Liberty Baptist Church recently launched our Pastoral Training Center, an 18-month residency program for men training for ministry. Currently 13 guys are working through the program, most of them students at Midwestern. These guys are getting a variety of degrees — BA, MDiv, MTS, PhD. Because our residency is designed to complement seminary training, not reproduce it, we focus more on ministry discipleship — mentoring, coaching (one-on-one and in group meetings), shadow opportunities with our pastors, and ministry opportunities in the church — than we do academic heavy-lifting. But all residents do read a book each month and write papers. (The few guys who are not students have to read a bit more.)

A few people have asked me here and there if I could share our reading list, and I’m glad to do so below. Keep in mind this is the schedule for our first run-through. It may get tweaked before our next residency session begins in 2019.

We have broken down the 18 months into sessions with specific foci. Each required book translates into one month.

The Gospel

Required for all:
The Gospel by Ray Ortlund
Gospel Wakefulness by Jared Wilson
The Whole Christ by Sinclair Ferguson

Non-students additional reading:
Getting the Gospel Right by R.C. Sproul
Gospel-Centered Teaching by Trevin Wax
The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler

Biblical Theology

Required for all:
What is Biblical Theology? by James Hamilton
According to Plan by Graeme Goldsworthy

Non-students additional reading:
Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church by Michael Lawrence


Required for all:
The Church: The Gospel Made Visible by Mark Dever
The Church and The Surprising Offense of God’s Love by Jonathan Leeman
The Prodigal Church by Jared Wilson

Non-students additional reading:
Total Church by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis
Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Jonathan Edwards on Revival (3 short books in one)


Required for all:
Preaching by Tim Keller
The Supremacy of God in Preaching by John Piper
Preaching to a Post-Everything World by Zack Eswine

Non-students additional reading:
The Word-Centered Church by Jonathan Leeman
On Preaching by H.B. Charles
Faithful Preaching by Tony Merida


Required for all:
The Imperfect Pastor by Zack Eswine
The Contemplative Pastor by Eugene Peterson
The Art of Pastoring by David Hansen
The Pastor: A Memoir by Eugene Peterson

Non-students additional reading:
Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper
The Pastor’s Justification by Jared Wilson
The Reformed Pastor by Richard Baxter


Required for all:
Christ-Centered Worship by Bryan Chappell
Worship Matters by Bob Kauflin

Non-students additional reading:
Rhythms of Grace by Mike Cosper