Ministry Internship Program, sponsored by the Office of the
College Chaplains and the Lilly Vocation Discernment Initiative,
provides students who are considering a vocation in Protestant
church ministry with an opportunity for hands-on supervised
ministry during either the summer break or the academic year
in congregations and other faith communities in Worcester
or within easy driving distance of Worcester. Some of these
students are considering a vocation in ordained ministry;
others are considering ministry as laypersons.
Most of the Protestant
ministry internships are done at local congregations. Depending
on the interests of the student, another ecclesial setting
may be chosen.
Type of Work
The internship is designed to provide the student
intern with hands-on experience in pastoral ministry. Possible
areas of work include (but are not limited to) youth ministry,
music ministry, religious education, outreach, community
building, visitation to hospitals and homebound parishioners,
prison ministry, peace and justice work. While administrative
duties are an expected part of any ministerial activity,
the internship is not intended to provide local churches
with primarily clerical or administrative assistance. Examples
of work done by students in the Protestant Ministry
Internship Program could include:
- organizing and teaching at Vacation Bible School
- visiting elderly and homebound parishioners
- youth ministry work
- helping parish children to organize a community service
- making house calls to new immigrant families in the neighborhood
- updating and organizing congregational census information
- facilitating sessions and organizing data for a diocesan
pastoral planning project
- participating in bereavement support meetings
- making preparations for fall classes in the religious
- organizing summer day trips for young and elderly parishioners
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What Previous Interns Have Said
About Their Internship Experiences
"At the weekly staff meeting, I have been able to see how the church
is run, from scheduling difficulties to fundraisers and
capital spending campaigns to bulletin typos. A large
church with a large congregation requires a great deal
of work, planning, scheduling, patience and love."
"I was invited to the deacons' meetings, in which we discussed
proposed renovations. Funding the renovations that the
church is currently undergoing is a great effort, and
really extraordinarily interesting. I've learned a great
deal about church loans and capital campaigns and the
like, all of which has been quite new to me."
"Every other meeting I've been lucky enough to attend has taught
me a great deal about the operation of a church and the
role of the minister. Refugee outreach, Stephen ministry,
the Knitting Circle, Wednesday Night Live, Vacation Bible
School Planning - they've all been so interesting and dare I say it, exciting.
I've been very fortunate."
"Pastoral visits have been eye-opening. Having never gone before,
my first experiences were very powerful and a bit surprising.
Caring for the sick and lonely, caring for the lost Ė its such an important
aspect of a minister's job.
Even just performing a small service and providing communion at a nursing
home can create an impact. No matter what I end up doing or being in this
life, I know that I want to and will help people. Ministering to not only
the healthy and secure, but also to their less fortunate counterparts,
may be just the way to do so, and to make a lasting impression
on the world. I truly believe that through making the
lives of others better, I too will become a better person."
"I've realized that I know next to nothing about being a minister.
There are so many undiscussed, unrecognized responsibilities
and aspects of life that most people donít even bother to acknowledge.
My director is intent on making absolutely sure that this
internship exposes me not only to the general requirement
of being a minister, but the personal hardships and joys
as well even down to living in a parsonage."
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Summer internships are for 10 weeks
of full-time supervised ministry. Full time is understood
to mean an average of 40 hours per week. Because of the nature
of church ministry, it is expected that the hours may include
weekends and/or evenings, and these times are considered
part of the 40 hours per week. The internship experience
should include training in respecting one's need for time
away and avoiding the temptation to work beyond 40 hours
per week on a regular basis. The pastor/site supervisor and
the intern will come to an agreement about the specific weeks
and hours, and these will be listed in the contract. The
internships may not start before final exams for the spring
semester have ended, and they must end by the start of classes
for the fall semester.
Internships during the academic year are for five to 10
hours per week. The pastor/site supervisor and the intern
will come to an agreement about the specific hours, and these
will be listed in the contract. Academic year internships
begin with the start of the fall semester and end with the
completion of the spring semester. Normally, the intern does
not work during College holidays.
- Interns will sign an internship contract before commencing
their internship and it will be countersigned by the pastor/site
supervisor and the Director of the Protestant Ministry
- Interns will complete a learning goals worksheet before
commencing their internship.
- Interns will meet with the site supervisor on a regular
basis. Summer interns will meet with the site supervisor
on a weekly basis.
- Interns will participate in two on site meetings with
the Director of the Protestant Ministry Internship Program
and the site supervisor during the course of the internship.
- Interns will submit brief reflection papers on their
internship experience and the development of their sense
of vocation to the Director of the Protestant Ministry
Internship Program. Summer interns will submit reflection
papers every two weeks for a total of five reflection papers,
and academic year interns will submit reflection papers
twice a semester.
Summer interns are required to participate in the Chaplains' Office
Internship orientation session (usually a weekend afternoon
in the late spring semester), a midsummer reflection session
at Holy Cross, and an end of the summer wrap-up session at
Site Supervision of Interns
The pastor or another member of the pastoral staff of the
parish or other faith community is designated as the site
supervisor for the student intern. The site supervisor is
expected to meet regularly with the student intern, providing
guidance on the work to be done, providing direction and
feedback to the student's ministry, and sharing his/her wisdom
and experience in ministry. The site supervisor will be asked
to provide an evaluation at the end of the internship.
Supervision from the Chaplain at Holy Cross
supervisor from Holy Cross will provide an orientation
for the intern before the internship begins and will be in
contact with the student intern and the site supervisor periodically.
Two on-site meetings are held with the Chaplain supervisor,
the site supervisor and the intern. The Chaplain supervisor
is available to the student intern and the site supervisor
throughout the internship for questions or in the event
of any problems.
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Pay, Housing and
Student interns are responsible for arranging their own
transportation to and from the internship site. During summer
internships, interns are also responsible for finding their
Summer interns are paid $400 per week, for a summer total
of $4,000. Interns are responsible for securing the signature
of their site supervisor on their time card each week and
delivering or mailing the time card to the Holy Cross Controller's
Office. Academic year interns are paid $8.00 per hour, and
are responsible for completing a time card each week in the
Holy Cross Chaplains' Office. Pay is fully taxable,
and interns need to complete a W-4 form and other College
financial paperwork with Accounts Payable at Holy Cross.
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The internships are open to Protestant
sophomores, juniors and seniors. Exceptional first-year students
will be considered on a case by case basis. Male and female
students may apply for an internship.
The deadline for receipt of applications for summer Protestant ministry internships is in January.
Interested students must complete
the application and submit it with a copy of a recent Holy Cross transcript.
After an initial review of the application, potential internship
candidates will have an interview with the Director of the
Protestant Ministry Internship Program. If the Chaplain supervisor
feels the student is a good candidate for the internship
program, then arrangements are made for the student to interview
with the pastor (or other potential site supervisor on the
pastoral staff) of a parish or other faith community that
is interested in hosting a student intern. If, after the
interview, the pastor (or other potential site supervisor
on the pastoral staff) and the student intern agree that
this is a good placement for the student intern, then the
Chaplain supervisor at Holy Cross will issue a contract to
be signed by the pastor/site supervisor, the student intern
and the Chaplain supervisor at Holy Cross.
Following the interviews, students are conditionally
accepted into the internship program pending
successful placement at a parish or other ecclesial
setting. The Director of the Protestant Ministry Internship
Program will contact area parishes to identify an appropriate
placement. At that time, the student will interview with
the pastor and/or other supervisor at the site. If the
pastor or other site supervisor and the student agree that
this would be a good placement, then a contract will be
drawn up and signed by the pastor or site supervisor, the
student, and the Director of the Protestant Ministry Internship
Program. Conditionally accepted students may be asked to
interview at more than one site.
Download the Application form:
Internship Application .pdf
(requires Adobe Acrobat Reader: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html)
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For more information, please contact Virginia Coakley, Asst. Chaplain and Director of Protestant and ALANA Ministry, at 508-793-2429.
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