Supervised Ministries: The Basics

 

Components of all Supervised Ministry Internships

  1. 400 hours of ministry practice 
  2. A supervisor qualified to oversee and mentor that ministry practice;
  3. Weekly theological reflection with a theologically trained mentor on that ministry practice;
  4. Regular meetings with a group of peers, also doing internships, in a setting where they can safely explore their ministry and mentoring experiences as spiritual and professional formation.

Options for Fulfilling Supervised Ministries

Supervised Ministry is a course in the YDS curriculum that is uniquely situated at the intersection of academic study and the practices of ministry.  Supervised ministry (six credits) is a requirement of the M.Div. program and is also open to students in the M.A.R. degree program. Supervised ministry credits are electives and do not fulfill any area requirements. A maximum of 15 credits in supervised ministries can be taken as electives. Students may choose to complete a supervised ministry internship either part-time during the school year or full-time over the summer. The Supervised Ministry requirement can also be fulfilled by completing one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education. To consider your options for completing Supervised Ministry, see this chart.

Course Descriptions

Part-time Internship with Practicum, REL 3986/7 (6 Credits)

This is the most common path students take to fulfill their supervised ministry requirement. The part-time internship is taken for two consecutive terms starting in September. Internship sites can include churches, social service and social change agencies, schools, college campuses, and other religious and secular institutions. The internship, under the mentorship of a trained supervisor, is combined with a peer reflection group (Practicum) taught by a practitioner, for a total of four hundred hours over the two terms. The internship is guided by a learning covenant that is developed by the student in collaboration with the supervisor. In cases where a site does not have a theologically trained supervisor, the student also receives supervision from a theological mentor assigned by the director of the OSM. The Part-Time Internship with Practicum carries three credits each term. Both terms must be completed to meet the degree requirement. Placements are selected during the preceding spring term. Interns receive a stipend. Prerequisite: REL 3990 Negotiating Boundaries.

Full-Time Summer Intensive Internship with Practicum, REL 3989 (6 Credits)

Similar to the Part-time Internship with Practicum, this program includes full-time ministry at an approved site, theological reflection with a mentor, and peer group meetings via web conferencing. Placements must be at sites that are very active in the summer months.  The internship requires two days of class on campus in May, 370 hours of supervised internship at a qualified site, and a weekly peer-group Practicum conducted virtually via the Internet. The Summer Intensive allows students the opportunity to gain concentrated ministry experience during their summer break from academic coursework in community organizations or in congregations doing significant community outreach.  Most congregational settings would not be conducive to full-time summer intensive internships.  Summer Intensives are particularly suited for students who want to work with sites in other parts of the nation or world, providing a vast array of ministry opportunities. Placements are selected during the preceding spring term. Interns receive a stipend for their first supervised ministry; summer supervised ministry includes tuition charges for a summer course. ​Prerequisite: REL 3990 Negotiating Boundaries.

Part-time Internship with Advanced Practicum, REL 3988a/b (6 Credits)

This program is open to students returning for a second supervised ministry for two consecutive terms starting in September. Completion of both terms is required before credit is granted. This internship can be arranged as a second year at the same site or at a different site to provide another type of contextual experience. Like the first supervised ministry, the second internship, under the mentorship of a trained supervisor, is combined with a peer reflection group (Practicum) facilitated by a practitioner, for a total of four hundred hours over the two terms. The internship is guided by a learning covenant that is developed by the student in collaboration with the supervisor. In addition to performing typical internship responsibilities, each intern creates a unique major project that involves substantive research and is presented to other students in the advanced practicum. Students interested in a second internship should notify the Director of Supervised Ministries of their intent by February 1. Placements are selected during the preceding spring term. Prerequisite: Successful completion of one supervised ministry internship. 

Financial Considerations

YDS offers financial aid to its MDiv student interns in the form of a $4000 stipend which is paid in monthly installments.  MAR student interns may receive stipends, as funds are available. Students who do CPE also qualify for $4000 of aid in the form of work-study funds.  Thus, students can receive a stipend for the first supervised ministry internship and CPE ($8000 total) when these credits are used as electives necessary for the MAR or MDiv degree.

Students wishing to complete summer internships should note that they will need to pay for tuition for internship since it is a summer course.  The rates are typically around $2500 for a summer 6-credit class. Your academic scholarship will also apply, however; check with the Office of Financial Aid for details.

Commuting expenses to your internship site are not covered by YDS. Some sites might be willing/able to help with these. Likewise, some sites might be willing to help with housing costs for summer interns.  These arrangements are made independently of the OSM.

More information about receiving financial aid during CPE can be found here.

Contact

Office of Supervised Ministries