What is THS Apprenticeship training?

In historic Germany, only a master craftsman could train an apprentice. To become a master, he had to demonstrate that he was an expert craftsman and businessman. When we started THS Academy with a focus on training church planters and pastors, we adapted the German apprenticeship system for pastoral training. We desire to have the disciplines that Jesus taught his disciples to make up the basis for the THS apprenticeship. And so, the THS apprenticeship is a three-year-long process where a “Master Pastor” or instructor trains a future leader based on actual ministry expertise. So this is more than a residency. It is a time of intense learning within your organization.

The 9 spiritual disciplines within the Apprenticeship

The Tree

A tree is a model we use to understand spiritual growth.


The goal is that all 9 disciplines advance in the apprentice. From there the name 3×3 is derived. Therefore THS Academy uses 2 ways to ensure healthy growth. First, we want to be sure to track the right things. This is what our 3×3 Program is designed for.

Goals of the Apprenticeship 3×3 disciplines

The 3×3 Program contains 3 sections, each with 3 disciplines. The 3×3 Program provides rigorous practical training during the entire 3 THS training years. The THS student receives a graded apprenticeship certificate at the end of each trimester, giving each student feedback on their progress in the individual disciplines – always with coaching support of a “Master Pastor.” Here the principle of discipleship is at work: watching, then participating, then working with feedback, and finally, doing it yourself. See the core disciplines of this model:

1. I love God with all my heart
The goal is that you cultivate an independent relationship with God, practice a strong, personal prayer life and take the Bible as a guideline for your life.
2. My love attracts people
The goal is that you can understand and love people from different backgrounds – even difficult personalities. You’re a very good listener.
3. I am happy
The goal is that you let a stable, grateful and powerful inner person grow within you. The fruit of the Spirit becomes more and more visible.
4. I preach with authority
The goal is that you can preach exciting, powerful, life-changing and Bible oriented messages on various topics.
5. I overcome crises and conflicts easily
The aim is to enable you to recognize your own and others’ conflicts and to work constructively on a solution.
6. I have my goal constantly before my eyes
The goal is that you can manage yourself and the organization of a living church successfully and in a goal-oriented way.”
7. I lead people to Jesus
The goal is that you develop an evangelistic lifestyle and regularly lead people to Jesus in your pastoral ministry.
8. My participants lead people to Jesus
The aim is that you accompany and support people in the discipleship process from the “not-yet-Christian” to the “spiritually mature christian” and that you can create the necessary structures in a church to cultivate that.
9. I bring forth leaders
The goal is for you to develop the ability to discover, develop and release leadership potential in others so that they become successful leaders in the church”.