Academics

DCE Internship

Frequently Asked Questions about our Internship Program.

1. What does Concordia University Chicago hope will happen on the internship?
2. When does the internship begin?
3. What is the status of the intern?
4. How much responsibility should the intern actually have?
5. What is the intern prepared to do?
6. What kind of experience should the intern have?
7. How is the intern supervised?
8. How much of your staff supervisor's time will this take?
9. What is the role of the Board of Education/Youth in the internship?
10. What kind of congregation will be considered for an intern assignment?
11. Is the congregation responsible for any application forms?
12. Who do I contact if I have questions regarding the DCE internship program?
13. How do we convey our interest in having an intern?
14. When will we hear regarding our eligibility for an intern?

1. What does Concordia University Chicago hope will happen on the internship?
The university hopes that the intern, church staff, and congregational members will mutually benefit from one another. The congregation will benefit as it receives support in vital areas of its ministry. The intern will benefit as he or she: 1) attempts to clarify his or her vocational goals; 2) experiences working in ministry firsthand; 3) demonstrates her or his potential for DCE ministry; and 4) develops an effective style of working with God's people.

2. When does the i nternship begin?
DCE internships typically begin between June 1 and August 15. Occasionally some internships begin in January, which is often the case for Dual Certification DCEs.

3. What is the status of the intern?
A DCE intern continues to be considered a full-time student. In addition, he or she is a professional-in-training, expected to conduct himself or herself in a professional manner and in so doing earn the love and respect of the congregation.

4. How much responsibility should the intern actually have?
It must be remembered that the intern is still a student and so may not fully realize how much responsibility he or she can handle. As a result, a gradual involvement with major congregational responsibility is suggested. (For example, asking the student to lead a teacher training program in the first six weeks would not be suggested.) As the intern experiences success and satisfaction, it is expected that he/she will be able to assume more responsibility.

5. What is the intern prepared to do?
Every DCE intern is a unique creation from God. Depending upon the intern's gifts, abilities, and experiences, he or she could provide leadership and administrative direction for youth ministry by training youth ministry volunteers, developing and teaching doctrinally sound and relevant Bible studies, and planning and leading events and retreats. Interrns with musical gifts and experience might be able to direct choirs or other musical groups. Other interns are very adept at crafting and presenting children's messages in worship, school chapel service, or preschools. DCE interns can help organize and support Sunday school, VBS, and Confirmation programs by recruiting and equipping volunteer teachers, by personally teaching a variety of age groups, and working with congregational boards to function effectively so that the congregation's ministry can grow.

6. What kind of experience should the intern have?
There are three basic kinds of experience that an intern should have:

  • Interns should work with a variety of age groups within a congregation;
  • Interns should have the opportunity to experience the joys and challenges of leading a variety of events, activities, and groups;
  • Interns should experience team ministry with a church staff as well as volunteers.

7. How is the intern supervised?
Interns are supervised in two ways:

  • Congregational Supervisor: Daily on-site supervision of the intern is the responsibility of a pastor, DCE, or other staff person who has been asked to oversee the intern's work.

  • University Supervisor: Over the course of the year, university supervision will done by a member of the Concordia Chicago DCE faculty or a designated DCE from the field. This supervision will normally include two on-site visits over the year, two conferences on Concordia's campus, and regular phone calls.

8. How much of your staff supervisor's time will this take?
The supervisor is expected to provide systematic counsel, support, and direction to the intern. Initially, this may take 4–5 hours a week. As the intern and supervisor grow in their capacity to work together, it would be expected that they spend whatever time is needed to enable the intern to carry out his or her responsibilities.

9. What is the role of the Board of Education/Youth in the internship?
Each congregation may have different expectations regarding the relationship between the intern and the Board of Education/Youth. Normally, the Board works very closely with the intern providing additional support and direction. The goal would be that the intern and Board also become a ministry team, effectively working together to implement the congregation's education and youth ministries. The Board is not to serve as the supervisor of the intern's work.

10. What kind of congregation will be considered for an intern assignment?
A congregation in which its professional staff is willing to do the following:

  1. enter into a significant working relationship with the intern;
  2. make themselves available for mutual planning, sharing, and problem solving;
  3. exercise patience and understanding in setting an appropriate level of expectations;
  4. share the congregational ministry as the intern develops competencies;
  5. regularly edify one another through mutual prayer, conversation, and study.

In addition, the congregation is willing to do the following:

  1. affirm the presence and efforts of a professional-in-training;
  2. provide structures that will encourage and accept the development of new ministry programs;
  3. financially support the internship program.

11. Is the congregation responsible for any application forms?
The congregation is requested to complete three forms when applying for a student intern:

  1. Congregational Application for a Student Intern
  2. Intern Financial Agreement
  3. Congregational Agreement

Additionally, the congregation is asked to write and provide Concordia University with a DCE Intern Job Description detailing the role the congregation intends for the student. These four documents are to be submitted with a $150 Application Fee.

During the internship year, the congregational supervisor completes several evaluation forms. The appropriate forms for the various evaluations will be supplied by the university.

12. Who do I contact if I have questions regarding the DCE internship program?
If there is a question or concern regarding Concordia’s DCE internship program, please call Dr. Debbie Arfsten at (708) 209-3604 or Debra.arfsten@cuchicago.edu.

13. How do we convey our interest in having an intern?
The normal process is the following:

  1. Notify the DCE Program Director at Concordia of interest in having an intern by January 1.
  2. Complete the application forms no later than February 1.

14. When will we hear regarding our eligibility for an intern?
The first step in the eligibility process is a pre-assignment site visit conducted by the DCE Program Director or her designee by March 31. A congregation will be notified whether or not it will receive an intern by early April. If a congregation is assigned an intern, its supervisor will be expected to attend the orientation meeting at Concordia University Chicago in late April.

ABOUT DCE INTERNSHIPS

Each year, we place interns in congregations all over the country. The DCE internship is a 12-month experience in the student’s final year, during which he or she works closely with the parish staff, boards and various age groups. The focus of the intern’s preparation is experiencing as many facets of parish ministry as possible, especially in the area of Christian education and in other areas such as youth, music, small group, or family ministry.

If you are a pastor, DCE, or congregational leader looking for year-long, full-time relationship with one of our DCEs-in-training, consider applying for a DCE intern.

To apply for a DCE Intern, the following forms must be completed and returned by the congregation:

  1. Internship Application
  2. Congregational Agreement
  3. Intern Financial Agreement
  4. A written Intern Job Description
  5. The Internship Application Fee: $150