Ministry Discovery Program

Salvation Army Leadership Defined

The essence of Salvation Army leadership is defined in the Salvation Army publication, The Role of the Corps Officer In The United States Of America

  • Evangelist
  • Shepherd
  • Preacher
  • Recruiter
  • Trainer and leader of a fighting force
  • Group leader and coordinator
  • Social worker
  • Business administrator
  • Voice of Christianity to the community at large
  • Community leader
  • Co-worker with other Salvation Army departments and units
  • Public relations director

Ministry Discovery Interns

The Ministry Discovery Program will introduce individuals to Salvation Army ministries, beliefs and practices while utilizing their abilities and leadership. MDI’s (Ministry Discovery Interns) involved with the Ministry Discovery Program will be individuals who demonstrate potential for Salvation Army leadership. Generally, they have declared an interest in serving God as an officer in The Salvation Army.

Common characteristics may include:

  • Lives out, in word and deed, a personal faith in Jesus Christ
  • Evidence of leadership ability
  • A commitment to full-time ministry
  • A high degree of initiative and work ethic
  • A desire to experience and understand the ministry of a Salvation Army officer

Ministry Discovery Job Description

The job description for each MDI will provide opportunities for training in all areas of leadership. The individual job descriptions may vary from location to location depending upon ministries available and the needs of the MDI for development. MDI’s should experience a full range of ministries and responsibilities including the following:

  • Leadership skills development
  • Personal and group evangelism
  • Become familiar with Salvation Army history, doctrine and theology
  • Salvation Army programming
  • Biblical training and leadership
  • Pastoral counseling
  • Fund raising
  • Christian education
  • Pastoral and outreach visitation
  • Preaching
  • Identifying and addressing community needs
  • Personal disciplines and development
  • Social service assistance
  • Interoffice communication skills
  • Statistical and financial reporting
  • Vehicle and property maintenance
  • Office procedures
  • Community Care Ministries
  • Intra and interpersonal relationships
  • Gifts in Kind
  • Disaster work

Discovering more about myself and my calling

Aurelia Pettit, South Bend Kroc Center

The song “I Surrender All” holds a special place in my heart. While attending the commissioning weekend in Milwaukee, Wis., in 2019, it was playing during a call to ministry as an officer. The effect of the song didn’t fully hit me until later that summer when I attended the Central Bible Leadership Institute (CBLI) and told many people that I felt called. However, I only shared with a few my doubts and fears: high debt, being a single mom, having to leave the only home I’d ever known. Someone told me about the Ministry Discovery Program which offers hands-on experience while learning from seasoned corps officers.

I’m now in my second year as a Ministry Discovery intern at the South Bend, Ind., Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center which is led by A/Captains John and Tracy Gantner. During this time, I’ve grown in all aspects of my calling—spiritually, physically, emotionally. Being in ministry at the Kroc Center has used my strengths, but it’s also challenged me, pushing me past what I thought were my limits in preparation for the call God’s placed on my life.

From the beginning the officers not only have affirmed my strengths but have encouraged me to grow. I’ve had the opportunity to use my strength of working with youth in day camps, Bible classes, corps cadets, jr. soldiers and vacation Bible school and e-learning programs. This center has also drawn on my strengths in administration and planning, but I have begun to learn that planning isn’t just a strength; it can be a weakness if I focus on that and not as much on people.

I have also always struggled with public speaking. I would get so nervous I would stutter, fidget and forget what I wanted to say. Obviously, this is a huge issue for someone called into ministry! The officers slowly started drawing me out; it was uncomfortable but needed. Members have encouraged me, too. “We’re here for you to practice on. Don’t be scared,” said one lady from our women’s ministries group called the Sweet Life Café. Now when I get up to speak, I hear her kind words and remind myself no one expects me to be perfect. I keep working on this and looking for ways to connect with others like scheduling lunch with someone twice a month. It’s a work in progress.

I have learned that no matter the challenge or emotion I need to ground myself in God’s Word. I am growing daily, and my fears have been laid to rest. The Ministry Discovery Program has confirmed my calling and provided me skills I will need. It’s also provided me with a new corps family who is watching me grow and walk with the Lord.

The Ministry Discovery Experience

Cadet Vincent Cusack shares his journey

How were your strengths sharpened through the Ministry Discovery Program?

My internship at the Wichita Citadel, Kan., Corps was a beautiful two years of learning, development, and spiritual growth. It was a great place to foster my strengths and develop my spiritual gifts.

For instance, while I’ve always enjoyed helping others, during the internship I came to embrace serving as one of my spiritual gifts. I was blessed to utilize the gift in countless ways like working in the food pantry alongside volunteers to provide community members with food and other essentials; ministering with officers and corps members in youth programs; providing transportation to people who wanted to come to Sunday worship but didn’t have a way; and assisting with fundraising and ministry during Christmas. The list goes on and on! With every opportunity, God gave me a deeper appreciation for serving others.

What areas of development did you work on? How did you accomplish your goals? 

Two areas I worked on during my internship were spiritual discipline and self-care. Upon entering the Ministry Discovery Program, and ultimately answering God’s calling on my life, my conviction about spiritual discipline and self-care became stronger than ever.

In terms of spiritual discipline this meant intentionally spending time daily in God’s Word and memorizing and applying scripture to my life, praying fervently until it became as natural as breathing (still working on this), and striving to be obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit. In terms of self-care, this essentially is summed up in rest, exercise and going to recovery meetings as a lifelong recovering addict. What helped me accomplish my goals was having a mentor who kept me accountable, being intentional and consistent in planning and spending time with God and believing that I can accomplish what I put my mind through God’s help and power.

How did the internship prepare you for cadet life at College for Officer Training (CFOT)?

The Ministry Discovery Program prepared me for the CFOT in some substantial ways. While I was serving as an intern, I was blessed with corps officers who became my mentors and were intentional in preparing me for attending officer training. They provided me a safe place to experience ministry with direction and affirmation. I was given the opportunity of preaching sermons, preparing worship services, sharing devotionals at men’s meetings, leading youth programs, and attending corps council meetings and advisory board meetings. I also was given great training for working with Christmas kettles. I built beautiful relationships within the body of Christ, and so much more! All these opportunities have helped prepare me for success not only in training as a cadet but as a future officer.

Would you recommend the Ministry Discovery Program to individuals seeking ministry in The Salvation Army?

I would recommend the program 1,000 percent! If you are feeling a call from God and you want an opportunity to explore and prepare for this calling, the Ministry Discovery Program is amazing! It allows you to serve others, grow in your faith and calling, build new relationships, participate in leadership and ministry—and all this to glorify God and to walk in His purpose for you. It’s awesome!

Ready to take the next step?

If you’re interested in learning more about the Ministry Discovery Program or you’re ready to start the application process, please fill out this form and an officer will reach out to you.