Finding a Place for Me – Internship Matching

Spring is an exciting time for middler (2nd year) ELCA seminarians, this is because for those on the traditional 4 year M.Div. track, it is spring of your middler year that you begin to find out where you will be spending your third year on internship.

I’m blessed to be part of the combined LTSG/LTSP internship matching process, which is unique in the level of participation that both interns and supervisors get to have in the decision-making process.  I’ve tried to lay it out as concisely as possible as a way of sharing with others what is happening and will be happening over the coming days.  I’m even using bullet points to try and keep myself even more concise:

  • Early last Fall, all the middlers from LTSG and LTSP planning to participate in the internship matching process filled out a standardized application.  This application is mostly biographical in nature but also has some logistical information as well (ie. do you have a reliable car, do you have geographical preferences and restrictions, what is your family situation, do you have pets? etc.).
  • Beginning in December and continuing up until just a few days ago churches that were interested in working with an intern filled out their own application that is in many ways parallel to the student’s application.  It’s important to note that except in very rare cases, churches need to be able to fully fund their internship: this means providing housing, a monthly stipend, health care, and paying for all of the academic fees.  This can cost as much as $30,000.
  • As internship sites send in their applications, they are forwarded to us as students to review.  Likewise, the sites receive a disk with the student applications for all of the prospective interns.  This way, both interns and supervisors can start to get an idea of who might be a good match.
  • Finally… Sort of… INTERNSHIP MATCHING WORKSHOP!  Later this week (Thursday and Friday) all of the supervisors and all of the prospective students come to the LTSG campus for interviews.  Over the course of a day and a half, you interview with at least 7-8 (and often quite a few more) supervisors.  The facilitators really try to de-emphasize any sense of competition, reminding students and supervisors that the goal is to find the best match, not necessarily their favorite.
  • At the end of the workshop, students and supervisors make lists of everyone they interviewed with.  Interns separate their list into three tiers, the first being those that they’d be interested in working with; the second being sites/supervisors that they’d be willing to go to, but otherwise have some sort of hesitation about; and finally those that they would not be willing to go to.  Likewise, the supervisors also generate a three-tiered list.  Both sets of lists are submitted to the LTSG field ed folks for review.
  • From there it becomes a big logic puzzle for the folks in the field education office, matching up the tiers of the different lists and trying to find a match for everyone; the emphasis here is very utilitarian, finding the most good matches for the most people.  Fortunately, they won’t send you to a place you said no to, and they won’t send you to a place you listed having hesitations about without talking to you first.
  • Once it’s all sorted out, the placements are announced.  Chances are, this will happen in the early part of March.  Moving forward, some internships could start as early as May or as late as September, it all depends on the site and the student.


Personally, I’ve got a list of about 10 sites picked out that I’d like to interview with.  They represent a pretty decent variety of geographical locations and ministry contexts.  At this point, it’s basically a matter of trusting in the Holy Spirit to send me to wherever I need to be.


Posted on February 11, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Sounds pretty similar to the process I went through. Our Contextual Ed director also made recommendations for who we should interview with, as most supervisors are “recurring” and work with Trinity year after year, so she knew them really well. My supervisor was someone I didn’t initially interview, but she asked me to make another phone call and interview with him. Turns out she and the Holy Spirit knew what they were doing!

  2. Are you still involved in emergency services?

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