Frequently Asked Questions
Our FAQ is split into three sections. Click on the individual questions in each section to see the answer.
What exactly is NETS and who is it for?
- What is the difference between NETS and other Christian colleges and ministry schools?
NETS is far more than just a ministry school. The NETS brochure gives details of the content of the programme and explains the ‘Hear-See-Do’ approach we have adopted. Not surprisingly, this has proven to be a highly valuable teaching model as this is how Jesus taught His disciples in the Gospels. Testimonies of previous trainees continually speak of the transformation in their personal lives and service for God during and following the programme. NETS seeks to impart the truth of the Word of God so that trainees can receive and understand it in their hearts as well as their minds. NETS is about letting the anointing of God outwork in our lives. It provides a unique opportunity to go deeper with God and to know Him better. Whilst attending NETS, trainees regularly say they experience a sense of family. Many testify to Pierrepont being a very safe place that feels like home for the duration of their stay. They feel included, loved, and accepted whilst living out Christianity alongside other like-minded brothers and sisters. There may also be challenges, but with them comes encouragement and unconditional love.
- Is NETS a Bible College?
NETS is similar to a bible college, but not in the normal way! It has often been described as a life transforming ministry school, where people testify to their lives never being the same again. We believe strongly in the truth of the Word of God and all teaching is Bible based. All the teachers seek to bring clear biblical foundations to every area studied including considerable attention to the foundations of our faith. NETS is not a theological college, but we do seek to explore how God’s Word applies to our lives today. There are over 25 different teachers on a typical NETS programme, and this adds to its richness.
- Is there a minimum requirement / qualification I need to have to attend NETS?
There are no educational or ‘spiritual’ qualifications required to join NETS. NETS is for born-again believers who love Jesus and have a heart to serve Him and others, following Jesus’ great commission (Matt. 28).
- Will I get a qualification upon completing NETS?
NETS will not provide you with any 'formal' qualification. However, we believe that God himself qualifies those He calls. You will often hear our centre director Jill Southern saying "God doesn’t necessarily call the qualified, but He certainly qualifies the called". NETS seeks to train and equip you to go into all the nations and do as Jesus did. With each stage all trainees will gain a certificate of completion, but more importantly, we hope you will be more equipped to fulfil the call of God on your life.
- Is NETS only for those in leadership positions?
Simple answer – No! Every NETS programme has a complete mix of trainees. Some will be pastors and leaders or already actively involved within their church, but many are not. NETS is for anyone who wants to be a disciple of Jesus and earnestly desires to go deeper with God. It is ideal for those who are not sure of their calling, but know God has a plan and purpose for their life.
- Do I need to be a mature Christian?
On NETS, believers of many years study, minister and fellowship alongside trainees who are comparatively young in their faith. In our experience we have seen each person receive richly from the Lord as they open their heart to Him. New Christians have found NETS the ideal place to start gaining firm foundations whilst more mature Christians have welcomed the deeper understanding of the truth of the Word of God along with the impartation of vital keys to help them be more effective in their ministry.
- Do I need to be a member of a church?
It is preferable for trainees to be a member of a church and to come with their church’s blessing. However, we recognise that in some circumstances there may be legitimate reasons why someone is not currently within a church family, and every situation is assessed individually according to the reasons given.
- Am I ‘spiritual’ enough?
If you are born-again and have a heart to walk in obedience to God, worshipping Him and seeking to do His will, then you are definitely ‘spiritually qualified’ to do NETS! Whether you have only been a Christian a short while, have recently come back to the Lord, or have walked with God for as long as you can remember – Jesus and NETS will welcome you with open arms. The Ellel Ministries team comprises down-to-earth spirit-filled evangelical Christians from many backgrounds and with different levels of maturity and spirituality. Pierrepont and NETS is a place for spiritual growth and maturity for everyone. It has been said that NETS stands for ‘Never Ever The Same!’
- Am I too old (or too young) for NETS?
What is too old?! Anyone of 18 or over is eligible to apply to attend NETS and there is no upper age limit! God has a destiny and purpose for each one of us. One of the amazing dynamics of every NETS school is the fantastic variety of nations, cultures, backgrounds and ages represented. The old and young can benefit and learn from one another and each person brings a special contribution to NETS. If you feel God is calling you to be equipped to serve Him then you are not too old to attend NETS. If you are concerned as to whether you can keep up the pace – why not talk to us regarding your personal situation and see if we can help.
What will I gain from attending NETS?
- Will it help me to find my calling?
If you are uncertain of your future and asking “What next Lord?”, then you will be in good company on NETS! Many attend NETS seeking God for direction and guidance and to find His call and purpose for their life. In our experience it is through the transforming power of God as a result of the teaching and ministry that trainees begin to know God’s call and destiny for them personally.
- How much practical experience do we get?
Practical experience of the teaching you receive is a fundamental and unique part of NETS. Just as you won’t learn how to drive a car sitting in the passenger seat, so it is vital to put into practice what you have learnt! Hence the ‘Hear-See-Do’ approach. Stage 1 introduces opportunities to pray for one another in group work and workshops, and to pray alongside our ministry team for people coming to Pierrepont for prayer. In Stage 2 the emphasis increases in putting into practice all that has been learnt to date. There are opportunities to minister to visitors on the Healing Retreats under the supervision of our Ministry Team. Additionally you can pray alongside the Ministry Team at Healing Services and during prayer ministry times on teaching courses. Church visits provide an excellent opportunity to be a part of a visiting Ellel team in the local church with involvement in all aspects of the visit, including the ministry team. The focus of Stage 3 is predominantly the practical experience to harness together all that has been taught on Stages 1 & 2. It provides numerous opportunities to gain confidence in every aspect of prayer ministry whilst under supervision and with help and advice available. Trainees minister on several Healing Retreats including a special 5-day retreat, conferences, church visits and on the mission trip abroad. Additionally there are opportunities to teach where appropriate. Stage 3 provides essential equipping and experience that is unique to NETS as you draw alongside the hurting and broken at Pierrepont, the local church and within a different culture abroad. Finally, on Stage 4 you will be encouraged and equipped in your specific calling. You will be partnered with a mentor to really work through, and work out what God is calling you to next. There will be specific teaching on leadership, running ministry events, and deeper insights into areas of ministry.
- Will there be any opportunity to receive any prayer ministry myself?
The primary purpose of NETS is to train and equip the body of Christ to help others. However, one of the most exciting things to watch on every NETS is the Spirit of God at work in people’s lives. We all have aspects of our past where God longs to bring His healing touch. It is through receiving healing that God liberates us from our past, so that we can walk securely in His Kingdom purposes for our future. Therefore, there are opportunities to receive prayer ministry and apply the teaching personally in your own life. For this reason every trainee is offered a Healing Retreat and many of the teaching units include a time of ministry. It is important to stress that NETS is not, however, for those who have significant unhealed areas in their lives. NETS is primarily about ‘giving out’ to others, thus requiring trainees who are generally stable in their own personal life.
- Will I get homework?
There is no formal homework, assessments or exams. Sometimes teachers suggest ideas for personal application and further study. We would recommend taking time out for assimilation on a regular basis.
- Are there any tutorial facilities?
On Stages 1 & 2 trainees meet every few weeks in small groups with a tutor. The purpose of these groups is to review the previous weeks teaching and raise questions or discussion relating to the subjects taught. Teachers will also give regular opportunities for questions during the teaching sessions. Stage 3 is generally a smaller group with frequent opportunities for open discussion and questions during the teaching. Stage 4 has one-on-one mentoring and smaller class sizes where trainees can interact more easily with the teachers.
- What pastoral care is available whilst I’m away from my church?
There are opportunities during some of the teaching topics for trainees to receive ministry but the NETS programme is not designed for those with deep personal problems who are seeking help only for themselves. The NETS office team are on hand during the day to sort out all practical problems. If personal issues arise, the NETS hosts, who generally stay with the trainees in the teaching hall, are there to help and encourage every day. The hosts are available to help you with any problems and concerns you may have. They also provide pastoral support as and when needed.
- Can I work at Pierrepont instead of paying the programme fees?
NETS is a full-time school for at least five days every week. We strongly believe in the importance of rest and encourage all trainees to take time out regularly to rest and relax. It is therefore not possible to work at Pierrepont as a means of ‘paying’ the school fees.
- I live locally – can I travel each day?
Yes, we have had many non-residential trainees attend NETS. It is, however, fair to say that there is something very special about staying at Pierrepont during the school. Many trainees find it of great benefit to detach as far as possible from their normal domestic situation and work responsibilities. Trainees also enjoy times of rich fellowship and fun together in the evenings and on weekends off.
- Can I earn money elsewhere whilst attending NETS?
We do not recommend trainees working in addition to attending NETS. This is God’s time for you to receive from Him and we strongly advise taking time off from work related commitments. Due to the nature of the timetable we cannot guarantee every weekend or evening will be free. We would strongly encourage those needing extra funding to pray and seek financial support for their time on NETS.
- Will I cope with the cooler UK climate?
We believe you will cope and adjust because to date every other trainee has coped regardless of how hot their homeland is. Over recent years we have seen a marked change in the UK weather. Winters (November – February) are milder and summers (May – September) are warmer. All Pierrepont’s buildings are warmly heated.
- Can friends and family visit me at Pierrepont?
We welcome the opportunity for you to have visitors, especially for trainees who are from abroad. We can arrange Bed & Breakfast and meals in the guest dining room at a very reasonable rate. Please note that this is subject to availability of accommodation and depends on what other courses are taking place.
- Can I bring my family?
Many trainees have come on NETS bringing their family with them. There are limited self-contained family flats available for the duration of the school. For the safety of the children it is a requirement that they are not left unsupervised and regrettably we are not able to provide any crèche or babysitting facilities. Families can bring another adult to care for their children during NETS sessions. Alternatively some families have opted for one parent to attend a NETS programme whilst the other cares for the children and then reversing the roles on the following NETS programme, thus staying at Pierrepont for the duration of two programmes. Families can either cater for themselves or collect meals from the servery (at an additional cost).
- Is Pierrepont a suitable place for children?
Set in 35 acres of beautiful grass and woodland Pierrepont could be described as a dream location for children who enjoy nature and the countryside. However, as with any open land there are natural hazards such as the River Wey, and it is therefore essential that children are closely supervised for their own safety by their parents or carer whilst playing. There is a swimming pool in the summer, tennis courts and ample room for ball games, etc. Locally, there are many attractions and theme parks suitable for children. Please note that due to the nature of the work that Ellel is involved in, the teaching sessions and meetings are not suitable for children under 18. Consequently, children may not attend NETS teaching or worship. There are occasional worship events and parties to which all the family are welcome.
- What about our children’s education?
Parents are responsible for their children’s ongoing education whilst at Pierrepont. Placements at local primary (5-11) and secondary (11-16) state schools are normally possible. The NETS office can provide application details. Some parents opt to home-school their children and we are happy for this to take pace within their accommodation.
- Will I be accepted?
Every application form is carefully and confidentially assessed by the NETS department. Additionally we require two references of character and suitability to attend NETS. Providing we feel you will benefit from NETS and are ready for the challenge, then we will accept you as soon as possible after receiving your application form, deposit and both references.
Taster days also provide a great opportunity to ask questions and to see for yourself what NETS is like. We run at least two taster days every year, click here for more details.
If you still have unanswered questions regarding NETS, please fill out our contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Alternatively you can call us Mon - Sat, 9am - 5:30pm (UK time) on 0044 (0)1252 794 060.