The focus during the first year is for interns to know their internship experience is personal & unique to them. The time, effort, and work put into their process is what determines the outcome they will have. The first year is all about DISCOVER because it is a discovery process where interns learn about self-leadership, who they are and the unique greatness they have to bring.



One Year (Three full-time trimesters)



Associate’s Degree in Leadership Studies



*Please note: During your first year, there is a non-refundable initial payment of $1000 that is required before you can begin school. This amount goes towards your overall tuition in your first trimester.

One year at ELI consists of 3 full-time trimesters (12 week segments)

  • Trimester 1 – $2,000
  • Trimester 2 – $2,000
  • Trimester 3 – $2,000

Total Cost: $6,000



72 Total Completed Credit Hours

15 Total Classes (5 classes per trimester)

215 Hours of Ministry Time

396 Hours of Serving

1 Two Week Missions Trip

Weekly Extracurricular Activity



In the first year interns will build a basic foundation of how to lead while serving in ministry. Through choosing an Area of Study to intern in each trimester, students will be given opportunities to learn leadership skills and learn the heart of ELI. These areas include:

  • Worship
  • Media / Production
  • Administration
  • NextGen Ministry (Students & Young Adults)
  • Kids Ministry



Each year ELI travels within the USA or abroad as a part of the learning agenda. There will also be additional trips as well as conferences that will take place within a year.



During the first year, interns learn to DISCOVER who they are in God, as well as learn about:

  • PURPOSE: Many individuals join ELI not knowing they have purpose. We believe and teach interns that they have a unique calling and God has a great plan for their life. The primary lesson in the first year is, “you have a unique fingerprint that nobody else has, to leave an imprint nobody else can leave for God.” (Keith A Craft).
  • IDENTITY: Interns will discover who they are in God, that God made them unique, and how to begin to let God shape their future. They learn to take ownership in deciding what kind of man/woman, friend, and leader they want to be personally, and honor who God created them to be.
  • FORGIVENESS & FREEDOM: Interns discover what is keeping them from growing and they are given opportunities to choose to let go of anything that would hinder who God has called them to be. This kind of discovery leads them into freedom as well as forgiveness and into their best life.
  • GIFTS, TALENTS & PASSIONS: Through serving opportunities, classroom settings, and daily interactions – interns discover what their passions are, what their gifting’s are, and how to leverage as well as develop their gifts and talents for God’s Kingdom.
  • CORE VALUES: We teach students core values and show them how to begin to live a life that most matters, because they will be able to know what matters most in their life and to God.
  • SELF-LEADERSHIP: Interns will be taught how to lead themselves and create a life of self-discipline so that they are able to effectively lead other people in the future.
  • CONFLICT RESOLUTION/MATTHEW PRINCIPLE: A key principle of ELI is the ability to address conflict in a biblical manner. This principle can be found in Matthew 18:15-17. We call it the “Matthew Principle.” In applying this leadership process, interns are able to create healthy intimacy and stronger relationships with people around them.
  • FIRST TEAM: “First Team,” is the idea that ELI (the people/process/and requirements) come before anything else while attending ELI. A way of thinking that is not selfish – but from a leadership perspective. We like to say, “Whatever we do, we do together, and as one goes, we all go!



  • 72 Credit Hours of Classes
  • Complete Tuition Requirements
  • No Failed or Incomplete Grades
  • Participate and Complete 1 Two Week Missions Trip
  • Finalize and Complete Gym Tracker
  • Fill out an Associate’s Degree Application

“For the Lord God is a sun and a shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”

  PSALMS 84:11