Covenant Presbyterian Church - Charlotte, NC

pastoral residency program

about our pastoral residency program


This two-year residency program welcomes seminary graduates who hold particular promise as pastors and wish to develop their ministerial skills in the context of a supportive multi-staff environment.
The three residencies are: Mission & Outreach, Congregational Care and Education.

The Residency program at Covenant is unique in design, allowing the Resident primary responsibility in their respective area while enjoying support and guidance from supervising staff. Our four weekly worship services of multiple styles grant a plethora of opportunities for worship leadership. In addition, the Residents’ bi-weekly meetings with the Senior Minister provide a safe environment in which to explore vocational issues and to clarify pastoral experience.

Covenant is a mission-minded congregation that embraces innovations as we live out our calling to love God and each other. We have been blessed with consistent growth in our worship attendance, membership and mission endeavors,
and are committed to responding to the Spirit’s call as we discern how best to serve in the future.

With our location in the thriving Dilworth neighborhood on the edge of uptown, Covenant responds to the spiritual needs of people from many walks of life. Our steeple graces the skyline of Charlotte, reminding us and our neighbors we are loved by God and called to share that love. Our main entrance, open to all, bears the words, "To the Greater Glory of God” reminding us why we are here.
Mission & Outreach
The resident will work collaboratively with the Director for Mission and Outreach to accomplish the ministry goals of the Mission and Outreach Committee, with a three-fold emphasis: missional, pastoral, and vocational work.

Congregational Life and Care
The resident will work collaboratively with the Senior Associate Minister for Congregational Life and Pastoral Care to accomplish the ministry goals of the Congregational Life Committee, with a three-fold emphasis: programmatic, pastoral, and vocational work.

Education
The resident will work collaboratively with the Associate Minister for Education to accomplish the ministry goals of the Education Committee,
with a three-fold emphasis: educational, pastoral, and vocational work.

meet our current residents

Molly Smerko

Education
Molly was born and raised in Wilmington, North Carolina, but calls Raleigh home. She graduated from Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina with a B.A. in Religious and Ethical Studies and Spanish. She earned her M.Div from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. She has served at several Presbyterian churches in North Carolina and Virginia and completed her clinical pastoral education (CPE) at UNC Rex Hospital in Raleigh. Molly is passionate about journeying with people of all ages and stages through the joys and complexities of life. When not at church, Molly can be found walking around her neighborhood with her sweet but rambunctious German Shepherd puppy, Ginny.

Serenitye Taylor

Congregational Life and Care
Serenitye has a passion for being in loving community with others. Her interest includes pastoral care and chaplaincy. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in English and is a recent graduate of Union Presbyterian Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree. She has served as a volunteer for Hospice in Rock Hill, SC as well as a Chaplain intern at Atrium Hospital. Serenitye believes that it is a privilege to serve alongside others and with those in need.

Nikki Zimmermann

Mission & Outreach
Nikki was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia before heading to UNC-Chapel Hill for undergraduate studies. After college, she moved to Nashville, Tennessee as part of the 2016 Teach for America Corps where she taught 6th grade ELA. From Nashville, Nikki moved to Princeton, New Jersey to begin her studies at Princeton Theological Seminary. During her third year in the Master of Divinity program, Nikki served as the Pastor of Sunday Worship at Kingston United Methodist in Kingston, NJ. When she is not at church, Nikki can be found on a bike ride, a run, or reading on her Mezzanine porch.