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Difference Maker Institute

Make your Life Count.
Be a Difference Maker!

Difference Maker Institute Application

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Program will be limited to 10 residents for 2023-2024. Applications are open as long as spots are still available.

Difference Maker Institute

Difference Maker Institute is a 12-month residency program (Aug–July) committed to equipping the Next Generation of Church Leaders. DMI is designed to give you world-class ministry practice, leadership coaching, quality academic training, and real-life community.

What is a Difference Maker?

Being a Difference Maker is a natural expression of having an abiding relationship with Jesus. It is an overflow of the difference God has made in your life. And, being a Difference Maker is about being intentional in what you do and how you live your life. Not content to sit on the sidelines, Difference Makers are ready and willing to go in His name and play their part in changing the world. Capturing the spirit of being a Difference Maker is the Difference Maker Declaration. This short, memorable statement written by Pastor Gregg reminds us of our calling as followers of Jesus Christ, and it asks God to continue using us to make a difference in His name.

Difference Maker Declaration

I was made for more than watching.

I have a history-changing, difference-making, life-giving, Spirit-empowered legacy to leave.

Jesus, I ask You to work deeply in me and clearly through me as I pray, give, and go in Your love.

I am a Difference Maker.

In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Ministry Coaching

Serving alongside experienced ministry coaches as you get real-life experience.

Leadership Training

Learn insights from dynamic Christian leaders regarding what "they don't teach you in seminary.”

Academic Training

Receive quality instruction through Southwestern Seminary Online in a residency cohort.


Experience genuine community as you worship, pray, and grow in your walk with Jesus.

What to Expect

  • Sense a call to ministry and ability to communicate that call.
  • Completed Bachelor’s (4-year) degree or in last year of degree.
  • Within 10 years of High School graduation.
  • Acceptance into Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary as a master’s degree student.
  • Commitment to humility, teamwork, collaboration and growth.

Each resident is paid $25,000 for the program year. There will be time in the program week for you to pick up a few more hours of PT work, if needed somewhere like Starbucks or Chick-Fil-A.

Housing is not provided and we understand that housing can be an issue in Houston. So, we will do everything we can to assist those accepted into the program in finding quality, safe and affordable housing.

It is required that all residents be working toward a graduate degree in ministry. During the residency year, all residents will be required to enroll and take 18 hours through Southwestern Seminary. Residents will receive a significant discount in tuition for being part of the DMI program. After completion of the program, credit hours from Southwestern can be transferred to the graduate program of your choice, if desired.

The tentative schedule for this program is for Academic classes and Leadership Training to happen on Monday. Tuesday will involve ministry coaching, rotations in other ministries and a time of community for all residents – dinner and worship. Wednesday and Sunday are ministry coaching times with Thursday, Friday and Saturday available for schoolwork, part-time jobs and rest.

Program will be limited to 10 residents for 2023-2024. Applications are open as long as spots are still available.

— Follow us

This the what the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel says:

I am the Lord your God, who teaches you for your benefit, who leads you in the way you should go.

~ Isaiah 47:17

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