The southwestern Colorado Plateau is home to the first national park set aside by the National Park Service to “preserve the works of man.” If you’re fascinated by history, archeological finds, and ancient desert cultures, then Mesa Verde is your place to go!
The park’s cliff dwellings and stone village ruins of the Ancestral Pueblo people date back to 600 A.D., have been immaculately preserved, and are magnificent to view. Explore the ruins and learn about the 21 Native American tribes who trace their heritage back to this mesa, or hike among the surrounding sandstone canyons and mountains to high elevation views of the “Four Corners” – Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and Colorado.
Popular activities in and around Mesa Verde include historical cliff tours, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, soaking in hot springs, rock climbing, and mountain festivals and concerts. Mesa Verde is home to many rare animal species such as the threatened Mexican Spotted Owl. Other wildlife you may encounter includes coyote, fox, black bears, mountain lions, bobcats, elk, and mule deer.
ACMNP in Mesa Verde provides:
Our team in Mesa Verde is typically two to four team members due to its remote location in southwestern Colorado.
Ministry team members seek employment from Aramark at Farview Lodge or Farview Terrace café.
"My summer between the ministry, work and off days, I learned about what the true nature of Christian brothers and sisters is. I have learned what healthy relationships between friends look like, who I am as an individual, and that God always has better plans. We may not have had many people show up at our events and services, but those who God did bring to us were thankful and felt that we made a huge difference. So, for me, that was enough."
Mesa Verde National Park, CO
What should I 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?
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 $2,000 scholarship stipend ($3,000 for returning seminarian leaders). If you are interested in our Advanced Leadership Development Program, you can earn $1000 through your participation. 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 $2500-3500 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 Training Conference. There is a $350 program fee to cover training, program, and season expenses. We have a reduced fee of $275 for returning alumni. 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 training conference (Estes Park, CO April 12-14, 2024 or Indianapolis, IN May 10-12, 2024) and transportation to/from the national park where they will serve.
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…
The Lord said, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”