Internship Policies

As an educational program of Yale University, the YDS Internship Office is bound to provide a safe and respectful learning environment for every student intern.  Sites, supervisor-mentors, and theological mentors are required to abide by the official policies of the Internship Office, Yale Divinity School, and Yale University.  Questions about the application of any policy should be directed to the Director of the Office of Supervised Ministries.

YDS Internship Policies

Yale Divinity School Policies

Yale University Policies


Policy on Accounting for Time During an Internship

One unit of supervised ministry requires 400 hours of “class time” to receive 6 credit hours from Yale Divinity School. 30 hours of this time is filled by Practicum, leaving 370 hours at the site.  During the school year, Practicum is held on campus from 4:00-5:30pm every Thursday.  For summer internships, Practicum is made up of 12 hours of on-campus meeting in May and 8 weekly web sessions lasting 2 hours each.  Students will not receive credit for supervised ministry if they miss more than 2 practicums each semester or 1 during the summer internship.  Supervisors are expected to support this course requirement by not scheduling internship responsibilities during these times. 

Time that can be included on the timesheet:
  • Commuting time from YDS that is in excess of 1.5 hours round trip.  Commuting time that will be counted toward internship hours must be approved by the Director of Supervised Ministries prior to September 10.
  • Time spent in preparation for internship, e.g., preparation of sermons, Bible studies, or presentations. Preparation time must be approved by the supervisor as an appropriate or realistic amount (e.g., it would be unrealistic to count 10 hours for sermon preparation).
  • Time spent in weekly meetings with the supervisor/mentor (or supervisor and theological mentor)
Time that cannot be included on the timesheet:
  • Time spent completing Practicum assignments
  • Commuting time from YDS to site up to 1.5 hours round trip
  • Commuting time during summer internships
  • More than 10 hours in any one day (e.g., mission trips, retreats)
  • Excessive time for preparation
  • Time prior to the Sunday before classes start in August or the Sunday after finals are completed in May
It is by no means uncommon for students to complete more than 370 hours during an internship.  The timesheet is a tool for evaluating the demands on—and use of—the student’s time.  If a student records excessive hours, the topics of site expectations, sustainability, and self-care should be discussed with the supervisor-mentor and practicum facilitator.  If a student has too few hours, a discussion should address the learning goals, expectations, and plans for expanding the student’s activities.  A fillable timesheet is provided on the OSM website, or you can use an app like Super Tracker, etc.  Please total your hours before submitting the timesheet. 
The supervisor should review and sign the timesheet at the middle and end of each semester. Total hours will also be monitored by the Director of Supervised Ministries.

Policy for Addressing Conflict

If during the course of an internship the intern, supervisor, or Director of Supervised Ministries feels that a problem has arisen and the Learning Agreement is not being honored, the following steps are taken:
  1. The intern, supervisor, and Director meet at YDS to discuss the problem and attempt to identify a solution that will ensure learning on the part of the student while retaining the integrity of the internship.  If it is impossible to meet at YDS, other arrangements will be made.
  2. If necessary, a second meeting takes place within two weeks, involving other persons as applicable and appropriate.
  3. If a resolution is reached that involves continuing the internship, the Learning Covenant is modified as necessary and signed by all three.
  4. If the resolution involves terminating the internship, the Director writes an explanation and provides it to all parties, including the Dean of Academic Affairs and/or the Dean of Berkeley.
  5. In the case of disagreement, the Director makes a final decision about continuing or terminating the internship.
  6. In the event that an internship is terminated after the deadline for withdrawal, the student receives a No Credit grade and the Director’s written statement is placed in the student’s permanent academic file. Any appeal to remove the No Credit grade must be directed to the Professional Studies Committee.
  7. If the Director determines that the supervisor or site primarily caused the problem leading to the termination, the site will be reevaluated with respect to future participation in the part-time internship program. If the Director determines that the student primarily caused the problem, he or she will receive a notation on his or her transcript indicating a failure of supervised ministry.

In the event of illness or other serious problems that prevent the intern from fulfilling the Learning Covenant, the intern and/or supervisor notifies the Director of Supervised Ministries. If possible, the three arrange a leave of absence, after which the student works additional hours to compensate for lost time. If this is determined not possible, the student may withdraw from the internship (see #6 above). Deadlines and fees for terminating or withdrawing from an internship follow the same calendar and policies set by the Registrar, as for all courses.

For more information, contact:
Non-Profit, Justice Internships: Alison Cunningham, Director of Professional Formation, Title IX Coordinator
Ministerial Internships: Jenny Davis, Director of Supervised Ministries