The call of the Scriptures is to intentionally give your life and being to Christ, through the Church, for the sake of the world. Often we feel this longing even if we can’t name it, asking—Is there more than this? Can I go deeper still? Yet, this pursuit is not something we can accomplish by accident, haphazard, or alone.

The elephant in the sanctuary is that the church in America has a discipleship problem. So this past year, we asked ourselves—how can Mars Hill form people in the ways of Jesus and in the rhythms of life and prayer as seen in the Scriptures and early church? Our discernment process was long and carefully measured, because rarely does something rich in goodness and complexity come quickly or easily. The resulting school will be equally in-depth, as being holistically formed in the ways and rhythms of Jesus is no small or speedy task either.

The Mars Hill Formation School is designed as a community-based experience that will equip adult Christians who are interested in a deeper engagement with the history, doctrines, practices, and scriptures of their faith as well as intentional, communal spiritual formation.

Participants of this 9-month cohort will intentionally seek to grow deeper in humility while widening their theological understanding, so that they might emerge further equipped to be a faithful presence in the world. By communally and prayerfully examining our lives, loves, and narratives our hope is that the Formation School graduates will not only find themselves transformed personally but also as agents of transformation in their circles of influence.

Our desire is to offer the space, scaffolding, and best possible collection of resources from which to grow as a person, leader, neighbor, and disciple of Jesus for the sake of the world. Seminary-level readings, discussions, writing/reflection assignments, faculty lectures, serving opportunities, and feasts will take place alongside strategic pairings with spiritual practices. During your time in the Formation School you will also be invited to cultivate a relationship with a spiritual director to aid you in listening well and responding to the voice of the Spirit. Through the embodiment of our faith, these holy habits will allow us to more fully inhabit God’s reality and vision for robust Christian discipleship.

During our pilot year, we hope to journey with up to 12 students who are committed to the common life and thriving of Mars Hill and demonstrate current and future leadership potential. Our hope is to expand the School in future years to include multiple cohorts, ideally led by Formation School alumni.

The cost for the year of materials, books, faculty, service opportunities, and four retreats is $800. [Limited scholarships are available]

Check out the year-at-a glance for a better understanding of how we’ll spend our time.

Registration is closed for the 2019-2020 year.  Check back in spring to apply for The Formation School 2020-2021.

Have additional questions?
Contact our Formation Pastor, Tim Nelson at