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Where does the name "Galilee" come from?

The Galilee Program is named after the location where the Lord Jesus first called young men to be with Him and learn from Him as His disciples: “And walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ And they immediately left the nets, and followed Him. And going on from there He saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the boat with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and He called them. And they immediately left the boat and their father, and followed Him” (Matthew 4:18-22).

Location —

Southside Bible Chapel

4256 W Congress Street
Lafayette, LA 70506


Southside Bible Chapel meets in what was once a racquetball club. It is a 14,000 square foot building located on two acres of land. The facility has been reconstructed to serve as a meeting place for the church and a shelter with two dormitories for evacuees from hurricanes. The building has a dining facility that can seat a hundred people and recreational facilities that include two racquetball courts, a half-court basketball gymnasium, two tennis courts, a swimming pool, a small weight room, and men and women’s locker rooms.

The climate in Louisiana is subtropical. During the summer months, Lafayette is hot and humid, with an average high of 92° F (33° C) and an average low of 74° F (22° C). It has an average relative humidity of 77%. Rain is common with an average precipitation of 7 inches (17 cm) in July and 6 inches (14 cm) in August. Mercifully, Southside Bible Chapel is fully air conditioned.

When you meet the Christians fellowshipping at Southside Bible Chapel, be sure to thank them for their generous hospitality. Sunday services at Southside Bible Chapel are as follows:

  • 9:30 a.m. Worship and the Lord’s Supper
  • 10:20 a.m. Fellowship and Coffee Break
  • 10:45 a.m. Song Service
  • 11:00 a.m. Family Bible Hour

An Average Day —

When Christians spend time together in a program like the Galilee Program, teaching and learning is a two-way street: younger Christians learning from older ones; older Christians learning from younger ones. Paul speaks of this type of interaction, writing, “For I long to see you in order that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established; that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine” (Romans 1:11-12).


It’s wonderful. Our goal as Christians is to become like Christ and to live as He did to the glory of the Father. One of the primary ways by which the Holy Spirit accomplishes this in our lives is through discipleship. He uses those further along in the Christian life to nurture and instruct those who are younger in the faith. Such spiritual growth takes place naturally in a process of life-transference. It occurs during training in programs such as the Galilee Program as we spend time together, not just studying in a classroom, but eating meals together, going out to preach the gospel, dealing with problems that arise, praying together, serving one another, sharing blessings and sorrows, and talking late into the night. As is often said, the Christian life is more often caught than taught. That is why we will be spending a lot of time together, studying the Scriptures and serving the Lord. It is why the Lord Jesus called disciples and spent some three and a half years with them. The Bible teaches, “He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him” (Mark 3:14).
The Lord Jesus instructed His disciples to have a sense of urgency about their work for God. He taught, “We must work the works of Him who sent Me, as long as it is day; night is coming, when no man can work” (John 9:4). With this in mind, we want to pack as many training experiences as possible into the Galilee Program program. Because of this, an average day at the Galilee Program can be a bit hard to predict; and although there is a core set of material being taught, varying events, schedules, and circumstances require slight adjustments from year to year. The following is a brief summary of an average day for each of the two phases:

Here’s how it breaks down …

*Disclaimer: please note this changes from year to year and is constantly being refined.

Each day starts with wake-up and personal devotions at 7:00 am, with a formal breakfast together at 8:00 am in the dining room. Group worship, devotions, and prayer begin at 9:00 a.m. After this, the major block of classes begins, typically taking three hours.

During the first two hours, interns will learn inductive Bible study methods and apply them to the Book of Philippians. These include techniques for outlining a book of the Bible, finding its theme and purpose, identifying the independent clauses, labeling the functions of prepositions and conjunctions, writing a condensed paraphrase of the book, and much more. During the third hour, instructors will present nine keys to understanding the Bible. These include the importance of context, the historical-grammatical interpretation of Scripture, the differences between Israel and the church, and the dispensations of Scripture.

In the afternoon, men and women will meet separately for ministry skills classes. Here, interns will learn principles of ministering to others in various settings. These classes vary from year to year, but are typically comprised of public speaking exercises, pastoral tools, and critical thinking skills. These sessions will be followed by mentoring groups.

In mentor groups, students will meet in small groups with an intern staff leader. Here interns will go through a syllabus titled “Disciplines of the Christian Life” written by Jim McCarthy. It presents basic skills for the Christian life, including how to pray, memorize Scripture, meet with God each day, serve God through the local church, grow in character, and reach out to others with the gospel.

Evangelism is an important part of the training and spiritual experience of the Galilee Program. We will be reaching out to the community – both formally and informally – inviting people to join us for recreation on Friday nights and the teaching of God’s Word on Sunday mornings. There will be several class sessions dedicated to training and preparing for these outreaches.

Free time is when interns can set their own priorities and take care of personal responsibilities. Approximately fifteen hours each week will be needed for homework assignments. Interns can also use free time to relax, engage in group recreation, fellowship with one another, tour Lafayette and the region, go shopping, and take care of personal needs such as laundry. Some free time will be needed for service teams through which interns will help with the operational side of the program, doing things such as cooking, serving, and cleaning. And so, free time during the Galilee Program is not truly free, it is just less structured than other times. Weekends also allow for large blocks of free time, but much of this time is typically used for group outings, events, and outreaches.

Evenings are most commonly spent in what we call “P&I’s”, or praise-and-inspiration. After a long day of mental, spiritual, and emotional exercise, we set aside time just before bed to enjoy simple times of worship, singing, and personal testimony. In years past, we have spent this time in collective worship and hearing seasoned brothers from across the world Skype in to briefly share their most sincere passions. This time is meant to be a “change of gears” from the intensity of the day, and allow the interns to spiritually rest, refocus, and refuel. This schedule block has also been used in the past for open forums with the interns and leadership.

Here’s how it breaks down …

*Disclaimer: please note this changes from year to year and is constantly being refined.

Life as an Intern —

The Christian life is more about what we do than what we know. It is about character, conduct, and caring for others as Christ has cared for us. “This is My commandment,” the Lord taught, “that you love one another, just as I have loved you” (1 John 15:12). This is the highest standard. It is far higher than the “Golden Rule,” which states, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.


When we love others as Christ loved us, spending time together is great. And so, most of the time, living together during the Galilee Program will be wonderful, hopefully one of the high points in our Christian lives.

At other times, as we also know, being together is going to be a challenge. The problem is sin. “The flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please” (Galatians 5:17). At times we will all struggle, teachers and students alike. We are going to be tired. We are going to long for home or just some solitude. We’re going to want to set our own priorities, rather than adhere to the published schedule. We’re going to be cranky, touchy, and just plain ol’ selfish, rather than Spirit-filled.

Overcoming such sinful temptations is part of the training. We are going to have to learn to die to self in new ways, put others before ourselves, and yield to Christ in difficult circumstances. We are going to have to forgive one another, forget, and move on. It is all part of the process of becoming like Christ.

In an attempt to avoid known pitfalls and that “all things be done properly and in an orderly manner” (1 Corinthians 14:40), we have established some conduct policies for the Galilee Program. We hope you find them helpful and for the common good. Having stated them clearly in writing, our intention is to implement them with large doses of grace.


Below you will find the code of conduct for the Galilee Program. Please set aside time to review this and keep it in mind as you consider applying for the program. This list is not exhaustive, (there is no replacement for good common sense!) but we hope it captures the mindset we encourage in our interns. You may use the interactive module below.

Click the titles below to view their description

With fifty or more people residing in a relatively small building (see below for details), it is important that every consideration be made to contribute to harmonious living conditions. “Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5). Noise and loud talking should be kept at a minimum, especially after 9:00 p.m. when some may be sleeping. Cell phones should be kept on the vibration mode with ringers and tones turned off. Generally, music should be listened to through headphones. Times of group sharing and interaction is an example of when playing music aloud would be acceptable. Personal items should not be left lying around but kept neatly stacked beside one’s bed. Bathroom sinks should be left clean, in good, if not better condition, than when you found them. If you make a mess, clean it up. If you find a mess, serve others and clean it up. Volunteer and help when there is a need. Be a giver. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” (Mark 10:45).

Interns should think of themselves as stewards. A steward is a person to whom something of value has been entrusted. He or she is responsible to care for it and manage it. The Galilee Program interns have been entrusted with an opportunity for spiritual growth and service. If taken seriously, it will be life-changing. Consequently, interns should demonstrate diligence in all things. They should complete homework assignments on time and to the ability that God has given them. Homework assignments will require about fifteen hours’ work each week to complete. Interns should be prompt in their attendance. They should be men and women of their word. Scripture states, “It is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy” (1 Corinthians 4:2). Interns should apply themselves fully to the training and perform at the level to which God has gifted and called them, giving the Lord their best.

The Galilee Program brings together likeminded Christians. Sometimes romantic interests develop. When this occurs, it is usually best to commit the matter to the Lord in prayer and observe the person from a distance for a time. Interacting in group activities and sharing meals with others at the table is also a good way to get to know a person without making the individual feel uncomfortable or distracting the person from the focus of the program. Please also keep in mind that the Galilee Program is short, three weeks for Phase 1 and two weeks for Phase 2. Waiting for the training to end before pursuing new  romantic interests is recommended.


At the same time, we do not want to be unnecessarily restrictive. It is a matter of personal choice if individuals wish to share private conversations together, spend free time together, or get to know one another on a personal level. All such interaction, however, should be honoring to the Lord and not a distraction to the individual’s participation in the Galilee Program.


It is also reasonable that those who are married, engaged to be married, or already involved in a committed relationship with another participant would want to sit together during meals and spend free time together. Again, however, they should not let their personal time together become a detriment to the development of new relationships with other Galileans or become a distraction to their academic work and ministry.
Married couples wishing to participate in the Galilee Program have two options for living arrangements.  They may choose to find housing accommodations (airbnb or motel) on their own.  (The housing expenses will be in addition to the $600 fee to cover food, transportation, and training materials.) Alternately, married couples can live separately for the three weeks of the program at the chapel with the other interns in the male dormitory and a female dormitory. We are sorry but we cannot accommodate children at the program.

Interns must dedicate themselves solely to the training. They are not allowed to participate in other educational programs or to hold jobs during the three-week course. This is necessary so that interns can make full use of the opportunity before them for spiritual training. Minor exceptions to this policy will be made in cases where interns are involved in professions requiring minimal work to maintain their jobs and for students who must go online to register for Fall classes or to attend to the administration of their education.

Again, this is a matter of focus. During the three weeks of the training, we ask all to concentrate on building solid relationships with one another, completing homework assignments, and following through on ministry and service responsibilities. To accomplish this, we will all need to significantly restrict input from outside sources, such as social media, websites, email correspondence, telephone calls, and the like.

Some is okay. It is our intention to provide broadband WiFi Internet access throughout the building. Its primary purpose is to assist interns with research related to homework assignments and ministry activities. Interns may also use it for limited email correspondence. Given the large number of people who will be using the service, all are asked to keep downloading at a minimum. The system should not be used for viewing movies, listening to music and radio stations, video chatting, Skype, and similar activities that require large data transfers.

As much as we would love to meet your family and friends, we are unable to accommodate visitors to the program. Please do not invite family and friends to visit you during the training. Special circumstances will be considered. Please do not, however, invite anyone without prior written approval.

Scripture reminds us that though we may plan for tomorrow, we have no control over what tomorrow will bring. “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow, we shall go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.’ Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and also do this or that'” (James 4:13-15). And so, we must trust God for the outcome of the Galilee Program. It begins with the application process. Trust God to lead you whether or not to apply. Trust Him to provide the necessary funds. Trust Him to give you favor with your employer to get the time off. (You might emphasize that this is a leadership development program. Employers are usually more favorable to such training as they know it will make you a better employee.) Trust God to enable you to fit in with the group, to apprehend the information, to develop ministry skills, to give you courage for public speaking, and to use you to His glory. Should things not go as we plan, should we run into trouble or adversity, trust God to work all things together for good (Romans 8:28).

Interns should be aware that at all times that they are representing the Lord before the saints and the community of Lafayette. The Christian culture of this part of the country is among the most conservative in the nation. Interns should respect it at all times. Additionally, people will expect a higher standard from interns than from other young Christians. Consequently, immodest or countercultural hairstyles and clothing should be avoided. In all things, interns should keep Paul’s exhortation to Timothy in mind: “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.” (1 Timothy 4:12).

With this in view, men should be clean shaven. Hair should not be long. Beards and mustaches should be neatly groomed. Beards and mustaches may not be started during the program. Ponytails, earrings, and other body piercing should not be worn by males.

Women should be well-groomed and dress modestly. Earrings may be worn. Other visible body piercing is discouraged.

During instructional times, (Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.), men should wear collared shirts, slacks, or nice jeans, and dress shoes. Polo shirts, golf shirts, and sweaters are acceptable. Cargo pants, camo pants, short pants, T-shirts, sweatshirts, and the like are not allowed. Clothing should not be countercultural or excessively tight or baggy. At the Sunday services of the church, men should wear dress shirts and preferably neckties. Suits and sport coats are optional. Dress shoes, casual loafers, and the like should be worn. Athletic shoes, work boots, and flip flops are not acceptable during this time.

Women should wear modest dresses, skirts, slacks, or nice jeans with blouses or tops with sleeves.  Dress shoes, casual loafers, dress sandals, and the like should be worn. 

Though a city with a population of only 120,000, Lafayette has a high crime rate. It is comparable to that of much larger cities such as New Orleans. Southside Bible Chapel is located in one of the better neighborhoods of Lafayette. Nevertheless, students and staff should always be vigilant. When going out, it is best to travel in groups rather than alone. A logbook will be kept near the front door of the building. Students and staff are asked to sign in and out when departing and re-entering the facilities so that we have some means of keeping track of everyone.

All are also asked to observe a curfew and to be in the building from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. each day. Doors to the building will remain locked after dark.

Is there anything else I need to know?

Oftentimes, Christians want to serve the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, but they don’t know what that looks like for them as individuals. Other times, they simply don’t feel up to the task. At the end of the Galilee Program, our hope is that each intern will have a better sense of God’s calling on his or her life and be better equipped to enter into it. At the conclusion of the program, interns should:

  • be able to use intermediate level, inductive Bible study methods
  • be able to employ a number of keys for interpreting the Bible in a sound and balanced manner
  • have a sense of God’s overarching purpose for creating angels and mankind
  • understand the New Testament concept of discipleship
  • be stronger in prayer and worship
  • be able to recite several verses on the character of God
  • be having a consistent and meaningful personal time with God
  • understand the importance of the church in God’s present work in the world
  • have grown in Christ-like character
  • have become more skilled in personal evangelism
  • have acquired several skills for ministering to others
  • have grown closer to God and to one another

There is so much more we would like to tell you, but we need to start the application process. If you apply and are accepted into the program, we will send you more information and answer all your questions. To help you decide whether the Galilee Program is right for you, we want to tell you little more about the program, namely the location, how to get there, how to contact us, what we believe, and how to apply.

Want to explore the program more?

It can be really hard to fully grasp what the program is like until you see it with your own eyes. If you feel the Lord leading you to apply to the program, but need a better sense of what it’s like, below you will find the Galilee 2022 Recap Slideshow. Underneath the video player are links to older videos on youtube as well, and a link to the Handbook section of this site. Although that section is intended for interns accepted into the program, feel free to explore it if it helps in any way.