More Than a Program

Be a part of a growing church in one of the world’s greatest cities. Experience what it means to live and lead like Jesus. Come and see what happens when information and application come together to create transformation. It’s our privilege to have you join our City Church family for the greatest, most formative season of your life. We hope to see you soon.

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The Leadership Experience

The Application Process

Acceptance into the Leadership Experience will be determined by your application portfolio, references, and an interview. Three factors contribute in determining whether it is the right time for you to be a student in the Leadership Experience:

  1. Spiritual Authority: We want to know that the spiritual authorities in your life (parents, pastors, and leaders) all agree that this is the right training environment for you at this time.
  2. Personal Life: Spiritual maturity and preparedness are key factors in determining entrance into this program. In order to be considered for acceptance you must have been committed to a local church for 6 months.
  3. Finances: You must demonstrate financial stability in order to become a student. Students are not permitted to work full time jobs, but they may work part time (around 20 hours per week) as long as it does not interfere with the Leadership Experience schedule.

Application Steps

Now accepting applications for next year, including international students! Please complete each part of the application. We will need official transcripts in before we start class in September.

Interested in learning more about the Leadership Experience?

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Leadership Experience Day

This is a day that is set aside for prospective students to come and spend time exploring the program and having their questions answered. Guests will have a chance to participate in prayer and worship, attend classes and participate in a Q&R (Question and Response) with Leadership Experience staff. The day will begin with check in at 8 am and will end around 2 pm. Lunch will be provided for guests. Use the Registration link to see dates.

Register Now!

More About the Leadership Experience

Classroom Instruction

Instruction sessions include courses in biblical content, practical ministry, and relevant life issues that equip each student with foundational truths that build character and knowledge essential for Kingdom service. The core classes offered at the Leadership Experience are Portland Bible College extension courses taught locally by our instructors. Students who complete the classes will receive PBC degree credits.

Practical Ministry Tracks

Whether it’s involvement in a campus ministry, community outreach, or working in various departments of the church; you’ll be involved in the heartbeat of a growing and thriving community. We believe that teaching and experience go hand-in-hand, and that the integration of information and application is the key to your success.

Missions & Outreach

The Leadership Experience offers mission trips through The City Church to various local churches we are in relationship with in the U.S. and around the world. We believe in investing and empowering the local church in order to see the body of Christ extended in the world.

Spiritual Lifestyle

As a student, we want you above all else to be intimately acquainted with the voice of God. Prayer is where that happens. Every year, students say that it is in these moments of prayer that make the greatest and most lasting impressions on their lives. You’ll also be spending time building relationships and ministering in the context of small groups. It is a time to be mentored by some of our best leaders and to see your own leadership skills develop as you interact with others in life-giving relationships


Housing is available on a limited basis with first priority going to out of state students. If you are interested in housing please click on the Housing Application link.


The Leadership Experience follows an academic year cycle, beginning early September and ending the last week of May.

Mondays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays
  • 8:00am–9:00am:    Prayer
  • 9:30am–12:20pm:   Classroom experience
  • 1:30pm–4:30pm:    Ministry experience
Weekend experience
  • Times vary depending on campus

Judah & Chelsea Smith

Lead Pastors

Judah and Chelsea Smith are the Lead Pastors of The City Church in Seattle, Washington. The City Church is a thriving multi-site church noted for its cultural relevance, commitment to biblical integrity and faith, and love for Jesus. Prior to assuming the lead pastorate in 2009, Judah and Chelsea led Generation Church, the youth ministry of the church, for ten years. Judah is known for his fresh, anointed, humorous messages that demystify the Bible and make Christianity real. Judah has ministered at some of the largest and fastest-growing churches around the world, including, Lakewood Church, Hillsong, and Planetshakers. He is also the bestselling author of Jesus is ___. , Life is___., and other resources. Judah and Chelsea have three children, Zion, Eliott, and Grace; and live in Bellevue, Washington.

Gini Smith

Founding Pastor

Wendell and Gini Smith planted The City Church in the Seattle area in 1992. Since the passing of her husband in 2010, Pastor Gini continues to be actively involved as an elder in The City Church as well as ministering nationally and globally. As an elder and executive pastor, Pastor Gini led a staff of over one hundred employees in the development of a multi-site church that included seven campuses and numerous ministries. She is president of City Ministries, a non-profit organization that distributes food to over eight thousand people a week. She also established and oversees a foster care agency operating under City Ministries, and she led the construction of Rose Hill Cottages, a twenty-two home housing complex for foster care families. She has authored numerous articles, curricula, and books, and she is a board member of Northwest University. Pastor Gini’s life and ministry are characterized by relevant teaching, compassion for the poor, a passion for intercession, and a desire to see the church of Jesus Christ cover the earth.

Jon and Rose Smith


Jon and Rose Smith have been attending The City Church for 20+ years. They have been married for 17 years and are the proud parents to twin boys. Jon and Rose are passionate about raising up leaders in a new generation and see them affecting every aspect of our culture.

Donna Sandberg

Pastoral Staff

Donna has attended the City Church for over twenty years. She graduated from Seattle Pacific University with a BA in Christian Education. She’s married to Leon Sandberg, the Creative Arts Pastor, and has three kids: Kylie, who is married to Kramer Rasmussen (CYC Middle School Pastor), Eric, and Kelsey. She also has a black toy-mini mix poodle named Toby. She has a heart for young women and loves helping out with the Leadership Experience.

Kylie Rasmussen

Academic Director

Kylie has been attending The City Church for 23 years. She graduated from Northwest University after spending a year in the Leadership Experience. Kylie loves and believes in the training, heart, and experience offered. She loves the Pacific Northwest and her husband of 3 years, Kramer.