Disciples Divinity House Scholars can arrange a full-time internship outside of the Chicago area between their second and third years of M.Div. studies. Occasionally full-time summer internships can also be arranged. The Disciples Divinity House provides a monthly living stipend and for return visits to Chicago once each academic quarter, while the congregation or organization provides housing and some other expenses.
During the 2011-12 academic year, and between her second and third year of MDiv studies, House Scholar Thandiwe Gobledale was engaged in a full-time internship at First Christian Church, Greensboro, North Carolina. Lee Hull Moses, an alumna and trustee, is the Senior Minister and was Thandiwe’s teaching pastor.
Thandiwe writes, "Learning how to relax and be myself in worship, learning how to trust how I feel and to share it with my church family, learning how to preach a word that speaks to me from within this church community, learning how to receive the hospitality of older or ailing members of the congregation in their homes and hospital rooms, this is the stuff of my work here."
The idea of the internship is to provide a Disciples Divinity House Scholar with an exceptional setting of ministry where the student can explore her or his vocation of ministry and leadership and hone abilities. Diverse opportunities are possible, from new congregations to venerable ones, and in regional, general, and ecumenical ministries. We look for innovative congregations and church-related organizations that have strong lay and pastoral leadership and that will provide opportunities for ministry and learning that would not be available if the student remained in Chicago.
It is a significant commitment for a minister and congregation or other organization to offer an internship. It is also a significant gift to the flourishing of future ministry to be able to provide such a vital situation; to allow an intern to engage skills, gifts, and questions; and to offer the intern models of ministry, collaboration, vision, and action.
The “Saint Andrew Leadership Initiative” provided initial funding for internships. Established by the late Paul Shumaker, who was a member of Saint Andrew Christian Church in Olathe, Kansas, where trustee Holly McKissick was the founding minister. Three Disciples Divinity House Scholars completed internships with her in that congregation, including Liz Myer Boulton, who subsequently became the founding pastor of Hope Church, Boston, and who is now the moving force of SALT.