Study Assistant

Earl is committed to the principle that a one-to-one investment of an individual who is serious about a life of ministry has an exponential impact that is vital to the kingdom ministry of the Gospel.

“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believe…so that you may be equipped for every good work…[and] carry out your ministry fully.” (II Timothy 3&4)

A major goal of EPM is to have a positive impact on young theologians as they seek direction for Christian service in their lives.  To be a part of a young person’s journey during the “gap” year after graduation from college and before moving into the workplace is taken seriously.  The fundamental concept is that through immersion in ministry outreach the Study Assistant/intern is able to experience what the role of being a pastor entails and to use this experience in making future decisions related to “a call.”

The idea is to learn by “seeing” and by “doing.”  The Study Assistant participates in every aspect of program planning and implementation specific to all EPM events – Kindlings Muse; Theological Dialogue and Word and Worship Services.  Through the ongoing ministry of Earl Palmer, the Study Assistant is provided supervision, training, caring and intentional conversation in both informal and formal settings.  He also travels alongside to speaking/teaching engagements locally, nationally and sometimes internationally.  In addition, each intern is expected to have a leadership role in active ministry of his own choosing outside the scope of EPM.  These ministries range from leading a Bible study with a core group of university or high school students to an active role in a local church.  This experience allows the intern to carry out ministry beside that of a seasoned pastor with the benefit of interaction while doing so.

Chris Thurton, (2013-2014) describes this role in his own words:

“The role of the Study Assistant is a two-way street.  The position allows the Study Assistant to walk alongside Earl Palmer, and through observing and interacting we are able to learn from him.  At the same time the position provides a place to learn and to grow for young theologians as we are called on to help with the day to day aspects of ministry that allow Earl Palmer to focus on his study and writing.”

If you are interested in the Study Assistant position in 2018-2019 please email zach@earlpalmer.org for more details.

Current Study Assistant: Zach Pankratz


I heard about the study assistant opportunity near the end of this last summer. I didn’t know much about Earl at first, but I had been recommended for the position by a member of the community I trusted, and I had lived with the previous study assistant. Upon meeting Earl, and doing my own research, I was much more motivated to learn from a wise and experienced pastor such as Earl. I am very excited to help share Earl’s unique and brilliant perspectives, as well as learn about his methods of ministry.

I grew up in Bothell, Washington, and just finished my Bachelors in Physics from the University of Washington. I have been privileged to be a small group leader at Westminster Chapel in Bellevue for the past four years, and will continue in that ministry this year. The students I lead will be Juniors this school year. I also plan to lead a core group of students at UPC’s college ministry, the Inn.

During this year I hope to explore and come to a better understanding on my future goals. I want to utilize my capacity for scientific thinking that God gave me, and that I grew in college, but I also have a passion for helping people find healing from spiritual and emotional wounds, which could manifest itself in a future career as a counselor or as a pastor.

I feel very lucky to serve, watch, and learn from a man like Earl in this coming year, as I am further shaped and challenged by the Lord.

-Zach