An internship can be one of your most important seminary experiences as you discern your gifts and call to ministry. Your internship should include a broad range of ministry experiences which align with your vocational aspirations. Important elements of an internship include a mentoring relationship, participation alongside you by lay leaders and Field Education personnel, and theological reflection and integration. During your internship you will be prepared to serve as competent and spiritually sensitive ministers in the Christian church at home and abroad. Therefore, a minimum of one semester of internship will be in the congregational context.
Your internship must involve pastoral supervision and colleague participation(laity committee, cohort groups, Field Education office, etc.). Supervisors and mentors must be people who will take seriously, even be invigorated by, the mentoring and supporting roles. Such support persons should be consistently and intentionally present for consultation and encouragement. Your ministry setting must also provide constructive evaluation and space for self-reflection.
Your internship should be a paid internship that cultivates personal and professional investment for both you and the ministry setting. Interns should not be considered cheap labor to serve the church. Instead, this is an opportunity for you to practice gifts and skills, and for ministry leaders to invest in your pastoral formation. It is understood that several churches who would benefit from an intern, and are prepared to be learning communities for students, are not financially able to pay for a student’s services and could consider other alternatives of compensation. The Field Education staff can provide information concerning pay scale, mileage, and other cost items.
All internship placements must first be cleared with the Field Education office to assure that the internship fulfills the requirements of your degree. All necessary internship forms should be requested directly from the Field Education office in the basement of Nyvall Hall.
Student Internship Requirements
- You must submit a signed Internship Agreement to the field education department at the beginning of your internship. This form initiates the following important items:
- A welcome letter from the field education department to your supervisor, containing pertinent information regarding their responsibilities for your learning experience
- Registration for your internship credits, which can be done up to two weeks after the first day of any semester. Students who do not submit their Internship Agreement in time to be registered at the beginning of a semester will be registered for their internship credit in a subsequent semester. Students will not be registered after the second week of the semester.
- Master of divinity (MDiv) students are required to complete 8 credit hours of internship, which can be accomplished in one of the following ways:
- Two full-time semesters, earning 4 credits each semester by working a minimum of 30 to 40 hours per week
- Part-time over four semesters, earning a minimum of 2 credits per semester, working 15 to 20 hours per week
- Master of arts in Christian formation (MACF) students are required to complete 4 credit hours of internship, which can be accomplished in one of the following ways:
- One full-time semester, earning all 4 credits by working a minimum of 30 to 40 hours per week
- Part-time over two to four semesters, earning 1 or 2 credits per semester by working 15 to 20 hours per week
- You are required to participate in online classroom discussions with other NPTS students currently enrolled in internship residency experiences. Reflection questions are posted each month for cohort discussions, and are designed to generate personal and community reflection, provide feedback to your learning experience, and develop collegiality and listening skills among peers. Each of these are important skills that will be practiced throughout your career.
- You must submit a report at the end of every internship semester, or a final evaluation at the conclusion of all internship residency credit requirements. This will be done through the online classroom tool (Moodle). This required report is a valuable tool for reflecting on the semester’s experiences, re-evaluating your goals, and identifying your strengths and areas of growth.
Internship Facilitator/Community Requirements
It is your (the student’s) responsibility to schedule regular meetings with your supervisor to review responsibilities, reflect on ministry experiences and learning goals, and to evaluate work. The supervisor must submit the following:
- Confirmation that they have read your end-of-semester report
- A midpoint evaluation
- A final evaluation
Laity Committee Members (MDiv Students only)
It is your (the student’s) responsibility to schedule and lead the meetings with your lay committee in order to elicit feedback concerning your ministry. Invite them to offer insight about your particular placement, reflect on your work, and pray with you. This committee will be one source of evaluation for your internship. Their feedback gives you a more holistic view of your ministry. The Laity Committee members will submit the following:
- Each will complete a Public Witness/Sermon Evaluation
- A laity committee midpoint evaluation
- A laity committee final evaluation
Spouse (if applicable)
Your spouse will share their observations about the internship experience at the mid-point and at the end of your internship. You are encouraged to see this as a forum for your spouse to express their feelings about ministry and to offer their insights. Your spouse will submit the following:
- A midpoint evaluation
- A final evaluation
Some students desire to complete a full-time internship prior to their first year of academic study on campus at North Park Theological Seminary. This option may be particularly useful to MDiv students, and could be in a congregational setting, serving as camp pastor, or other specialized ministry settings. For more details, please contact the Field Education office.