Internship and Practicum
Internship is not an academic requirement for the MDiv degree but is an ecclesiastical requirement for ordination by the ELCA and some other denominations. Students needing internship should plan to do it between the second and third academic years.
The traditional internship consists of a nine- to twelve-month ministerial practicum, normally between the second and third academic years of an MDiv program. In consultation with a student’s advisor, the Director of Contextual Education, the Dean, and his/her candidacy committee, however, a student may determine early in his/her first year whether an exception to the normal practice may be feasible. For selected students the Faculty may approve a “concurrent” internship, a seminary-based extension of the final academic year over two years on a part-time basis, correlated with the internship extended over that same period, the total program remaining four years in length.
Students from non-Lutheran denominations seeking internship are treated on an individual basis, taking into account any special educational needs or other requirements pertaining to the denomination. LTSP’s goal is to provide flexibility in length, sequence, and character of the internship for the non-Lutheran student.
The ELCA student planning to do an internship needs to have received a positive endorsement from his/her candidacy committee. No student may begin an internship if he/she has a cumulative grade-point average below 2.0. Also, no student may begin an internship if he/she has failed to complete satisfactorily all required courses included in the first and second years of the curriculum. When an “F” or “withdrawn” occurs in a required course in the semester immediately preceding the internship, then the Dean in consultation with the Director of Contextual Education must determine whether the internship is to be terminated, continued, or revised in its nature (e.g., changed to a part-time internship). When an “I” occurs in a semester immediately preceding the internship, the deficiency must be removed within six weeks of the conclusion of the semester or the internship will be terminated, continued, or revised as in the case of an “F” or “W.”
The internship program is served ably each year by intern supervisors and leaders of Intern Clusters; these persons supplement the regular faculty in training, mentoring, and evaluating candidates for ministry.