Summer Internships "Calling" College Students
Did you know that the Center for Clergy Excellence offers a College Pastoral Intern Project (CPIP) for students ages 18-24? Gifted young persons interested in ministry are matched with host churches each summer for this win/win leadership opportunity. Read how to participate as a host church or intern.
“My internship experience unlocked a power within that manifested an awesome wonder,” shares Kayleen Bokassa. “I set sail on a voyage with Christ to rediscover my identity in Him and through Him. The waves were a bit rocky, but as we approached the shores, the new discoveries were transforming. For that, I’m honored to never see the world the same way again. He truly is in everything!”
The Texas Annual Conference developed the CPIP to help college students discern their gifts and graces with regard to ministry. Michelle Hall, Associate Director of TAC’s Center for Clergy Excellence is passionate about encouraging a diverse group of gifted young candidates to enter ministerial service in the Texas Annual Conference. “While the final application deadline is several months away, I want our local congregations to begin to identify and encourage persons with appropriate gifts and graces, and an interest in serving God and the church to participate in our internship program next summer.”
Ideally, applicants have attended at least a year of college and have prior mission and ministry experience. Applications and three reference letters can be submitted as early as November 15, but must be in no later than February 14. Interns attend an orientation retreat May 15-16, followed by their “summer of service” assignment within the TAC, supervised by the local pastor. A second retreat is held July 23-24, allowing interns to reflect on their experiences and possible next steps.
“The effect CPIP has on participants is amazing,” says Joshua Smith, a student at Wiley College. “I would recommend it to any young person trying to develop a great relationship with God, and wanting to expand their knowledge on the works of the church. I found it to be powerful and relevant.”
In addition to identifying students, churches play another important role by hosting students for summer ministry across the conference. Host churches typically agree to provide the interns with housing (if needed), mentoring, and a full range of exposure to all facets of ministry. According to Michelle, interns are sent to serve local churches for several weeks each summer, and receive a stipend for their work. “They connect with one another at orientation and reflection retreat gatherings, and, at the end of each summer, students return to college not only with local church experience, but with relationships designed to sustain them throughout their lives.”
Why Host an Intern?
Rev. Marty Vershel and Parkway UMC decided to host an intern “to make sure he/she had a great experience and that the intern felt loved, welcomed and valued.” Adds Marty, “We watched our intern grow in his faith, join in everything that was going on at our church with everything he had to offer. About half way through the summer he shared with us that he felt that he was being called to further his education and spend more time being a disciple. At the end of the summer he was overwhelmed with what he learned about himself, his faith and where he was going. This is the reason to mentor these young leaders.”
This work falls within the Clergy Recruitment Ministry Area of the Center for Clergy Excellence, chaired by Rev. Elizabeth Duffin. For more information on the project or how your church can apply to become a host church, contact Barbara Eoff at firstname.lastname@example.org