All Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry students are required and have the opportunity to complete an internship. Prior to entering the internship year, all students will have completed the Identity, Spirituality and Vocation required course.
The internship requirement is normally fulfilled in the second year of study, but can take place any time after the first year of the degree program. The internship itself involves a nine-month placement in which the student works under the close guidance of a site mentor and an evaluative committee called the “Teaching Committee.” During this immersive learning experience, student interns will work with their site mentors, teaching committees, and faculty advisors to discern with greater clarity the nature of their vocational goals, and expand their capacity to integrate the academic work of the classroom with practice in a public context. Students may elect to do more than one internship during their degree program depending on their vocational aspirations.
Masters of Divinity Students
In the spring of the first year, or the spring semester prior to starting the internship, students will:
- Schedule an internship interview with the Office of Vocation and Formation and complete an Interview Inventory form. Students will receive a calendar of dates and times when interview appointments are available. The Internship Interview Information form must be completed 48 hours prior to the interview appointment and submitted electronically to the Office of V&F.
- During the interview, students will discuss their vocational goals and potential internship locations. If the student has a current position in a church or an agency that can be expanded as a suitable internship placement, this will be considered at the interview. The Office of V&F also has a list of potential sites aligning with the four vocational tracks of the M.Div. degree program, and will assist the student in connecting with a mentor at one of those sites. If a suitable site is not yet listed on the placement opportunity list, an appropriate placement will be identified and cultivated by the Office of V&F.
- Prior to beginning the internship year, all student interns are required to attend a Healthy Boundaries/Sexual Ethics Awareness workshop. These workshops are offered free on campus; dates and times are shared with student interns well in advance.
- Once a suitable placement is located, the Office of V&F will introduce the student to the potential mentor to schedule an interview. Some placement sites and denominational authorities will have specific requirements and processes the student must follow in order to become an intern; the Office of V & F is an ongoing resource for the student intern in negotiating these external procedures.
Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry
MATM students will follow the same procedures and expectations as M.Div. students when completing a yearlong internship. However, MATM students may also satisfy the internship requirements with the following certification programs as they align with the student’s vocational pathway:
- Clinical Pastoral Education
- Justice Ministry Education
- College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy
All student interns (other than MATM student electing to do a certification program) will also register for the Leadership Seminar.
This important document is composed early in the semester, and serves as the internship contract for the academic year. It includes both the responsibilities of the student in the placement setting and the student’s learning goals. This document invites the students to take responsibility for their own learning by clearly stating what they want to learn through the process. It is contractual in nature, but can be adjusted throughout the year with consultation among the student, mentor, teaching committee, faculty advisor, and the Office of V&F agreeing to the change. It also contains the terms of employment, including dates of service, remuneration).
To assist students in the process of vocational clarification that is central to this experiential learning program, students must be exposed to the multiplicity of tasks and opportunities facing the religious leader practicing in context. Administration and budget planning, building relationships in the community, pastoral care, education, worship, outreach ministry and spiritual formation are some areas in which our students need experience and guided reflection if they are to become better able to offer leadership in the future.
This broad exposure will help everyone involved in the evaluation process of the program to be better informed about the student’s abilities and aptitude for ministry.
Students are expected to meet with the site mentor each week for a 60 to 90 minute mentoring session. The purpose of these sessions is to assist the student to think critically about their leadership skills and effectiveness in both secular and theological terms. Also, constructive observation and criticism of the student’s ability to appropriately and effectively address the goals and outcomes indicated on the Learning Serving Agreement should be discussed during these sessions.
The Teaching Committee, made up of three to four people in the placement setting, meets with the student monthly throughout the academic year. The teaching committee may take other than the standard form depending on the composition of the staff or congregation of the internship site. These variations can be made in conversation with the Office of V&F. The Committee meetings serve as feedback and observation groups offering the student intern constructive criticism and caring support. The Teaching Committee can also reflect on the intern’s progress, and reconsider the goals originally developed for the Learning Serving Agreement. This agreement can be changed throughout the internship year as the intern progresses or goals are met.
One of the primary means of growth for an intern is the evaluative process. Theologically understood, evaluation is a process of both assessing the performance of the student in the internship context, encouraging the student in places of challenge, and offering constructive observation and criticism.
Students are evaluated twice during the academic year by the mentor and the teaching committee. The December and April meetings of the Teaching Committee are to be set aside to do an overall evaluation of the student’s work to date.
Internship sites participating in the Vocation Internship Program agree to offer the following:
- Support and honest feedback to the student serving in the setting
- Monthly meetings of a Teaching Committee organized at the beginning of the academic year
- Weekly sessions with the site mentor and student intern
- Collaboration with the student intern in developing the final form of the Leaning/Serving Agreement
- Evaluation forms completed by teaching committee members, site mentors and student that are returned to Drew after they are discussed with the student
- All interns, site mentors, and teaching committees are expected to conform to the behaviors and boundaries set forth in Drew University’s Title IX and Human Rights policies. These policies are found in the Vocation Internship Manual.
The Vocation Internship is a paid position. Paying student interns for their work on site not only honors the time and work of the student, but also confirms the commitment of the placement site to the internship agreement. It is expected that a grant stipend is provided for all student internships. Internship sites that are not able to provide a stipend are urged to contact the Office of Vocation & Formation. International students on I-9 visas are able to be paid by the site under a program called Curricular Practical Training (CPT), which allows students to be paid for off-campus work related to a curricular requirement. Students can register for CPT through the International Student Office at Drew University.
At any time, student interns, site mentors and teaching committee chairs may contact the Office of Vocation & Formation with questions or concerns. Please call 973-408-3718, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.