Internships (CE545R)

Internships provide MDiv, MTS and MRL students with an opportunity to enrich their studies through a student-initiated practical experience for which academic credit is given. Internships provide students with an opportunity to tailor their course of study to meet specific learning goals, to enrich and/or complement their courses, to gain more experience in a particular aspect of ministry, or to obtain greater exposure to a broader range of vocational pathways and professional opportunities. Students are encouraged to select contexts of ministry that will enable them to explore interests, relevant vocational issues and/or develop skills (e.g., teaching, preaching, administration, etc.). Students may intern with a church, an agency or an existing internship program.

An internship will enable students to:

  • Sharpen reflective practices of leadership and ministry.
  • Further discern and clarify vocational identity and calling.
  • Gain understanding and proficiency in an area of ministry or interest.

Program Features

  • Choose a setting that relates to a vocational interest and/or direction.
  • Earn up to six credit hours while gaining practical experience.
  • Explore relevant vocational issues.
  • Practice skills.
  • Benefit from regular meetings with site and faculty supervisors to evaluate progress and provide guidance on the project.
  • Develop a final integrative project that fosters student learning goals and outcomes.


MDiv, MTS and MRL students may earn the following credits in an internship:

  • MDiv (up to 6 credit hours)
  • MTS (up to 6 credit hours)
  • MRL (requirement of 6 credit hours)

MDiv and MTS students may take CE545R for variable elective credit for a maximum of six credit hours. MRL students are required to take CE545R for the full six credit hours.

One credit hour requires the completion of 42 hours of work in an internship setting. For example, in order to earn three (3) hours of credit at 42 hours/credit, a student would need to complete 126 hours of work (3 x 42 = 126).

Ordinarily, at least two thirds of the total hours worked for the internship would be actual contextual work. One third of the time may be used for study, reflection and supervision. No credit will be awarded retroactively for internship work previously conducted. Internships are graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis (S/U).

Please note that if it is not for academic credit, volunteer and work placements do not have to route through the Contextual Education office.

All internships are subject for approval by Dr. Thomas W. Elliott, Jr., Director of Internships.

Finding a setting, internship supervisor, and faculty supervisors

The student is responsible for completing the Internship (CE 545R) contract form, securing a setting, an internship supervisor for site supervision, and a faculty supervisor to participate in the project.

Setting: Students should secure a setting that relates to their overall interest in the internship.

Internship supervisor: Students are supervised by an internship supervisor who is: 1) an ordained minister, employed full time in the setting and has a graduate theological degree from an accredited seminary; and/or 2) a director who has a master’s degree in the indicated field. Internship supervisors require the approval of the Director of Internships.

Faculty supervisor: Students should select a faculty supervisor based on their area of interest and negotiate with them regarding their project. Faculty members should be identified as soon as possible.

Internship Proposal

In conjunction with the faculty supervisor and the internship supervisor, the student will develop an internship proposal.

The proposal should include the following:

  1. Project outline that provides information on the rationale, the practice of ministry, and the setting. MRL students should check with their respective areas of concentration for specific requirements and opportunities.
  2. Learning outcomes and how the project fulfills those outcomes. Internship learning outcomes should be in keeping with the “learning outcomes” appropriate to the student’s degree program for MDiv, MTS or MRL. Learning outcomes have to do with knowledge and/or skills that you wish to develop through your work in the setting. For example: 'To start a singles group' is a task, not a learning outcome. Some examples of learning outcomes include: ‘To develop skills in recruiting volunteers; to gain firsthand and theoretical understanding of the dynamics of small rural churches; to become more comfortable sharing myself in teaching or pastoral care situations; or to explore my capacity to function in a setting with children with limited verbal skills; etc. The more focus you have the richer your experience is likely to be.
  3. A listing of readings, methods, or resources you plan to use to facilitate reflection (e.g., texts, one-on-one interviews, journal, etc.).
  4. Site work schedule (based on the number of credit hours taken).
  5. Schedule for weekly meetings with the internship supervisor for reflection and supervision.
  6. Schedule for meetings with faculty supervisor for reflection and supervision. (See Faculty Supervisor tab for recommended schedule.)
  7. Plan for final integrative project. The student is responsible for conceiving (in dialogue with faculty supervisor and internship supervisor) and completing a final integrative project. In general, this project should demonstrate that the student has made progress in realizing his or her learning outcomes. Specifically, the final project should be the product of the student's integration of any readings, reflection, and the practice of ministry in the student's setting. The final project may take a variety of forms; a standard academic paper, an audio-visual presentation, the development of a curriculum for a church program, the planning and leading of a retreat or seminar, etc.

Final evaluations

Final evaluations by the internship supervisor, faculty supervisor and student are due at the end of the semester. Copies of all evaluations should be submitted to the Director of Internships, Office of Contextual Education.


The student's grade will be assigned by the faculty supervisor in consultation with the internship supervisor. The faculty supervisor will then forward the grade to Carmen Toussaint, Senior Program Coordinator, Office of Contextual Education, to have it recorded with the Registrar's Office and in OPUS.

Please note: The following instructions refer to all internship opportunities except for Candler Advantage,Advanced Summer Ministry Internships ASMI), and the Westside Fellows Program. Please refer to instructions for Candler Advantage and ASMI on the "Internship Opportunities" tab. 

1. Meet with Director Dr. Thomas W. Elliott, Jr.

Students are required to contact the Contextual Education office at 404.727.4178 to schedule a meeting with Dr. Elliott. Please allow eight weeks before the internship start date.

2. Submit an Internship Proposal

Students work in conjunction with the faculty supervisor and the internship supervisor to develop a Internship Proposal. A copy of the proposal will go to the internship supervisor, the faculty supervisor and Director of Internships, Office of Contextual Education Office. See the Overview section of this page for details on the proposal.

3. Complete the Internship (CE545R) Contract Form

Students will complete the Internship Contract Form with three signatures (internship supervisor, faculty supervisor and the student). This form must be submitted with a copy of the full internship proposal to the Director of Internships, Contextual Education Office.  If all requirements are met, Dr. Thomas W. Elliott, Jr. will approve the internship and the student will be enrolled by the registrar.

4. International Students

International students who qualify for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) may enroll in an Internship. For more information, contact the Contextual Education Handbook and the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). International students must receive authorization before beginning an internship. (Please allow at least eight weeks before internship start date to complete the authorization process.)

5. Deadlines

Your Internship Proposal and Internship Contract Form must be completed and turned in to the Office of Contextual Education no later than four weeks prior to the internship start date. See the Candler Academic Calendar for dates.

The internship supervisor is responsible for:

  • meeting with the student in the first week of the semester for the purpose of reviewing and confirming the plan of work, and developing a weekly schedule for meetings.
  • meeting weekly with the student for reflection and supervision. Normally, these meetings require a minimum of one hour.
  • evaluating the student's work at the end of the internship. Copies of the evaluation should be submitted to the student, the faculty supervisor, and the Director of Internships in the Office of Contextual Education. 
  • providing recommendations to the faculty supervisor concerning what grade (S/U) the student shall be given for the internship.

The faculty supervisor is responsible for:

  • working with the student to provide guidance and direction concerning the specifics of the project such as reading lists, writing exercises and means of reflection.
  • meeting with the student to monitor progress on the project. The number of meetings will be determined by the faculty supervisor and should reflect the amount of credit being awarded in the internship.
  • completing a final evaluation of the student’s work. They will consult with the internship supervisor to submit a final grade to the Director of Internships in the Office of Contextual Education.

The student is responsible for completing an evaluation of the internship.

Please contact the internship(s) you are interested in and complete any application instructions they provide. After you have decided on a site, refer to the 'How to Enroll' tab on this page for instructions on enrollment at Candler.

Candler Advantage Summer Internship in Congregational Leadership

Eligibility--Students who have successfully completed all the requirements for Contextual Education I and II and are returning for a third year at Candler are eligible to participate. Students on academic probation or who have a hold on their Candler financial account are not eligible.

$9,000 Stipends! Application deadline is February 28, 2019

Spring 2019: May 15-16, 2019

August Term 2019: August 12-16, 2019

You can find the application here. 

Westside Fellows Summer Internship in Community Leadership

Eligibility--Students who are returning to Candler in Fall 2019 are eligible to participate. Students on academic probation or who have a hold on their Candler financial account are not eligible.

$9,000 Stipends! Application deadline is February 28, 2019

You can find the application here.

Advanced Summer Ministry Internships (ASMI)

$9,000 Stipend! Application deadline is February 28, 2019.

Spring 2019: May 15-16, 2019

August Term 2019: August 12-16, 2019

Please refer to Application Instructions, page 2 in each link below. Students are encouraged to apply to multiple internships. All students are eligible for ASMI.

Other Paid Summer Opportunities

Additional Opportunities

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