June - August

Mt. Rushmore National Monument

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Mt. Rushmore National Monument

​In the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota is a testament to America’s past, present, and future – Mt. Rushmore National Memorial. This park sees millions of visitors each year and provides the opportunity to interact with guests from all over the world.

The Faces of America

​This country’s rich heritage comes to life on the colossal faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln – forever carved into granite atop the mountain. Surrounding Mt. Rushmore are South Dakota’s rugged Black Hills and the nearby Custer State Park.

Camping, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and climbing are just a few of the many activities popular throughout the nearby cliffs, mountains, and pristine lakes. Rocky Mountain goats inhabit the steep cliffs within Rushmore’s Black Hills, as do deer, chipmunks, and turkey vultures among others.

What We Do

ACMNP in Mt. Rushmore 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 team in Mt. Rushmore is typically four ministry team members, all of whom serve in the same park location.

  • Summer placement only
  • Mentors available for seminarians
  • Catholic mass not available

Employment Information

Ministry team members seek employment from Xanterra at Mt. Rushmore restaurants and gift shops.

  • Area: 1.996 mi²
  • Established: ​October 4, 1927 (Construction Began)
  • Visitation: 2,437,800 in 2017

"As I sat there, spending time with God, I felt more and more refreshed by His presence and was encouraged to make it a goal to set aside an hour or so every weekend during school in which to spend time alone with God."

Nikaela G., 2014 & 2015

Mount Rushmore National Memorial, 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…

Apply Now

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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