Candidates for ELCA ordination are required to complete a 12 month, full-time internship in a congregation or a combination agency-congregation site, under the supervision of an experienced pastor. The purpose of internship is to facilitate the development of vocational skills and pastoral formation. Supervising pastors work with students in the various areas of pastoral ministry and reflect with them about their learning and growth in regular supervisory sessions.
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.