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Preparation for ministry at Bethel Seminary St. Paul is "in the field." We enhance the classroom learning experience with an internship that includes on-site support and mentoring.

Internship Preparation

What is Internship Preparation?

Internship preparation is a self-paced process that leads students through the preparation steps for internship. Steps include:

  • Initial consult with director of internship and placement
  • Reflective work
  • Internship site selection
  • Site supervisor selection
  • Mentor selection
  • Internship agreement
  • Site supervisor and mentor orientation and confirmation
  • Vocational formation interview
  • Approval to register for professional internship course

When Do I Start Internship Preparation?

Preparation should begin a minimum of two academic terms prior to the student's desired internship start date. It may begin earlier at the student's discretion. All remaining steps must be completed by the beginning of the desired internship start date.

How Do I Start Internship Preparation?

Start by arranging an appointment with Nick Matchefts, director of internship and placement, at the St. Paul campus. Email sem-internship-placement@bethel.edu to arrange an appointment.

Internship Requirements and Strategies

The internship is a ministry experience in pursuit of student-developed learning goals, under the supervision of a site supervisor, and guided by reflection with a mentor and peers.

  • 400 supervised ministry hours for M.Div. and M.A. in Ministry students over two academic terms*
  • Peer reflection
  • Site supervisor meetings (at ministry site)
  • Mentor meetings

*Some chaplaincy internships may be completed over one academic term

Your internship strategy will depend on your vocational plan. The following suggested internship strategies may help in your planning:

Chaplaincy Internships

There are two approaches to internships in chaplaincy:

  1. Do your internship in a long-term care facility.
    • Do a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) for pastoral care elective credit prior to internship.
    • Do internship at a long-term care facility after a unit of CPE has been completed.
  2. Do a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) for your internship.

Note to M.Div. students: We will ask you to explore a local church setting as part of your internship (up to 50 additional internship hours).

Consult with the director of internship and placement to discuss which option is right for you.

Church and Parachurch Internships

  1. Serve in local church setting.
  2. Use your current vocational role as internship (for those who are currently serving in full- or part-time roles congruent with degree program outcomes).
  3. Ministry specialization (e.g. missions, academics, parachurch—for those who sense a call to specialized ministry).

Note to M.Div. students: if your primary internship experience is not in a local church, we will ask you to log at least 50 hours in a church setting as part of your internship.

How Do I Find an Internship?

The Office Internship and Placement maintains a list of potential internship sites. Please contact us for more information.

A Word about Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)

We encourage all students who sense a call to spiritual leadership to do a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) as part of their seminary experience.

  • Those headed for church or parachurch leadership plan to do CPE for pastoral care elective credit prior to internship.
  • Those headed for professional chaplaincy often do CPE as their internship.

See the director of internship and placement for more information about Clinical Pastoral Education and its timing.

Ministry Goals Consultation

Toward the end of the internship, all students take part in a ministry goals consultation to process their experience and address next steps for professional development and placement. The consultation will include:

  • Ministry goals
  • Placement plans, if you are planning to graduate
  • Resume review