Soma School Training

During Soma School you will get to pray for and serve our cities, study the biblical and theological foundations of Soma Communities, reflect on the incarnational responses to the needs of our region, and live with us as family (warts and all) as we learn to embody the gospel as a community.

We will host you with members of our family and you'll get to experience their rhythms of life as well as getting many different snapshots of Soma in both urban and suburban settings.

This experience is for individuals, particularly church-planters, that desire a deep understanding of the Gospel Identity and Rhythms in which we live.

Apply for Soma School

See which Soma churches are hosting a Soma School this year at


Soma School Resources

To make the experience the most worthwhile, for you and for us, we strongly recommend you read both of these books before Soma School: Total Church and The Prodigal God.

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.)
By Timothy Keller
By Tim Chester, Steve Timmis

Registration Information

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 who will then equip others in the gospel, community and mission. Soma School is not tailored for folks in a "traditional" church setting who are hoping to transition their small groups to missional communities, but it's geared specifically for those planting churches that see gospel communities living on mission as THE primary organizing structure of the church. Ideal applicants are a lead planter who brings along 1 or 2 key leaders who are currently planting or about to plant a new church (3 max from one team).

We will fill each Soma School with church planters first and if there is space, accept others who are interested in learning from Soma's experiences.  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 total 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.)


Each Soma School usually fills up months ahead of time, so complete your application early.  

Typical Soma School Schedule


Travel to Tacoma  
Reception 4:30 - 5:30pm
Dinner 5:30 - 6:45pm
Introductions 6:45 - 7:30pm
Vision 7:30 - 8:30pm


Story of God 8:45am - noon
Network Tacoma Trip 12 - 2pm
Story of God cont. 2 - 5pm
Visit Missional Communities* or with hosts* 6 - 9pm
Optional pub night 9pm - whenever


What is the Church? Identity & Rhythms 8:45am - noon
Lunch 12 - 1pm
Processing/reflection 1 -2pm
Practical ministry presentation 2 - 2:15pm
Identity & Rhythms cont. 2:15 - 5pm
Visit Missional Communities* or with hosts* 6 - 9pm


Strengths of Dialogical Teaching 8:45 - 10am
Gospeling the Heart (4 G's) 10 - noon
Lunch 12 - 1pm
Processing/reflection 1 - 2pm
Gospeling the Heart (4 G's) cont 2 - 5pm
Songwriters' Showcase 7:30pm - whenever


Sacred Space* (physical work in the community) 9am - 3pm
Dinner / evening with hosts 5pm - whenever


Soma Tacoma gatherings 9 - 10:30 am or
11:15am - 12:45pm
Choose your own adventure...
  • Sightseeing in Seattle
  • Visit a Missional Community
  • Time to rest/reflect
  • Pub night
1pm - whenever


Building a Missional Community

8:45am - noon
Lunch 12 - 1pm
Processing/reflection 1 - 2pm
Q & A and closing thoughts 2 - 5pm
After Party including host families 7:30 - 9pm


Travel home  

Soma School Audio, May 2013