We have had a long history of being a greenhouse for Gospel-centered pastors, ministry workers, and missionaries as a local church. Our alumni are ministering in dozens of cities, states, and countries around the globe. 

One of the unique stewardships of being a local church near a major seminary is loving those ministry minded persons and households well. Several years ago we created our Pastoral Internship program to formalize multiple ministry tracks. There are many challenges to getting good people educated, trained, and experienced launched into new ministry contexts. We have designed a program to help navigate these realities.

The 6 Parties of Seminary Education

There are potentially as many as 6 parties involved in the seminary education process and many of them having competing interests. We have created a program that aligns the interests of all parties:

  1. Sending Community – this is the local church and/or extended relational network of the seminarian who has affirmed their internal call with an external call. This community is incentivized to stay connected to the seminarian with perhaps the thought that they might return to minister back in this context.
  2. Seminarian – this is the person who is attending seminary. The seminarian is incentivized to get an education, remain married, gain ministry experience, graduate, and become gainfully employed.
  3. Seminarian Family – this is the spouse and/or children of the seminarian. The family is incentivized to balance adequate time with the seminarian with the seminarian’s needs for the education and experience they will need for gainful employment post-seminary.
  4. Seminary – this is the educational institution that will be providing content, mentorship, and an accredited degree. They are incentivized to maintain accreditation, keep enrollment adequate/growing, and produce graduates who reinforce the excellence of their educational experience.
  5. Seminary Church Community – this is the new local church that the seminarian and their family become members. They are incentivized (if kingdom minded) to steward the unique opportunity to help train pastors, give them practical wisdom, and give opportunities for ministry experience.
  6. Post-Seminary Church Community – this is the ministry context to which the seminarian will be gainfully employed. They are incentivized to have a seminarian whose marriage is healthy, who has a proper theological education, and who has solid ministry experience.

Who is a Good Candidate?

For certain well qualified candidates, we have designed an experience that seeks to align the interest of all 6 parties. An excellent candidate will have at least 4 of the following 5 characteristics:

  1. Calling - Interns will possess a strong sense of internal and external call. Parallel to this is also a high degree of self-awareness, others awareness, emotional health, and clear sense of future ministry direction (lead pastor, executive pastor, worship and creative arts pastor, family/community/discipleship, women’s ministry director… etc.).
  2. Ministry Partner Development - Interns will have some experience raising financial support. Interns will be given the opportunity to raise financial support for their education as well as for reasonable amounts of their living expenses.  
  3. Affiliation Clarity - Interns will have a clear sense of denomination/affiliation ties (PCA, EPC, SBC, Acts 29, Reformed Baptist, EFCA… etc.).
  4. Ministry Experience - Interns will have enough ministry experience to be able to contribute in a local church once in the seminary community.
  5. Full-Time Student - Interns will be attending seminary full-time.

What is the Internship?

The seminary student will give roughly 15 hours a week to minister in the seminary church community. This time will be split into two categories:

  1. Being invested in
    • Shadowing various ministry activities
    • Sitting in on leadership meetings
    • Discussing reading resources
    • Weekly intern lunch
    • Processing real-life ministry
    • Promoting good self-care
    • Discipleship
  2. Opportunities to Serve
    • Preaching
    • Teaching
    • Leading various things (small group, ministry team, special projects… etc.)

If you are interested in more details, have questions, or wanting to apply - please contact our Executive Pastor, Mike Graham - mike@orlandograce.org