Learning Beyond the Classroom
Internship in Ministry and Religious Education
The Internship in Ministry and Religious Education (IMRE) is a semester-long opportunity for students who have declared a major in religious and theological studies to engage in service in a parish, congregation, synagogue, or religiously affiliated secondary school, as well as in hospice and hospital pastoral care agencies. The IMRE was created especially for students who wish to pursue professional careers in ministry and religious education, or who intend to pursue academic careers in religious and theological studies.
The purpose of this program is to provide interested and motivated students with an opportunity to gain valuable practical experience in their chosen field of study.
The Department of Religious and Theological Studies will be happy to expand this program, as needed, to include appropriate opportunities for students who are majoring in religious and theological studies, but are from religious traditions not currently included in our list of internship opportunities.
The IMRE will span a period roughly equivalent to the space of a semester and include around five actual service hours per week (this may vary according to the specific need of particular internship sites). Before the beginning of the period of internship, the prospective intern will create a learning agreement specifying 1.) interests, 2.) goals, 3.) expectations, and 4.) agreed work. This learning agreement will be developed in consultation with the Merrimack coordinator and the on-site mentor, and will be submitted to the faculty of the Department of Religious and Theological Studies for final approval. The length of the internship and the meeting times will be established by the Merrimack coordinator, in consultation with the student and the on-site mentor, also with the approval of the Department of Religious and Theological Studies. The student and his/her mentor will arrange to meet for conversation at least once every other week for the duration of the internship. Interns in ministry and religious education will be required to keep a journal on a regular basis throughout the time of the internship and to regularly share the journal with their internship mentors for periodic assessment, and to hand in the journal to the Merrimack coordinator at the end of the period of internship.
Mentors will be encouraged to keep in regular contact with the Merrimack coordinator, but will submit a final report which will comprise the mentor’s assessment of the intern’s involvement during the period of the internship. The coordinator will then assign a grade for the internship based on the final report of the mentor, a careful reading of the journal written by the intern, and conversations with the mentor and the intern. The final responsibility for the assignment of a grade rests with the departmental coordinator.
The IMRE is only open to students in their junior or senior year who major in religious and theological studies at Merrimack College, and whose cumulative GPA is 2.8 or better, and whose GPA in RTS is 3.0 or better. Applicants will be encouraged to apply in early March of the previous school year for fall semester internships, and in early September, for spring internships. There may be a possibility of summer internships which would be arranged in early March as well. The interested student should have completed a sufficient number of courses in the major, usually including one or more courses that are deemed to support the applicant’s proposed internship.
Acceptance into the IMRE will be based on information provided by the student on the application form as well as interviews with the prospective intern by both the Merrimack coordinator and (usually) the on-site mentor. Decisions about admission to the program are made by the chairperson of the Religious and Theological Studies Department and the coordinator of the IMRE program.
Stevens Service Learning Center
Center for Christian-Jewish-Muslim Relations
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