The ministry internship fair, designed to connect students with jobs in churches over the summer, took place Nov. 5 in the Hunter Welcome Center.
The event targets missions and ministry Bible majors, but any student who wished to get connected with a church for a potential internship through the fair could. The internships are normally 10-12 weeks long.
Robert Oglesby, the director of the Center for Youth & Family Ministries, said the fair places about 50 students a year with churches. The students work with churches working with youth groups, children’s ministries and other programs at the churches. The interns are also mentored by members of the church.
“Some of them go on foreign mission trips and some of them do intercity mission trips,” Oglesby said. “They get a wide variety of things they can be involved in and have someone watching over them and make sure they don’t do something dumb in the internship and learn how to do ministry.”
Students at the fair interacted with church representatives who asked them questions about their spiritual lives as well as their personal strengths and weaknesses.
Oglesby said the students who interview often receive multiple job offers from churches. Churches are not allowed to offer jobs at the fair but get in contact with their top candidates after two days.
Karen Cooke, a graduate assistant for Oglesby, said her personal internship as an undergraduate taught her about practical ministry. She said it was helpful to have a mentor through the experience.
“When it comes to the practical sides of ministry like teaching or walking someone through pain there’s really no substitute for practical experience,” Cooke said.
Oglesby said his students come back from internships often more engaged and with better questions in class.
“Sometimes what books say and what their experience says are different,” Oglesby said. “They’ll come back in saying, ‘I didn’t see that last summer in my internship.’ It makes the classroom better.”