Office of Supervised Ministries

What Makes Us Unique: Supervised Ministries at Yale Divinity School

There are four essential components to Supervised Ministry at Yale Divinity School:

  1. 400 hours of ministry practice;
  2. A supervisor qualified to oversee and mentor that ministry practice;
  3. Weekly theological reflection (at least one hour) 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 experience as spiritual and professional formation.


1. Integration into the Curriculum 

  • While supervised ministry is a requirement of the M.Div. program, it is open to all Yale Divinity School students in degree programs.
  • Students may elect to meet this requirement in several ways, including a part-time internship during the academic year, a full-time internship during the summer, or a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (see chart of Internship Options).  
  • Most students choose to do the Part-time Ministry Internship during their second year at YDS.  Students may do more than one supervised ministry—at the same or a different site—for credit in their degree program.  
  • Each unit of supervised ministry carries three credits per semester. These count as elective credits.

2. Emphasis on Supervision

The YDS program is built around the mentoring relationship between individuals.  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.

  • Supervisors 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.

3. Importance of Peer Reflection 

In addition to their activities at the ministry site, student interns also participate in a weekly practicum at YDS.  Their instructors are experienced practitioners trained to guide small groups of interns in practical theological discussions and mutual support.  These groups become a model for professional peer groups that students are encouraged to seek or develop to help sustain their ministries in the future.

4. Priority Given to Student's Interests and Initiative