Having a great internship experience in your undergraduate program is vital to your preparation for full-time vocational ministry. The theories and principles that you study in your Christian Ministries course work will be incomplete without a place to try them out in a work setting. During your senior year, you will begin an internship comprised of one semesters of service at a church or parachurch site, participating for a minimum of 25+ hours a week in its various programming meetings.
The Christian ministries department major is built upon solid biblical teaching, robust hermeneutical skills, and exceptional ministry skill development. The “tent pole” program that differentiates the Christian ministries major with other similar programs is the newly-revised “Immersive Internship” strategy that seeks to become the “gold standard” of incarnational Christian ministry training by building ministry competency through mentored apprenticeships. The cornerstone of this program is a one semester (9 units) 25-hour/week internship in a “Ministry Training Center ” in the Southern California area.
The most critical single element in this program is an experienced site supervisor who will mentor you throughout the three semesters. You and your supervisor must be committed to the process for you to benefit. Supervisors will attend a department workshop and agree to support the student with regular meetings and in a variety of other ways. Some students already have achieved a placement when they enter the program, and we assist others to find an appropriate match. The best internships are those that are similar to the setting in which the student wants to work after graduation. Inquire in the Christian ministry office for more information.
There are two tracks for the immersive internship program:
GOLD Internship Program
The BIOLA GOLD Internship program combines this immersive internship with courses in specific age-related ministry essentials and cohort support to prepare the Biola student for the off-site immersive internship. The uniqueness of the GOLD Internship is the two-year track approach to ministry preparation. This is accomplished as students engage during their junior year in ministry courses in age specific spiritual formation, teaching ministries and community based ministry programming. Students in the GOLD program are placed in the highest quality ministry training centers, screened and vetted by Biola University, where outstanding ministry practitioners supervise them. The Christian ministries department will assign interns to these sites after interviews with both the student and site supervisor to insure the best philosophical fit and long-term success of the student. Additionally, GOLD students continue the internship a second semester at 10 hours per week to gain a holistic understanding of the ministry throughout an entire school year.
Some of the benefits of participating in an intensive internship are:
- Certificate of Gold-Standard Ministry Training
- Intentional mentoring by CM faculty and gold standard site supervisor
- Receive encouragement and support in the CM cohort fraternity
- Possess a Ministry Portfolio of Best Practices DVD, which will include: speaking, philosophy of ministry formal presentation, curriculum and programming -- retreat, event and calendar -- templates.
- Enhanced professional skills -- interpersonal, interview, resume, financial, teaching, programming, etc.
- Well-rounded experience in a specialized field of ministry
- Network contacts for future ministry opportunities/career
- Better prepared for graduate school studies
- Credentials on file in CM Office
- Guaranteed letter of recommendation for applying to ministry positions and academic programs
- Research shows that similar training from other leading university ministry programs results in substantially higher income levels
Standard Internship Program
Christian ministry students not wishing to participate in the GOLD Internship Program must still complete a one semester immersive internship of 30 hours/week. However, students will not be required to continue the internship for a second semester. Since ministry sites will not be guaranteed, the student will be responsible to find his or her own ministry site. The standard ministry internship offers the following benefits:
- Students will gain a realistic understanding of ministry demands and expectations
- Students will possess a Ministry Portfolio of Best Practices DVD, which will include: speaking, philosophy of ministry formal presentation, curriculum and programming -- retreat, event and calendar -- templates