Your school admissions process can be designed to gather a class of students that pursues revival! Through some strategic planning, the process can reveal the men and women who desire to challenge and support one another in your school’s environment to develop lifestyles that expand the kingdom.
Before the launch of your school, we encourage you to develop an efficient system to receive applications, conduct interviews, and admit applicants. By taking time to create the best practices and structure, you can discover the individuals that God has handpicked to receive from your school!
We want to impart some specific keys to help you develop an effective admissions process! It is our prayer that they will help you discover the individuals that are called to join your school community.
Know Who You Are Called to Equip
Who do you want to attend your school? Who are you called to develop? When you know your audience, you can start putting together an application and interview questions that will help you draw in the men and women you are called to equip! Even more, it will help you design an admissions process that serves your school’s mission. So whether you feel called to train church leaders, business owners, artists, or perhaps college students, we encourage you to keep your school’s purpose and intended audience in mind as you build out your school’s admissions process.
At BSSM, we feel called to equip and deploy revivalists! We look for believers who are focused, passionate, willing to pay any price to live in community, purity, and power; those who love God, and believe His manifest presence changes lives and cultures. We believe revival is multi-generational and for every nation, and feel called to seek out students of all ages and backgrounds.
So is your school geared towards raising up and activating a specific group? Are you running a program that is geared towards leadership or discipleship? Who are you looking for? Again, we encourage you to answer these questions to shape your admissions process in light of the mandate you are called to pursue!
Create an Efficient System
Before receiving applications and conducting interviews, we encourage you to create an organizational structure that will make you and your team successful. Here are some specific steps you can take to put together an efficient system:
- Choose a method to receive applications. Whether it is a paper or online application, we encourage you to find the method that will work best for your team to receive and review applications. Make sure to tell prospective students the deadline for application submission and if there is a required application fee.
- Pick a structure to interview applicants. Take time to think about ways you could conduct interviews, such as through Skype or phone. At BSSM, we like to do in-person interviews as much as possible because it provides easier interaction and connection between an interviewer and an interviewee. However, we do use Skype or phone calls to interview applicants who are not currently living in our city.
- Choose a way to schedule interviews with applicants. There are great tools available to help you and your team stay organized and on top of interview appointments. Some tools, such as Google Calendar and Doodle, offer a means to schedule meetings online and receive electronic notifications (for interviewer and interviewee).
- Determine how applicants will receive a notification of admission (or denial). After receiving applications and conducting interviews, you will need to notify applicants of their acceptance (or denial) to your school. Determine the best way to share that information with applicants. Also, define and communicate what further steps they will need to take to secure their spot in your school.
Define Your Admissions Criteria
After putting together the key components of your admissions process, it is almost time to start receiving applications and admitting students! Before you start this process, we recommend defining your admissions criteria. To develop these guidelines, we encourage you to think again about who you are called to equip and the mission of your school!
As a team, we have developed specific admissions requirements because we want to make sure we are receiving the individuals we are called to train! During our school’s early years, we didn’t have strong criteria for admissions and allowed the majority of our applicants to come. This approach created good enrollment numbers. However, our staff spent the majority of their time discipling students to overcome issues of brokenness.
Consequently, we didn’t have enough time to focus on training students in supernatural gifts and leadership gifts and skills, a crucial component of our school’s mandate. So we created an admissions process and criteria to help us recognize applicants that are ready to take on the demands of our school and will thrive in our environment. Some of our criteria include:
- Applicants are not struggling with areas of sin (e.g. addictions, sexual sin, etc.) or are able to pursue freedom in community before school begins (Note: our team addresses each individual on a case-by-case basis. For more information, check out 3 Keys to Conducting Admissions Interviews).
- Applicants have the physical, emotional, and mental capacity to engage in our full-time program.
- Applicants have the finances or a financial plan to cover the cost of school.
- Applicants have the time to participate in core classes, electives, connection groups, outreach, and other required activities.
- Applicants demonstrate a desire to be connected to community, to grow, and receive from our school.
We also accept international students, which means our system has to meet certain immigration requirements. Our admissions criteria allow us to screen applicants and make sure they can legally attend our school. We share this part of our school’s journey to encourage you to develop guidelines for admission to your school; they will support you to pursue your school’s unique purpose!
May the Lord richly bless you with even greater strategies to design your admission process! We also pray that you would know and trust that He will highlight the individuals that are called to be part of your school’s journey.
Take some time to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to highlight the people He has called to your school equip. With your leadership team, begin to develop a list of application questions that will help you learn about the individuals that desire to attend your school. If you need some ideas for questions, take a look at the BSSM Sample Application.