CLI Frequently Asked Questions

What is Central’s Leadership Institute about?

Central began its Leadership Institute program in 2013 with the desire to give young leaders the training and preparation needed to thrive as a Christian leader in this world. It’s an 11-month paid residency program for young adults preparing for their launch into full-time ministry inside the local church or marketplace.

What is Central Christian Church?
Central Christian Church is a multi-site megachurch located in the Phoenix metropolitan area of Arizona with the core belief of developing future leaders for God’s Kingdom. Click here to take a tour.

Who should apply for CLI?
CLI is designed for young adults who are recent or soon to be college graduates, desire to grow in their leadership and ministry skills, and feel called to full-time ministry in the church/marketplace.


  • Completion or near completion of an undergraduate degree (BA/BS)
  • A desire to work in full-time ministry (church or marketplace)
  • Proven character and integrity
  • Proven leadership abilities
  • Agreement with Central Christian Church’s Statements of Belief and Core Values

Important Dates (2020-2021 CLI Year):
Move-In Week: July 20-24, 2020
Program Start: July 26, 2020
Program End: June 30, 2021

Where is the Central’s Leadership Institute program located?
The residency program is located on Central’s Mesa Campus - 933 North Lindsay Road, Mesa, AZ 85213.
As a multi-site church, we have five additional campuses located in Gilbert, Queen Creek, Glendale, Ahwatukee, and Tempe.

What ministry specialties are offered in CLI?

  • Business Administration
  • Campus Ministries
  • Children’s Ministry (Birth-Sixth Grade)
  • Church Connections
  • Global Outreach (Peacemaking)
  • Graphic Design
  • Information Technology
  • Life Groups
  • Marketing
  • Pastoral Care
  • Student Ministry (Jr High/High School)
  • Production
  • Programming
  • Video
  • Women's Ministry
  • Worship/Music

For more detailed information on each ministry area click here.

Do I get to choose what ministry I work in?
Your ministry focus will be determined by Central’s leadership as we interview and get to know you. It’s our goal to place all residents in a ministry area that fits their gifting and passion. Please select your top ministry choices on your CLI application.

Application & Interviews

The application and interview window for the 2020-2021 CLI Ministry Year is open from October 14, 2019 to January 21, 2020. To apply, click here.

Candidacy Process
Completion of online CLI application (please include resume and photo), Multiple references required, Interview with CLI Pastor, Group Interview (video chat), and interview with Executive Pastor

What does compensation look like?

  • Medical & Dental Insurance available (additional cost for spouse/family)
  • Vacation & Sick Time
  • Hourly pay for a 40-hour work week ($12-$14/hour)

Can I work an additional job?
To allow this residency to be most effective, we strongly suggest that residents do not maintain an additional job. Our desire is to provide a salary and housing sufficient to meet the basic financial needs of each resident.

What is your Global Peacemaking Trip? 
We believe that a leader’s view of the world has an enormous impact on his/her local leadership. Central Christian Church has a heart for peacemaking and ministering to the Muslim community locally and globally. We will spend the early Spring focused on Peacemaking and then experience a 2-week excursion to either North East Africa/Israel-Palestine. Trip locations vary by CLI year.

What happens after I complete the residency?
Near the end of the CLI experience, we focus on preparing you for your next ministry position. We invite in top business consultants and ministry experts to teach you how to put your best foot forward and confidently move into what God has prepared for you next (resume distinction, interviewing and networking tips, future planning). It is our ultimate goal to help you land where you can use your gifts and build toward ministry longevity and success.

While we love hiring our residents after CLI completion, staff placement is not the goal of our Leadership Institute program. Central staff positions are based solely out of ministry need and are open to any and all applicants. Residents are open to apply in the “Launch Phase” of CLI.

Where will I live?
Central Christian Church will work with you on finding a host home arrangement that fits you (single/married). You are also free to find your own housing. You may choose to provide your own housing for the duration of CLI. We highly recommend finding a place that is within a 5-7 mile radius of the Mesa Campus, where our CLI Classroom resides.

What do I need?

You will need your own transportation. Because we operate on multiple campuses, our staff moves around a lot. Our main meet up will be on the Mesa Campus daily. This is where the CLI Training Room is located.

Prepare to build a prayer and financial support team for the Global Peacemaking trip. We will teach you how to do this.

How can I prepare?
Come prepared for a full experience of leadership training, ministry experience, and community. We bulk up every hour you’re with us.