Candidates for ELCA ordination are required to complete an internship in a congregation or a combination agency-congregation site, under the supervision of an experienced Rostered Minister. The purpose of internship is to facilitate the development of vocational skills and and professional ministerial formation. Supervisors work with students in the various areas of ministry and reflect with them about their learning and growth in regular supervisory sessions.
Candidates for the ELCA Word and Service roster are requried to complete 1,000 hours (6 months full-time) in an internship setting. Candidates for the ELCA Word and Sacrament roster are required to complete 2,000 hours (12 months full-time) in an internship setting. Non-ELCA students seeking ordination will work with their accrediting body and the Directory of Contextual Education to determine the appropriate setting and number of hours. Students not pursuing ordination should speak to the Director of Contextual Education about this degree requirement.
The internship lay committee also meets regularly with the intern and is involved in the preparation of the intern for ordained ministry. Periodic and cumulative evaluation reports are submitted to the Contextual Education Office by the supervisor, intern, and internship committee. As part of the expanded opportunities for the M.Div. degree program, students complete their internship in the fourth year (after the equivalent of three years of coursework). Students who are required to do a third-year internship will be accommodated.
A workshop is held at the beginning of each academic year for students who anticipate going on internship the following year. This workshop provides information from the contextual education office detailing the process of internship placement, deadlines for applications, a calendar of required workshops and events, and any other information pertaining to internship. Students are encouraged to be in contact with the contextual education office with any questions they might have about internship.
Lay Committee Training Video