May - August

Badlands National Park

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Badlands National Park

Badlands National Park will surprise you both in beauty and exploration. It will leave you in awe and wonder at how such a unique place is found here on Earth.

​Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover

Perhaps overshadowed by its popular neighbors, Custer State Park and Mt. Rushmore, Badlands National Park is home to some very unique topography including ancient soils, sharp spires, and deep canyons. When traversing its interesting terrain, it can feel like another planet!

Named long ago for its lack of agricultural use, people from all over the world now come to adventure in and explore the geological formations and grasslands of the park. It was once home to ancient mammals like the rhino, while today, bison and big-horned sheep roam its prairies. Those who come to worship with us will find it easy to praise the Creator of this beautiful land for his masterful craftsmanship.

What We Do

ACMNP in Badlands provides:

  • Christian fellowship activities for visitors, residents, and employees
  • Leadership development for ministry team members and seminarians
  • Positive relationships among seasonal co-workers and internationals
  • Pastoral care during emergencies

Ministry Team Member Information

Our summer team in Badlands is typically 4-5 ministry team members, all of whom serve in the same park location.

  • Summer only
  • Mentors not available for seminarians
  • Catholic mass in Rapid City (1.5 hours away) for interested team members

Employment Information

Ministry team members seek employment from Forever Resorts at the Cedar Pass Lodge.

  • Area: 350 mi²
  • Established: January 29, 1939
  • Visitation: 1,054,325 in 2017

"It’s going to be hard, but He rewards us in ways that we never expect. This lesson made me persevere in following what I believe God was telling me to do. I have grown intentional about asking God to prepare me for His callings, and I will always expect the unexpected from God."

Carly K., 2016

Badlands National Park, SD

Park Experience FAQ's

What to Expect

Are you ready for an adventure of a lifetime? You have come to the right place. In addition to having a national park as your backyard, you will have the opportunity to engage in meaningful and important ministry efforts. National parks, although beautiful, are remote and challenging locations.

Can I choose my park?

While we cannot guarantee that you will get your top preference, we do consider your requests as we assemble teams. There is a section of the application where you will be able to list your top three park preferences.

If we are not able to offer you the park of your choosing, we will suggest an alternate park location that might fit with your interests and team needs. We ask that you apply to ACMNP for the ministry experience more than the park location, and we will do our best to find a good fit.

As you can imagine, team assembly is a complicated process. Every team member placement has to take into account employer needs, team needs, dates of availability, various ministry logistics, and applicant interests. We appreciate your flexibility and openness through this process. Trust us, by the end of a summer with ACMNP, every team member claims their national park as the best national park. There really is no bad placement!

What does a typical week look like?

One of the greatest ministry opportunities you will have is through your seasonal employment. Working 40-hours each week through the local hospitality concessionaire gives you the opportunity to get to know and work alongside those within the community. Not only does your employment provide you with an income, but working in this context gives you credibility for your ministry as you become friends with people who may have negative associations with Christians. That said, a big portion of your week will be your job, which is also a significant part of your ministry.

Can I apply with a friend?

Yes, you can absolutely apply with a friend! You will find a section on the application to indicate who you are hoping to serve with, please be sure to list them there.

If you are applying with a group of people, we would strongly encourage you to separate into pairs, and spread out into multiple parks. The experience is typically much stronger when you are serving on a team with new friends from different backgrounds. Not to mention, groups of friends serving in multiple parks generally enjoy sharing their experiences and encouraging one another from across the parks.

Who are we looking for?

  • Mature baptized followers of Jesus Christ.
  • Can affirm the principles of the Apostle's Creed, a common statement of faith.
  • Men and women, generally 18-30 years of age, who desire to grow as leaders and experience a challenging ministry adventure.
  • Ability and willingness to partner with people from different Christian backgrounds.
  • Ability and willingness to interact relationally with co-workers and park visitors of different faiths, backgrounds, and cultures.
  • Summer availability of at least 90 days, through August 20th or later (as close to Labor Day as possible).
  • High level of commitment to ministry and calling.

What will this cost me?

Ministry Team Members will actually earn an income through seasonal employment with private park hospitality companies (concessionaires). Additionally, seminarians enrolled in a seminary or theological graduate program will be eligible for a $1,500 scholarship stipend ($2,500 for returning seminarian leaders). 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 usually walk away with $2500-3000 in their pockets by the end of the summer!

ACMNP's ministry in the national parks is a specialized effort and presents unique challenges. Therefore, every ministry team member is required to attend the ACMNP National Leadership Conference. There is a $25 application fee to process your application, and a $275 participation fee to cover training, program, and season expenses. Some team members choose to raise support to help cover these costs.

Please also note that Ministry Team Members are responsible for transportation to/from the leadership conference and transportation to/from the national park where they will serve.

Embark on this experience of a lifetime

You are just a few clicks away from a life-changing season in a national park! Can you hear the call? What are you waiting for…

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Join an experience that will transform your life

The Lord said, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

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