Soma School

About Soma School

Soma School is a robust, Gospel-centered missional ecclesiology immersion which exists to see pastors, planters and leader thoroughly gripped by the gospel. Soma School also attempts to cast a vision of re-orientation of church priorities toward saturating cities with the presence and power of Jesus.

We believe God is calling and preparing many pastors, church planters, and leaders today to bring about gospel saturation in their communities through word and deed. Overall, 4-5 days immersed in our church and working through our ecclesiology, we hope that participants leave more in love with Jesus, more convinced of the power of the Gospel and better equipped to lead disciple-making gospel communities on mission in everyday.

The Soma School experience is about total immersion in the gospel, including classroom training, life-on-life discipleship, missional service and Sunday gathering. This training is experienced in the context of living with Soma families, partnering with existing missional communities, and practicing leadership while serving the city with a missional heart.

Soma School is no longer 7 days. Several leaders over the years have requested a shorter, drivable Soma School. In 2018, we are shifting to a 4-day Soma School format for the following reasons:

  • The original format, (7 days + distance travel) has proven overly time-consuming and expensive for many potential participants. It prevented many from attending who strongly desired to do so.
  • We now have more equipping content available than ever. Informal survey’s to begin Soma School have shown that the vast majority of participants have already worked through much of the Saturate and Gospel Fluency content. This started to make a couples of the days to feel unnecessarily redundant.
  • Because we are doing 5 Soma School in 2018, they are considerably more “drivable” than they’ve been in the past, opening up participation to a much larger group.

The 4-day Soma School format only works if participants come in with a decent grasp of the fundamental concepts. All Participants must compete the Saturate and Gospel Fluency requirement with an optional #3 if you are adding the Leadership focus day.

  1. Participants must either read -Saturate by Jeff Vanderstelt -OR- attend a Saturate EveryDay event -OR- work through the Saturate Field Guide by Jeff Vanderstelt and Ben Connelly
  2. Participants must read Gospel Fluency by Jeff Vanderstelt -OR- attend a Gospel Fluency event -OR- work through Gospel Fluency Handbook by Jeff Vanderstelt and Ben Connelly
  3. Church Leaders for +1 Leadership Focus, Participants must (Local leaders provide pre-work)

Some of what you will learn and experience while you are with us:

  • The Story of God:  You will begin to see the Bible and the redemptive, restorative work of God in a whole new way, seeing the gospel through the whole biblical narrative.  You will also learn how to communicate and teach in new, dialogical methods.
  • Identity & Rhythms:  What is the Church? How should we live? Soma Communities is formed around the gospel, our new identity in Jesus and the rhythms in which he and his followers lived. We will dig deep into these realities.
  • Building a Missional Community:  We will discuss how Soma has begun to live in communities of people who are united around a common, local mission. Also, how these communities are local expressions of Jesus and his church in the world, living out the gospel in all ways.
  • Gatherings:  You will gather with the Soma family in smaller missional communities, larger gatherings and spend time just being with us in community.
  • Sacred Space:  Bringing beauty and restoration to our community is one of the ways we display and experience the gospel. Together, we will spend a day restoring a public space in or around Tacoma (be sure to bring some work clothes).

Click here for an example of a Soma School schedule.

Click here to see the Soma School notes and to get an idea of what we will cover during a week at Soma School.


  • Soma School Los Angeles, CA  |  April 20-24, 2018  |  FULL  |   Email [email protected] to be added to the Wait List
  • Soma School Spokane, WA  |  May 18-22, 2018    |  FULL  |  Email [email protected] to be added to the Wait List
  • Soma School Chesapeake, VA  |  July 12-16, 2018  |  FULL  |  Email [email protected] to be added to the Wait List.
  • Soma School Nashville, TN  |  November 9-13, 2018   |  FULL  |  Email [email protected] to be added to the Wait List.



Since we’re not putting on a conference, but opening up our lives to share what we’re learning, space is limited. To steward these limited resources well, our goal is to see Soma School be very effective for equipping church planters and pastors toward leading churches that make disciples in missional communities in the everyday. Ideal applicants are lead planters or lead pastors who bring along with them 1 or 2 key leaders (3 max from one team).

After we review your application, we’ll email you registration instructions. Note that spouses must apply separately.

Please apply only if you can make it for 100% of Soma School.

The cost is $500 per person, including a $150 deposit. If you bring a spouse, add only $250 more. Deposits are non-refundable if you cancel within 90 days of Soma School.