Get your questions answered by reading our Frequently Asked Questions below. Not seeing your question? Give us a call at 303-220-2808, and we would love to answer that for you! Get ready, because you are about to apply for what our alum refer to as their “hardest, yet best summer”! Do you have what it takes?
Who are we looking for?
Applying to Serve on a Ministry Team
After you have prayed about ministry with ACMNP, your first step is to apply online for a Ministry Team Member placement in one of the national parks where we serve. We cannot begin to consider you for an opportunity until we have an application, so get this in as soon as possible!
In the application process you can list any park preferences you may have. While we take this into consideration, placement decisions are based on dates of availability and current team and park needs.
Applying for Employment in the Park
If you’re offered a Ministry Team Member placement from the ACMNP National Office, you must then apply separately for paid employment in your assigned park location. Don’t worry, we will guide you through this process!
What Will This Cost Me?
Ministry Team Members will actually earn an income through seasonal employment with private park hospitality companies (concessionaires). Room and board is provided at minimal cost and differs by national park location and employer. You will find quickly that living in a national park is very inexpensive, and most team members walk away with $2500-3000 in their pockets by the end of the summer and even more in the winter! Additionally, seminarians enrolled in a seminary or theological graduate program will be eligible for a $2,000 scholarship stipend ($3,000 for returning seminarian leaders).
There is a $350 Program Fee that covers your training, a leadership assessment, coaching, ministry materials, mid-season support, and a post-season debrief designed to help transition from and process your ministry time in a park. Returning alum have a reduced Program Fee of $275. Some team members choose to raise support to help cover these costs. We can provide you with a fundraising manual upon accepting a placement if interested.
ACMNP’s ministry in the national parks is a specialized effort and presents unique challenges. Therefore, every Ministry Team Member is required to attend an ACMNP National Training Conference. This training event is covered by your Program Fee. Please note that Ministry Team Members are responsible for transportation to/from the training and the national park where they will serve.
Need Financial Help?
The Program Fee ($350) and ministry related transportation costs are important mission expenses! Ministry Team Members are welcome to pay these costs on their own. If funding is an issue for you, we are here to help. Upon request, ACMNP will provide a basic fundraising package that can be used to seek prayers, encouragement and financial help for your ministry. Please reach out with any questions or concerns, as we do not want finances to get in the way of this ministry opportunity. Ministry Team Members will be blessed as others invest in their ministry! Inquire here for more information!
What is Next?
When you click the “Accept the Call” button…
For more information on training and support in your assigned park location (including training requirements), click here, check out our parks pages, or call us today at (303) 220-2808.
How can I be considered for the Advanced Leadership Development Program (ALDP)
Are you interested in having a more in-depth leadership experience while serving in the park? Every year, we select 12-15 applicants to join our Advanced Leadership Development Program (ALDP) to supplement their seasonal experience in the park. Everyone is welcome to apply. You can learn more by visiting www.acmnp.com/aldp.
Do I have to reapply if I’ve already served with ACMNP in the past?
We are thrilled that you are interested in applying to serve with ACMNP for an additional season. You will find that the skills and experiences you acquired during your first season in the park will set you up well for an incredible season of ministry. We ask that even our alum resubmit an application, 3 references, and the application fee each season due to the application changes and the way we track our applicants and Ministry Team Members. Your Program Fee will be reduced to $275 instead of $350. We are excited to see your application come in and work with you to determine a great fit! If you have questions, please let us know!
Is there an age requirement?
Approximately 95% of Ministry Team Members are college or seminary students, aged 18-30, but we place team members outside of this demographic every year. We focus on developing the leadership skills of our team members for a lifetime of ministry and service. All ACMNP team members are required to be a minimum age of 18, as employers will not hire anyone younger. We do not recommend placing anyone who is 18 and has not lived away from home for less than a year.
Can married couples and/or families participate?
We welcome married couples to serve with ACMNP in park locations where married housing is available for concessionaire employees. You can see these locations in the national parks portion of our website under each park’s “Employment Information” section. If applying as a married couple, we will need an application and three references for each spouse. Please indicate on the application that you are applying with your spouse. We are rarely able to accommodate children in the parks. If you have your own housing (RV), then it may be a possibility.
Do I have to raise support? How much money can I expect to earn?
No, you do not have to raise support…however, it is strongly encouraged! We can help! As with other short-term mission experiences, you will have ministry related expenses. These include the Program Fee and your transportation to/from your assigned park location.
Your friends, family, and home church want to invest in your summer ministry! You have the opportunity to ask for encouragement, prayers, as well as financial help. Allow others to bless you with their love and generosity!
One unique thing about this ministry is that Ministry Team Members actually earn an income through working paid jobs for private concession companies within each park. Most positions earn the state minimum wage or just above for a generally 40 hr/wk workweek. With the low cost of housing and meal plans, ACMNP team members can typically expect to walk away with up to $2,500-$3,000 by the end of the summer. Working in national parks makes for an easy money saving environment!
How do I get to my park?
Typical ways of getting to the parks include driving, flying, train, or by boat. Although bringing a car is not required, it is extremely helpful to have in many remote parks. We highly encourage as many team members to bring vehicles as possible! Having a car allows team members to easily reach their worship site, visit other locations and other team members, explore the far reaches of the park, visit nearby towns, and offer rides to build friendships with other coworkers and peers.
Some concessionaires make special arrangements to pick up employees from specific airports and on specific days of the week. You should arrange all employment and transportation details/dates with your employer before purchasing a plane ticket.
Can I request to be placed in a particular park?
The application provides an area for you to provide a description of the types of national parks you are interested or specific parks you hope for. Although we take this into consideration, we cannot guarantee that one of your requested locations will be offered, and we ask that you be open to praying about an alternate opportunity should one be offered. Decisions are based on dates of availability, current team needs, employment possibilities, park personalities, and a variety of other factors.
Can my friend/boyfriend/girlfriend/fiancé and I be placed in the same location?
Friends or those in a relationship can request to be at the same park location. We do require that if placed together, they participate in all group activities, avoid cliques, and be very intentional about being inclusive with the rest of the team. Please make your request known on the application. ACMNP does not allow co-habitation for unmarried couples. We typically will not place more than two people together in the same location to encourage personal growth and new friendships. If more than two people are applying together, we may consider placing them in the same park at different locations within.
What does a typical day look like?
A typical day with ACMNP in the parks involves a blend of work, witness, and wilderness! We ask that your job take first priority, so most days will involve working eight hours depending on employer scheduling needs. Ministry commitments come next and involve formal team preparation for your weekly Sunday worship services and informal activity planning to build relationships with your coworkers, internationals, and fellow residents. A typical day also involves exploring your park with others as you encounter God through hiking, camping, backpacking, kayaking, biking, slack lining and more!
What is the length of an ACMNP placement?
Ideally 90 days of availability between Memorial Day and Labor Day, through August 20th or as late as possible. On occasion, we have parks that are willing to work with shorter dates, so feel free to apply with your longest availability and we will let you know what options may exist. Those who can stay into September and October have broader options for park placement and are given priority during the placement process.
Those interested in serving on the winter season must be available a minimum of 4 months between September and May. Preference will be given to those who are able to stay at least Thanksgiving through Easter, as this is the busiest season and greatest employee need in the parks.
Is room and board provided?
Will I have any free time?
YES! When not working or engaged in a ministry activity, everyone is free to explore their park! The only limits are each team member’s imagination, time management skills, and energy level. As employees of private businesses inside the parks, team members often get discounts on boat or bus rides, tours, and equipment rentals.
Can I do ACMNP as an internship for school?
Due to the fact that we recommend our team members for employment, we ask that they be willing to accept whatever position the employer offers to them. Thus, internships can be challenging if they are employment dependent. If an internship is possible, it will be up to the student to understand and implement their internship requirements. Students should first check with their school’s Field Education Office or specific internship department before notifying the ACMNP National Office. We cooperate with each school’s requirements and procedures to award academic or internship credit as it is available.
What happens after I’m accepted?
After being offered an ACMNP ministry placement, you will receive information on how to apply for paid employment through your assigned park’s concession company. You will also receive information on training requirements, including attendance at our mandatory training conference in the spring. For more information, click here.