The School of Kingdom Writers isn’t just a Christianized version of some secular program, it’s a dramatically original, powerful way to train up media influencers.
The conventional approach to become a writer is to complete a 4-year humanities program and then attend a 2-3 year Masters of Fine Arts Creative Writing program. More than 20,000 students each year will enroll in one of these MFA programs.
These programs have become very effective at enrolling large numbers of students and churning them through an educational process. Over two or three years, students spend a lot of time talking and listening to market antithetical ideas of how to write but very little time actually writing, usually with no saleable material produced over the term of the course.
And it just doesn’t work. Far less than 1 percent of individuals who complete an MFA program will actually make it as novelists or professional writers. 2-3 years, with a cost as high as $100,000, for a less than 1% chance of success isn’t a good deal.
Of 32 authors who occupied the New York Time’s Bestseller’s #1 spot for Fiction in 2017, only one holds an MFA. Owen King, the sole MFA on the list, earned his bestseller rank with Sleeping Beauties, a book he co-wrote with his father, Stephen King. Stephen King does not hold an MFA degree.
This system is broken. Mass education isn’t effective for the arts. These programs are sold as something it’s not with intentionally misleading expectations, and it’s wrong.
Our model takes twelve students per year and teaches through small group sessions and one-on-one counseling. We’re not interested in enrolling and graduating as many students as possible, we’re interested in our students truly internalizing and applying the concepts that will make them effective in their ministry.
Our students will learn by doing. Over the course of the two year program, students will develop a novel-length work of fiction, a small collection of short stories, a personal brand with active social media following, and a copywriting portfolio, at the minimum. Beyond this work, students will execute projects unique to their individual calling, which could include non-fiction writing, podcasting, blogging, or further development of the novel craft.
Our students will show up forty hours per work, and under expert guidance and supervision they’ll perform the same types of work and tasks they’ll need in order to be successful in the real world. This isn’t about endless discussions of theory or an idolization of the arts, this is about learning the discipline of work and the hard skills that make or break professional writers.
Before the age of mass education in which we currently live, artists were taught as apprentices, in a model very similar to the School of Kingdom Writers model. Young artists (writers, painters, sculptors) with promise connected with proven artists for years or a lifetime, learning at their side.
In addition to expert guidance and training, peer critique is a critical element of our program. As students are creating work under the tutelage of their instructors, they’ll also be subject to regular peer review and feedback. Students will learn to effectively criticize and improve each other’s work, and in so doing will develop the skill to self-evaluate.
This is not a secular creative writing program with a Christian gloss on it. This is a radically new model for training writers. We’re not interested in moving a high number of students through our program, we’re interested in developing writers who can get real results for the Kingdom of God, reaching and changing American hearts and minds for Jesus.