Hosting a Supervised Ministry Intern

To post an internship, begin by logging into DivLink here:  https://divinity-yale-csm.symplicity.com/employers

Recording of Online Supervisor Orientation, May 30, 2017: https://youtu.be/u8VoLm6gJGU

Are you interested in partnering with Yale Divinity School in the theological education and formation of students by becoming a Supervised Ministries Supervisor?  Our sites represent churches, non-profits, parochial schools and universities with supervisors that represent an array of personal, religious and professional backgrounds.  We are always welcoming new sites to become a part of our diverse database of available internship sites and we’d love to partner with you!  Please read below for more information about the requirements and process involved in becoming a supervised ministry supervisor and hosting an intern.
For additional information, visit the Resources page.
 
 

Site Requirements

  • Give a student an opportunity to work with people on meaningful issues;
  • Provide significant tasks that a student can accomplish and learn from on a part-time and short-term (less than one year) basis;
  • Provide a stable, welcoming environment with consistent direction and oversight of a student’s activities;
  • Enable a student to function in roles appropriate to their status as students in formation;
  • Provide opportunities for the intern to gain new knowledge and experience rather than simply practice what they already know;
  • Facilitate a student’s learning through ongoing conversation and reflection.

Students receive a stipend of up to $4,000 for supervised ministry. Sites are not required to pay the student’s stipend, but they are encouraged to contribute what they can to the stipend, and to assist with the cost of transportation so that interns serving at a distance outside of New Haven are assisted with that additional expense. If a site is able to pay part or all of the stipend to its student interns, please communicate that to the Office of Supervised Ministries.

Importance of the Supervisor/Mentor

Committed and effective supervision is key to the success of supervised ministry.  The YDS program is built around the mentoring relationship between individuals. The importance of this relationship explains how potential supervisors are chosen: they have the qualities of a good mentor, they have extensive experience or participate in training in supervision, they commit to meeting weekly with interns, and they collaborate in regular assessment. The supervisory relationship is really the heart of the educational and formational process for interns. This is not to discount the importance of the tasks interns perform, nor of the value to them of being exposed to sites where ministry is flourishing; it simply means that the learning all comes together in the supervision they receive.
 
In order to maintain the integrity of the program at Yale Divinity School, supervisors are expected to have specific qualifications and meet certain requirements.  There are at least two significant mentoring requirements in the internship situation:
  • Direct supervision of the activities and skill-building of the intern;
  • Weekly theological reflection and integration of the intern’s practical ministry with the academic content from YDS coursework.
In most cases—and perhaps most desirable—a single person fills the roles of supervisor and theological mentor.  However, that is not a requirement, and if a supervisor does not have a theological degree, a separate individual can serve as the theological mentor.  The role of theological mentor is described below for such instances. 
 

Supervisor/Mentor Position Description

The Supervisor/Mentor oversees all aspects of a site-based student internship and engages the student in critical reflection on the integration of their theological training and ministry as experienced in the internship. The purpose of the internship is for students to gain firsthand experience in the nature, practice and context of ministry while serving in approved internship sites under the supervision of a qualified supervisor.

The internship is guided by a Learning Covenant that the student creates in collaboration with the site supervisor.  In some cases where a theologically trained supervisor is not available at the internship site, a student may also be assigned a theological mentor to provide ongoing theological reflection.  The internship undergoes a collaborative assessment twice a year, once before the end of the first semester and once before the end of the year.  This collaborative assessment is guided by the Learning Covenant and includes the student’s written self-assessment as well as written observations from the supervisor and theological mentor.  

Required Education and Experience

1) Three years’ experience in this or a related profession, 2) at least one year in current position, 3) experience teaching, supervising or working with graduate-level students, 4) no history of professional misconduct.  For the theological mentor, these in addition to a graduate degree in theological or ministerial studies.

Responsibilities

  • Welcome and orient the student intern to the internship site and expectations;
  • Assure the student intern of meaningful opportunities to gain experience and education at the placement site;
  • Coordinate with the student intern in the development of and ongoing reflection on the Learning Covenant;
  • During the course of the internship, meet with student intern for at least one hour a week to review and discuss the intern’s performance and provide insight about the character of the work in the organization or church.  Meet an additional hour each week to guide and engage the intern in critical theological reflection (the latter would be fulfilled by a theological mentor, if different from the supervisor).
  • In conversation with the student intern, prepare and submit to the Director of Supervised Ministries, a brief written report at the end of the summer summarizing:  core themes from weekly meetings; the intern’s capacity to reflect theologically on the nature, practice and context of ministry; and any other observations pertaining to the intern’s competencies and readiness for ministry. Report guidelines provided by the Office of Supervised Ministries.  Due date August 15.
  • Communicate as needed with the Director of Supervised Ministries regarding the student intern’s performance.
  • Be familiar with the interns Learning Covenant and Ministry Portfolio.
  • Participate in supervisor orientation, as requested by the Office of Supervised Ministries.

Benefits

  • Free auditing of YDS courses
  • Reduced tuition for YDS Summer Study
  • Yale library privileges
  • Membership in the Ministry Resource Center
  • Faculty rate for Payne Whitney Gym membership
  • Colleague support gatherings organized by the Office of Supervised Ministries
  • Regular communication from the Office of Supervised Ministries about continuing education opportunities and other special events on campus.
  • 10% discount at YDS bookstore

Theological Mentor Position Description

The theological mentor engages supervised ministry student interns in critical reflection on the integration of their theological training and ministry as experienced in the internship. The purpose of the internship is for students to gain firsthand experience in the nature, practice and context of ministry while serving in approved internship sites under the supervision of a qualified supervisor, and to reflect on that experience with the guidance of a trained theological mentor.  

The internship is guided by a Learning Covenant that the student creates in collaboration with the ministry supervisor.  In some cases where a theologically trained supervisor is not available at the internship site, a student may also be assigned a theological mentor to provide ongoing theological reflection.  The internship undergoes a collaborative assessment twice a year, once at the end of the first semester and once at the end of the year.  This collaborative assessment is guided by the Learning Covenant and includes the student’s written self-assessment as well as written observations from the supervisor and theological mentor. 

The theological mentor is someone who has spent considerable time being formed by God in the same or similar type of ministry, and is thus able to help the student begin integrating their practice with their theological education. Essentially, theological reflection means exploring one’s experience in dialogue with the wisdom of the Christian heritage for the purpose of living into an integration of new truth and meaning in one’s emerging (professional) identity.  It is an aspect of formation aimed to produce a “reflective practitioner” of Christian ministry.

Responsibilities

  • Review, discuss with student, and sign the Learning Covenant before the due date in May.
  • During the course of the internship, meet with student intern for at least one hour a week to guide and engage the intern in critical theological reflection.
  • In conversation with the student intern, prepare and submit to the Director of Supervised Ministries two brief written reports summarizing:  core themes from weekly meetings; the intern’s capacity to reflect theologically on the nature, practice and context of ministry; and any other observations pertaining to the intern’s competencies and readiness for ministry. Report guidelines are provided by the Office of Supervised Ministries. Reports are due at the end of each semester.
  • Communicate as needed with the Director of Supervised Ministries regarding the intern’s performance.
  • Be familiar with the Supervised Ministry program and YDS academic calendar.
  • Be familiar with the intern’s Learning Covenant and Ministry Portfolio.
  • Participate in any training as required by the Office of Supervised Ministries.

Benefits

See above.

Contact

Office of Supervised Ministries