Union Theological Seminary Academics


Summer Internship: FE 206Q

Summer internships, which are educationally significant, offer Union’s diverse student body a range of options for development in ministry. Open to students wishing to earn elective credit in Field Education, the overall goal of the Summer Ministries Program is to provide a critical, reflective framework within which to explore a particular form of ministry, grow in professional competence, and engage in related theological reflection.


Field Placement: Summer Ministry placements are comprised of supervised positions in approved churches or agencies. The placement must be at least 15 hours per week, for a minimum of eight weeks. A job description and a supervisory arrangement are outlined in the contract that is signed by the student and supervisor.

Supervision: The intern's supervisor should be a member of the staff of the congregation or agency and be willing to provide one hour per week of theological reflection and supervision with the intern. These supervisory sessions should focus on: a) theological reflection on the intern's ministry/work performed at the site, b) the intern’s responsibilities and assignments, c) support and nurture for the intern's sense of ministry and emerging sense of call.

Initial Conference: An appointment should be made with the IFE staff prior to registration for the course. The student must bring a preliminary course proposal to this conference for discussion and review. The conference will include such things as the desired focus for ministry, the learning goals for the semester, and methods for achieving these goals.

Summer Ministries Contract: Specific terms of the student's placement as indicated in the contract, include: a) an outline of career and learning goals, b) specific tasks and areas of responsibility, c) the supervisory agreement.

The contract should be submitted to the Integrative and Field-Based Education Office prior to the starting date of the internship.

Bibliography: Related to the particular placement, a bibliography generated by both the supervisor and the student is submitted to the IFE Office no later than three weeks after the starting date of the placement. For 2 points of academic credit, the student is expected to read two books and three articles.

Regular Contact: A monthly meeting with a member of the Senior Director of IFE is required.

Journal: The student is expected to submit to the IFE Office 8 journal entries consisting of 2 pages each; these accounts shall link an experience of ministry with any pertinent readings and/or theological reflection.

Final Essay: A reflective essay of 10-12 pages integrating journal material and readings. This work is also intended to address professional questions and theological concerns arising during the course of the field placement. It should address the focus of ministry and learning goals developed at the beginning of the semester.

Evaluations: The student’s self-evaluation and the supervisor's evaluation of the student are required at the end of the internship.

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