What is internship?
At Luther Seminary, internship is a core integrative experiential learning component of the formation of Christian Public Leaders. It is a required component of the core curriculum for:
- All MDiv students at Luther Seminary, and
- Students affiliating with Luther Seminary for ELCA candidacy requirements.
Internship is also a key component for ELCA candidacy. Candidates for both Word & Sacrament and Word & Service would consider internship after they have been Endorsed with their Synod. While internship is not a core curriculum requirement for our MA program, a Word & Service student could plan to do internship at Luther as an elective to fulfill candidacy requirements.
Internship provides leadership experience under the supervision of a pastor or non-profit ministry leader who serves as a contextual educator.
Its dual aim is:
- To be a developmental process of vocational formation, and
- To assist with growth in competence in the various skills of ministry practice.
During internship, students will:
- engage in the role of a christian public leader
- participate in a full range of ministry and professional experiences,
- hone their knowledge and skills in proclaiming God’s promises of love and reconciliation
- lead and support the development of new programs and worshiping communities
- equip communities to love and serve their neighbors.
ELCA International Horizon Internships:
The ELCA has an International Horizon internship program for ELCA MDiv students with a potential opportunity to have their ministry shaped by ministry and witness in the world. It is an intensive and transformational opportunity, which aims to enrich the talents and skills of future rostered leaders for the ministry and mission of the ELCA. More information is located on the contextual learning and ELCA websites.
One-year/full-time internship (for Lutheran candidates)
Students of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and other Lutheran denominations are required to fulfill a full-time, one-year internship in a congregation (or its equivalent; see below).
Two-year/half-time (for Lutheran candidates)
Students of the ELCA and other Lutheran denominations may explore half-time options in conversation with the Office of Contextual Learning, candidacy committee, and seminary advising team. This option is called a concurrent internship, which is served half-time over two years in a congregation.
Two-semester/part-time (for ecumenical students or students not participating in a candidacy process)
This two-semester course includes spending a minimum of 12 hours per week in an internship context. Other students with specific denominational requirements for internship can contact the Director of Contextual Learning to discuss ways of meeting these requirements.
Internship and coursework
Students on internship are encouraged to take classes alongside their internship experience. Ideally, courses would intersect with work in the internship context. Students are expected to consult the Office of Contextual Learning and their internship supervisor in planning and implementing a proposed course schedule and its interaction with the internship context, keeping in mind existing seminary, internship, and personal obligations. Other conversation partners may be one’s candidacy committee and seminary advising team. Contextual Learning strongly recommends a guideline of no more than 1.0-credit per term during a one-year/full-time internship.