3. Ministerial Immersion (Internship)

Following 1. Ministerial Fieldwork and 2. Critical Reflection on Praxes of Ministry, the third component is Ministerial Immersion, also known as internship.  (All ELCA candidates must have a positive Endorsement decision from their synodical candidacy committee before they can be assigned.)

Internship is a grand opportunity for ministerial candidates to experience the full scope of pastoral or diaconal ministry in an assigned setting, under the supervision of an experienced pastor or agency leader, and with the guidance of a selected lay committee.  Opportunities include worship leadership, regular preaching and/or teaching the faith, relationships across the spectrum of ages, pastoral care and visitation, administration; and, as much as possible, participation in significant life events such as baptisms, confirmations, weddings and funerals.

Following are sections with information specific to ELCA MDiv students, MDiv Students from traditions other than Lutheran, ELCA MAML students, and MAML Students from traditions other than Lutheran.

ELCA MDiv students will immerse themselves in an assigned parish-based setting, under supervision, for twelve months, normally beginning around August 1st of their third year (cf. ELCA Candidacy Manual). Students desiring an exception to this 3rd year pattern must obtain written permission from their synodical candidacy committee.

To facilitate the assignment process, second year students with unrestricted mobility will participate in a spring “Matching Workshop” for supervisors and prospective interns on the Gettysburg campus.

ELCA second year students who are geographically restricted (in the judgment of their synodical candidacy committee) will work with the Director of Contextual Formation to identify a site and establish a workable congregational internship with supervision.  It is important to note that, in this situation, it is likely the congregation will not be able to pay the normal stipend, etc.; and supervision may be provided by an off-site pastor.

Important dates

Ministerial Immersion Important Dates

ELCA MDiv Students

Manuals

Evaluation forms

MDiv Students from Traditions Other than Lutheran

For MDiv students from traditions other than Lutheran, great flexibility will be allowed in providing the student ways to be immersed in the leadership and workings of a congregation. The student will work with the Director of Contextual Formation to establish an appropriate setting, with the student initiating the contacts with both the prospective supervisor and with the Director.

The primary emphasis of internship will be the student’s growth into the degree program’s stated competencies (cf. Academic Catalog).  Normally, a MDiv internship cannot be completed in less than eight months of full-time work; but the duration of internship is dependent upon the student’s ability to fully demonstrate the competencies to the supervisor, lay committee, and oneself.  Written evaluations are conducted at four points in the internship, giving the intern a clear picture of her or his progress.

Ministerial Immersion Evaluation Forms

Intern

Supervisor

Lay Committee

MAML Internships

MAML students will immerse themselves in a ministry setting to allow them to develop and demonstrate competencies for a number of established outcomes.

For ELCA deacon candidates this is accomplished through an assigned internship (cf. ELCA Candidacy Manual) in consultation with the Director of Contextual Formation.  The seminary must depend on the initiative of the candidate to identify a prospective agency/institution/program which could provide a fitting and appropriate internship experience, given the candidate’s specialization in ministry.  The Contextual Formation staff can then explain the seminary’s expectations for supervision with the prospective site, if necessary, and seek its partnership.

Ministers of Word and Service operate at the interface of church and society.  As a result, they must understand the dynamic relationships within and between congregational and societal systems, providing leadership in connecting these systems.  Internship placements will reflect the range of diaconal purpose and still be specific to the candidate’s unique specialization(s).  Each internship assignment will also include a significant engagement in a congregational context.  With all these pieces, there must be flexibility on the part of all the partners in choosing and approving internship sites.

An approved internship will normally consist of a minimum of 1,000 documented contact hours or approximately nine months of full-time work.  Various ministry experiences may be arranged sequentially and/or concurrently to achieve these hours.

MI Internship Application Form - ELCA students

ELCA Word and Service internship learning covenant and evaluation forms can be downloaded at the following link:   http://www.elca.org/Resources/Candidacy#Internship

Candidacy Checklist for Deacon Candidates

For MAML Students from Traditions Other than Lutheran (and for Lutherans who are not candidates for consecration), internship can be accomplished in a variety of ways that involve immersion into the leadership roles of a ministry setting.

Students will discuss their occupational aspirations with the Director of Contextual Formation and then work with the Director to establish an appropriate internship.  Great flexibility will be allowed in providing the student ways to be immersed in the leadership and workings of a congregation and/or a service agency.  The primary emphasis will be the student’s growth into the degree program’s stated competencies (cf. Academic Catalog).

Normally an MAML internship cannot be completed in less than six months of full-time work; but the duration of internship is dependent upon the student’s ability to fully demonstrate the competencies to the supervisor, lay committee, and oneself.  Written evaluations are conducted every two months, giving the intern a clear picture of her or his progress.

MI Internship Application Form - Other Traditions

MI Internship Student/Site Agreement form - Other Traditions

Ministerial Immersion Evaluation Forms:
Intern

Supervisor

Lay Committee