Student Minister Opportunities

Equipping the next generation

We dream of seeing hundreds leaders thriving globally, after a 2-year training at Vine Church.

“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” — 2 Tim. 2:2

Student Ministers at Vine Church

Vine Church offers the position of Student Minister to those who are studying at theological college who wish to be trained in leadership and church ministry in an urban environment. We train and equip students in leadership and church ministry so that they are prepared for a lifetime of ministry. 

We dream of seeing 100 pastors and Christian leaders thriving in ministry across Australia and the world, who feel better equipped after having being trained through a 2 year ministry experience at Vine Church.

At Vine Church we believe the role of a Student Minister will require at a minimum the same level of commitment expected from one of our core members in the church (i.e. leading a ministry), and for the spouse (if applicable), at least the same level of commitment expected from one of our members (i.e. in a Community Group and serving in a ministry team).

Qualifications for a Student Minster role at Vine Church:

  • Deep love for Jesus
  • Strong commitment to seeing lives changed by the gospel via prayer and scripture.
  • Competence in teaching the Bible simply and clearly.
  • Clear, humble, sacrificial and an engaging leadership style.
  • A willingness to work alongside others in a team and under the Lead Pastor.

We offer a hands on, fully involved training experience including...

Preaching Training

Students are provided opportunities to give Bible talks in a variety of situations across the year. Male students are given 2 opportunities to preach at Sunday services. For each sermon you preach, the Lead Pastor offers four training sessions which take you from exegesis → big idea → outline → draft → manuscript → delivery. 

*Read more about the process here


Guided pastoral reflection

Each student minister will have the opportunity to meet with a Vine Church pastor on a quarterly basis. These sessions are designed for guided reflection on what you are learning in your ministry journey. These meetings will include dedicated time for prayer and encouragement. This regular pastoral support aims to nurture your spiritual development and strengthen your effectiveness in ministry.

Leading a Ministry Team

It our conviction that a weakness in the training of pastors and ministers in our tribe is the lack of team leader training. To counter this, we expect all Student Ministers to take on the role of Team Leader (or Area Leader) for one of our ministries and learn the skill of leading people in achieving an outcome.  

Team Leader opportunities include
  • Vine Kids or Vine Youth Team Leader
  • Christianity Explored Team Leader
  • Onboard (partners course) Team Leader
  • Ministry Team Leader
  • Hosting Team Leader
  • Band Team Leader
Area Leader opportunities include
  • Maturity Area Leader (coaching CGs)
  • Ministry Area Leader
  • Membership Area Leader

2 Year Training Cohort

The cohort of student ministers (usually three) will also meet together with the Lead Pastor two-four times per year as a training cohort.  This collaborative environment fosters growth and development, enabling student ministers to refine their skills and deepen their understanding of various aspects of church leadership. 

The cohort sessions provide you the opportunity to ask questions and receive focussed training in the following areas:

Self Leadership
  • Vision & Change Management
  • Time Management & Planning
  • Personal Life and Anti-fragility
  • Marriage & Running Marriage Preparation (with your spouse present)
Self Leadership
  • Reformed, Evangelical Anglicanism
  • This Cultural Moment

Fortnightly Training

On Monday afternoons every fortnight the staff team and student ministers meet for 1.5 hours of training with the lead pastor. This is an opportunity to get to know those serving in leadership at church as well as receive trainig from our Lead Pastor and other guests. Recent training topics have included:

  • Discipleship on the Sexular Stage: How we talk about sexuality in public
  • Getting to the heart: On pastoral conversations
  • Apologetics and Kategoria
  • Church Health and Pathway Analysis
  • Christian Identity: Is a Christian still a “Sinner”

Additionally, we encourage all student ministers to accompany the staff team at annual conferences which we attend (including Reach Australia, Priscilla & Aquilla). Apart from the direct training students will receive at the conference, they will also learn from how teams implement what they learn.


Specific Training Requests

Students are also invited to speak to Toby about any ministries or pastoral experiences they would value observing in their time at Vine Church. 

Some of these experiences include, but are not limited to:

  • Observing the weekly senior staff meeting
  • Observing the quarterly offsite senior staff meeting
  • Observing annual staff conference
  • Observing Parish Council meeting
  • Running a funeral
  • Visiting someone in hospital
  • Senior staff meeting 

The value we do add to your training

Historically, the benefit of accepting a student minister position at Vine Church is you get team leadership experience and you see from the inside how a different church staff team operates. Additionally, many former student ministers have said the preaching training you receive with our Lead Pastor is the most helpful training they have ever received because it provides them with a clear framework for writing and delivering a sermon.

The value we don't add to your training

We don’t provide our student ministers with a weekly, one to one, intensive mentoring relationship with a pastor. We work together as a team, and provide quarterly one to one meetings with a pastor each year. This role isn’t like MTS. If you are looking for a more intensive one to one mentoring relationship with a pastor, we would encourage you to look at other churches who may be able to provide this.

Scholarship and application details

Vine Church offers a yearly tax free scholarship of between $9,200 for four student ministers per year which can be used to pay your accomodation or study expenses. 

Candidates will be fully reimbursed for all church conferences and ministry expenses.

For expressions of interest, please include your resume along with a personal statement about your life and ministry. This should be sent directly to our Lead Pastor, Toby Neal (

Current Student Ministers

Ben Williams

Student at Moore Theological College
2nd year

Jonty Leggett

Student at Moore Theological College
3rd Year

Britt Hassell

Student at Moore Theological College
1st Year

Corn Do

Student at Moore Theological College
3rd Year

Jake Ashley

Student at Moore Theological College
1st Year

Jake Ashley

Student at Moore Theological College
1st Year

Keen to be a Student Minister with us ?

If you’re keen, and want more information then let’s have an initial conversation and talk about the possibilities. We’d love to chat and explore whether we’re a good fit for a Student Minister placement at Vine Church.

Student Minister Testimonials

Britt Hassell

Now serving at: Current Student Minister at Vine Church

How is Vine Church preparing you for the ministry? Vine Church has encouraged me as I consider and develop the theology and practical skills relating to ministry in Music and Magnification. How we engage with music is essential to church life. It should encourage the congregation to engage with and respond to God as he speaks through his Word as it is sung, read, and preached. Learning this under Toby and Liv's teaching at Vine has been a real encouragement and blessing. I hope to use what I am learning in the future to serve the local church in music roles and better support church musicians.

Ben Williams

Now serving at: Current Student Minister at Vine Church

How is Vine Church preparing you for the ministry? Being a student minister at Vine Church has been incredibly valuable in equipping me for a life of ministry. Two things, in particular, have been great. The first is having responsibility for an area of ministry: leading team leaders. It's been super helpful to gain experience leading high-capacity, gifted volunteers well and to gain experience thinking strategically about a ministry. The second thing is preaching training. God willing, this will be a major part of my ministry moving forward, and so to spend time being trained in how to communicate a passage clearly and engagingly has been great.

Jonty Leggett

Now serving at: Current Student Minister at Vine Church

How is Vine Church preparing you for the ministry? The best thing about my student minister training at Vine was the preaching training I received. Before each sermon, I would have 4 sessions with Toby who would guide me from exegesis to presentation. Due to the time spent with Toby in preparation, I was able not only to have a sermon ready for a given Sunday, but felt far better equipped for further preaching. The goal was not to get my individual sermon to a 'good standard' but to equip me with the tools I need to preach well for a lifetime of ministry.

Josh Heresford

Now serving at: St George's North Anglican

How did Vine Church prepare you for the ministry you are doing now?

Being a Student Minister at Vine Church is a multifaceted role with a lot to learn from the context and diverse community. It was a privilege to minister to people from various cultural backgrounds and observe their walks with Jesus. Surry Hills' dynamic environment shapes ministry differently compared to typical suburban churches. Vine Church's openness to innovation and continual improvement provides valuable lessons. The small ministry team, each wearing multiple hats, offers practical insights into effective ministry management. A key highlight was witnessing how Toby's passion for people and God drives everything at Vine Church.

Partner with our Student Ministers
Vine Church Foundation – Scholarships

Every year, we provide a combination of hands-on experience, training and mentoring for a group of men and women who are about to enter full-time gospel ministry. Through the Vine Church Foundation we are able to provide scholarships to train and equip the next generation of gospel ministers. This is a tax deductible gift. 

Transfer a single or recurring gift from your account using the details below:

Vine Church Surry Hills
BSB 062 033.   AC# 1075 0624
Reference: Scholarships + Name (E.g. ScholarshipsJSmith)

Give a single or recurring gift via credit card or debit card with no registration or account needed.

Please note this incurs a 1.4% bank fee.

"And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others." — 2 Timothy 2:2

Not at bible college? Explore other ministry training opportunities.

Discover the other opportunities for ministry training at Vine Church. In addition to Student Minster opportunities, we offer ministry associate roles and MTS apprenticeships.

Ministry Training Opportunities

MTS Apprenticeship

A two year, hands-on, full-time ministry apprenticeship, giving you the opportunity to grow as a minister to others in the context of a local church. 

Ministry Associate

A leadership development internship, providing you with hands on practical leadership opportunities with a staff-mentor and training.


For those studying at theological college wishing to be trained in leadership and church ministry in an urban environment.

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