assignments.
- Participation and completion in Year Two ministry project and a local ministry outing.
What do I receive upon graduation?
Everyone who graduates will receive a Certificate of Ministry. This certificate signifies completion of the requirements of the Encounter School of Ministry and will be given to students at our ceremony. All students are invited to attend to celebrate their progress and support those that are receiving their certificates.
Tech And Materials
What do I bring to class?
Students will receive a binder for the year that they are encouraged to bring each week and store their weekly student handouts, supplemental reading, and homework assignments. Some students opt to bring a laptop to take down notes, but many do not. We encourage you to purchase a journal on your own for class use. Once onsite students receive their badges, it is required that this is worn at each class and any ministry opportunities they participate in.
What supplemental reading do I need to purchase and how much does it cost?
Supplemental reading texts for Year 1 may be purchased on Amazon new or used and range from approximately $10 to $25 (not including shipping). In total, textbooks for Year 1 will cost approximately $75 – $100 (not including shipping).
Quarter 1: The Spiritual Gifts Handbook by Dr. Mary Healy & Dr. Randy Clark
Quarter 2: Healing: Bringing the Gift of God’s Mercy to the World by Dr. Mary Healy
Quarter 3: Lord, Renew Your Wonders by Damien Stayne
Quarter 4: Be Healed by Dr. Bob Schuchts and Deliverance Ministry by the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services Doctrinal Commission, Dr. Mary Healy
What is the Main Campus?
By Main Campus, we are referring to our flagship location in Brighton, Michigan. This location is also home base for Encounter Ministries where we partner with St. Patrick Catholic Church (Diocese of Lansing, MI) whose pastor is also our president, Fr. Mathias Thelen.
What are the satellite campuses?
We believe that onsite schools are the most effective means by which we engage in our teaching mission. Beginning with our flagship location in Brighton, MI., Encounter Ministries has 3 pilot Satellite School locations around the country with another 18 locations preparing for launch in the Fall of 2021. Visit our Satellite School page for locations or visit our “Start a Satellite Campus” page for more information on bringing Encounter School of Ministry to your region!
What is the Online Campus?
In our effort to train, equip, and activate more disciples to make kingdom impact in their spheres of influence, Encounter Ministries has launched a virtual campus for students more than 2 hours away from a current onsite location (3 hours for Seattle). Though we affirm onsite and in-person ministry training is best, we are excited about the potential to bring powerful transformation with the very best methods available for an online platform! You can learn more about the Online Campus here.
Starting a Satellite Campus
How Do I Start An Onsite Satellite Campus In My Region?
Our greatest desire is that each Encounter campus would be a powerful agent of transformation for their geographic regions. If God has given you a heart and drive to see others empowered to do the works of Jesus, you may be well-positioned to start an Encounter satellite campus in your region. You can learn more about starting satellite campuses here
What is the Summer Intensive?
The SI provides a survey of the content offered in the first four quarters of the Encounter School of Ministry over four fast days of teaching and ministry. The Summer Intensive is perfect for anyone desiring to attend the Encounter School during the year but unable to do so because of distance or schedule. It is also ideal for those considering their enrollment in the school of ministry but looking for greater discernment. Available this year is a live streaming option. Click here for more information or to register.
What are Dates for Summer Intensive?
Brighton, Michigan: July 20th – 23rd
Cincinnati, Ohio: July 27th – 30th
Mandeville, Louisiana: August 24th – 27th
Seattle area: Renton, Washington: August 17th – 20th
Visit here for more details.
When and where is the Encounter Conference?
Encounter Conference is our ministries flagship annual event. Each year, we gather together powerful speakers, worship leaders, and thousands of hungry hearts to seek after the Lord and receive a greater outpouring of his spirit! The next Conference is December 28th – 30th, 2020, in Grand Rapids, MI. Visit our Conference page for more details.
What ministry opportunities are there for students at the Conference?
Though students receive many ministry opportunities at onsite schools, the Conference offers a powerful, one-of-a-kind experience for growth and blessing. We ask that onsite students plan to attend at least one Conference during our two-year program. First year students will play a support role during many ministry sessions at the Conference while Second Year students will be invited to take lead in ministering healing, prophetic words, and prayers of impartation for thousands of people. This Conference experience has a transformative effect and is vital for student growth.
Is the cost of the Encounter Conference covered by tuition?
Yes. Student admission to the Encounter Conference is covered by your tuition for either Regular or Premium entry tickets. Those desiring a Premium Reserved Seat ticket will be required to pay the difference.
How do students register for the Conference?
Though the general conference registration site is available, we ask potential students to hold off on registering. Once your application is accepted, we provide a separate student registration through our dashboard after classes begin in September. First-year students who have inadvertently registered through the general conference page can request a refund by emailing email@example.com.
Mission Trips and Ministry Outings
What opportunities are available for students?
A part of the ESM experience is being able to go on a mission trip. This is a wonderful opportunity to grow as you serve and are activated in the things you have learned. The cost of your mission trip is not included in your tuition. Missions usually happen around March and June. Students will receive more information regarding Mission trips in the Fall. Though optional, we encourage students and alumni to attend and continue to experience growth by serving on ministry teams.
What about other Ministry Opportunities?
Year One Students will be invited to participate in support roles at local Encounter events, such as healing services, conferences, and Transformation Nights. Year Two Students will be invited to take on active leadership roles on ministry teams for the above-mentioned events and be invited to participate in power-evangelization outings, create and execute ministry projects, and minister to Year One Students.
Can you please explain the onsite experience?
Students who complete two years of school and meet basic requirements graduate with a certificate from the Encounter School of Ministry. Classes are usually held once a week on a weekday evening from 6-9 p.m. A typical class schedule looks like the following:
6:00 Worship, prayer and testimonies
6:30 Table group discussion and homework review
6:45 First teaching
7:30 Table group discussions
8:00 Second teaching
8:45 Table group discussion
8:55 Announcements, homework assigned, closing prayer
9:00 Go home
*On certain occasions, we offer optional prayer ministry to our students. This often is the case when guest teachers visit our school.
What kind of homework is there?
Reading assignments are typically no more than 2 chapters per week. Other than this, you can expect assignments requiring you to put into practice a particular insight or ministry tool, writing reflections, processing experiences, or journaling responses to prayer prompts. To graduate with a certificate, students must complete 80% of their homework assignments by the end of each quarter.
What if I miss a class?
To graduate, students can miss no more than 2 classes per quarter. If you miss a class, you will be able to find audio recordings and handouts on the student dashboard available for you to catch up before the next class.
What is the student dashboard?
All accepted students will receive online access to the student dashboard. The dashboard is a protected site provides access to the following:
- Video uploads to watch weekly class teachings for your current quarter
- Digital copy of class handouts, reading and homework assignments
- Portal to review and pay tuition
- Student intercession prayer wall
- Regular update on important news and events related to school
Can I share content with friends or family from the student dashboard?
No. We take seriously the context that our content is taught in and expect all our students to do the same. Dashboard content can not be shared with anyone other than the student who has been given access to it. This extends to any personal class recording taken by a student.
What can new students do to get started for Fall classes?
Students are encouraged to get a head start on quarter 1 by reading the following before the first class begins:
- From Sober Intoxication of the Spirit, read Chapter 5, Anointed by Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa OFM, (the required chapter will also be made available to download upon acceptance)
- Some Implications That Vatican II’s Biblical Teaching On The Charisms Has On Lay Evangelization In The Magisterium Of Pope John Paul II By Fr. Mathias Thelen (available to download upon acceptance)
Other great resources and ideas include:
- Biblical Foundations for the Role of Healing in Evangelization, Fr. Mathias Thelen
- Become an Encounter Ministries Partner and begin your learning early with our library of video and audio teaching sessions from conferences, events, and a sampling of teaching sessions from our school. More information on how to partner with us can be found here.
- Attend Summer Intensive and get a sampling of the first four quarters of Ministry School! Find more information on the locations and dates here.
- Find us on Youtube or follow us on Facebook.
- Watch our two documentaries: Revive and Fearless
REVIVE is a follow-up to the groundbreaking 2017 Fearless documentary. Following director Maura Smith, this film documents the crisis of faith among Catholic high school students and investigates what impact signs, wonders, and healings could have in Catholic education.
REVIVE documents healings breaking out at high schools across America and then does something unprecedented: it captures and documents a live healing evangelization event at a major Catholic high school! The event, led by Encounter Ministries, was filmed along with extensive follow-up investigations and interviews with students and faculty. The results of this event were nothing less than an overwhelming display of God’s supernatural power and love invading the school community, leaving it radically changed.
About Encounter Ministries
What are core values for Encounter School of Ministry?
Core values are what direct and protect the powerful culture of our ministry and our school environments. We believe our core values help create a landing pad for the Holy Spirit to arrive and so also help launch our students toward our God-given mission. Our ministry core values can be found here.
Tell me more about the team at Encounter Ministries
Encounter Ministries is blessed to have a collection of individuals who are lovers of the presence of the Lord and passionate about revival in the church. Learn more about our leadership, team members, school leaders, and more here.
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