Online Mentoring to Encourage and Empower You


Eight Week Small GroupsIndividual Sermon Coaching

Residential Mentoring

Five-Day Intensives to Refresh and Equip You

Dr. Eswine offers three mentoring weeks per year onsite in Saint Louis to a limited number of pastors.  This hybrid of advanced classroom instruction, cohort learning, personal retreat, and eating together in intentional community, purposes to refresh your soul and strengthen your skills for ministry.

More InformationApply for a Residency

Through Online and Residential Mentoring

Enhance Your Skills for Pastoral Work and Leadership

No one today shows more insight into the perils and joys of everyday ministry in the local church–a refreshingly honest and beautifully written meditation.

Mark Galli, Editor-in-Chief, Christiantiy Today

Among other helpful books, we utilize The Imperfect Pastor as our primary textbook. This book received Christianity Today’s Book of the Year, 2016 in the category of Church/Pastoral Leadership.

Purchase this book through Amazon or Crossway Books

Fan into Flame Your Gift of Preaching and Teaching

Zack Eswine moves the Christ-centered preaching movement forward with this volume . . . A great contribution.

Tim Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City

Among other texts, our attention to preaching Jesus from the Bible amid 21st century demands, centers around, Preaching to a Post-Everything World. This book received Preaching Today’s Book of the Year, 2008.

Note: After taking this online cohort, a further mentoring track for sermon coaching is sometimes available at additional cost. Zack, or his team, will listen to one, two or three of your sermons. Through Skype or other means, they will give you encouragement and constructive feedback in light of your identified goals.

Purchase Preaching to a Post-Everything World through Amazon or Baker Books.

Expand Your Capacity for Pastoral Care

Poetic, poignant and platitude free, this shimmering treasure of a book may literally save your life or the life of someone you love.

Ken Shigematsu, Tenth Church, Vancouver

Among others texts, our apprenticeship in pastoral care centers on the implications of Spurgeon’s Sorrows: Realistic Hope for those who Struggle with Depression. 

Purchase this book through Amazon or Christian Focus Publishers

Grow as a Wisdom Leader, Learn to Navigate the Questions of our Time

A pastorally poetic guide . . . reliably reminds the reader that a search for life’s significance begins with a trustworthy God who fills life with meaning.

Donald C. Guthrie, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

Mentoring at the Pastor’s Abbey includes heavy doses of the Bible’s Wisdom Literature. Among other helpful resources, our foundational textbook is Recovering Eden: The Gospel According to Ecclesiastes.

Purchase this book through Amazon or P&R publishing.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does an online cohort last and how many people are involved?
Online cohorts generally have 4-12 participants and last 8 weeks.

What is involved in an online cohort?
We read the book featured for that cohort. We utilize provided written and audio/visual materials to go along with the readings. Once each week, our Pastor’s Abbey mentor meets with us online for one and a half hours. Meanwhile, we utilize a discussion forum to ask our questions and share our reflections. Zack typically joins in with at least one of our live sessions during the cohort.

How much does an online Cohort Cost?
$80 for eight weeks ($10 a week). This covers online materials, discussions, weekly time with a Pastor’s Abbey Mentor, and time with Zack. (does not include the cost of the book)

How many people can attend a residential mentoring intensive with Zack and his team?
We generally limit our One-week intensives to 12-18 participants. Never more than 30 participants.

Why is space at residencies limited and require an application to attend?

Residences purpose to create an intimate mentoring environment. We want to offer close personal attention so that participants can actually apply what we learn to their local lives and ministries. Larger conferences help us a great deal. These smaller venues also have their important role to play.  Apply for a Residency here

How does the Pastor’s Abbey determine whose applications are prioritized for the upcoming residency? 

Those with a pastor’s reference and/or previous experience with the other mentoring ministries of the Pastor’s Abbey are given first priority.

What does the schedule of a typical five-day mentoring intensive look like?

  • Sunday: Participate in the worship of Riverside Church and join the Eswine’s for dinner.
  • Monday: 8:30am-3:00 pm Teaching/Coaching; 3:00-6:00pm Personal Retreat Time; 6:00-7:30pm Dinner together
  • Tuesday: 8:30am-3:00pm Teaching/Coaching; 3:00-6:00pm Personal Retreat Time;  6:00-7:30pm Dinner Together
  • Wednesday: 8:30am-3:00pm Teaching/Coaching; 3:00-6:00pm Personal Retreat Time; 6:00-7:30pm Lunch Together
  • Thursday: 8:30am-11:30am We complete our time together and send each other renewed back into our callings.

Are required books included with the costs for the week?
No. Books can be purchased on and other sources. Materials provided during the week are included in the cost.

Where may I stay if I attend?
Riverside Church sometimes provides a certain number of host families for free lodging in local homes.
Local hotels provide nice accommodations and convenient access for those who prefer.

Will Someone pick me up from the airport?
On most occasions, cab fare, rental cars, or buses are available to help you reach Riverside Church.
International travelers may request help with transportation one month in advance.

How much personal interaction will I have with Zack?
Zack is present each day and teaches most sessions.
Zack and his wife Jessica invite participants to a meal most days to converse altogether about the day.

Who serves with Zack on his team?
Unique to each online and residential mentoring opportunity, Zack will invite a colleague in ministry to join us.

What topics does a Residential Mentoring Intensive Cover?
At the moment, Zack provides three Mentoring Intensives each year.

  • The Imperfect Preacher: Preaching Jesus from the Bible in the 21st Century
  • The Imperfect Pastor: Organizational Leadership and Pastoral Care
  • Soul Practices for the Pastor’s Life

How much does a Residential Mentoring Intensive Cost?
$210.00 per 5-day residency (covers teaching, materials, coffee/tea, snacks, dinner each day). Airfare/Travel and Lodging (if you desire to find a local hotel and opt out of staying with a host family) are additional costs. Limited Scholarships available for International Travelers

I have another question.
Jack Harding is glad to help. Email Jack at

Online Mentoring cohorts: 2017


August 1–September 5

The Imperfect Pastor
Mentoring in Organizational Leadership,
the Pastor’s Work, and the Pastor’s Soul

September 6–October 11

The Imperfect Preacher
Mentoring in Preaching Jesus from the Bible
as a Pastor in a Post-Everything World

Find Out More

Five-Day Mentoring Residencies in Saint Louis, Missouri

The Imperfect Preacher: Preaching Jesus from the Bible in the 21st Century

Join Dr. Eswine for a week of graduate level training in preaching (for non-graduate level folks), along with sermon practice, real-time application to your local setting and mutually encouraging one another as we eat together and pray together using the four portions of each day.

September 17-21, 2017, Space is limited, for consideration you must apply

Application Deadline: August 1, 2017

Find Out More

Some of our Pastor’s Abbey Online Cohort Mentors

David Johnston

David Johnston

Pastor, Bangor Northern Ireland

David Johnston was born and brought up in Northern Ireland. A theology degree from Queen’s University, Belfast was followed by a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education before returning to Union Theological College as a ministry student in 1979 when he began an assistantship in a large rural church.  In 1983 David was called to be the minister of two smaller Presbyterian congregations where he served for 11 years.  In 1994 he came to Bangor nr. Belfast as minister of Hamilton Road Presbyterian which is one of the larger congregations in PCI. David has been married to Olive since 1980. They have four married children and five grandchildren. David recently spent time with Zack and Jessica at The Pastor’s Abbey in St. Louis.

Matt Blazer

Matt Blazer

Pastor, Simsbury Connecticut

After serving six years on the pastoral team with Zack at Riverside Church, (and six years prior to Zack’s arrival), Matt serves as Lead Pastor of the Barn, in Simsbury Connecticut. He and his wife Rachel enjoy doing life with their two daughters. Matt and Rachel are both cancer survivors. Matt’s gifts as a pastor along with his sense of humor and practical sense of things, enables participants of the Pastor’s Abbey to feel at ease and to grow in their pastoral work.

Steve McLean

Steve McLean

Pastor, Argyle New York

Steve has served in vocational ministry for nearly forty years. Steve and his wife, Kim, grew up in suburban Philadelphia.  They will celebrate their 40th anniversary this year with their 4 children and 5 grandchildren.  Steve came to faith in Jesus Christ through the ministry of Young Life as a high school student and later served on Young Life staff for seven years.  After graduating from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 1986, he became the pastor of the Argyle Presbyterian Church in Argyle, NY where he continues to preach, care and serve.  In his spare time, Steve drives fire trucks for the volunteer fire department and roots for several losing Philadelphia sports teams.

Bruwer Vroon

Bruwer Vroon

Pastor, Gisborne New Zealand

Bruwer Vroon serves as pastor of Grace Church, Gisborne New Zealand. Previously, Bruwer served at Bays Baptist Church in Auckland.  and prior to that,he has also served in other pastoral work around NZ. Bruwer and his wife Anna have been married twelve years and have three children. The whole family lived with Zack and Jessica at the Pastor’s Abbey for ten weeks as an apprentice in ministry at Riverside Church in Saint Louis. Bruwer has a mentors heart and is daily learning what it means to preach and pastor among mostly other-than-Christian neighbors as a Christian minority in New Zealand.

Philip Glassmeyer

Philip Glassmeyer

Pastor, Phoenix, Arizona

After planting two churches and founding Hope Christian Health Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, Philip returned home to Phoenix, where he serves as lead pastor of Fellowship of Grace Church. Philip and his wife Angie have been married since 1994. They love doing life with their three children. Philip is a former student and long-time friend of Zack. His pastoral heart and experience with preaching Jesus among cultures that are skeptical of Him, provides meaningful mentoring opportunities for participants of the Pastor’s Abbey.

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