Internships and Practicums

Internships and practicums provide bachelor’s and master’s degree students with valuable practical experience in their specific fields. An internship is a paid or unpaid position supervised by an employer at a business or nonprofit organization. Students benefit from applying to the knowledge gained through coursework, while also learning the realities of daily career responsibilities and determining the direction of their careers upon graduation. Internships are usually part-time during the school year, but can be full-time during the summer months. They can also provide college credit, depending on the program.

Teaching programs that require an internship or a practicum provide students with the opportunity to work in a classroom and gain valuable experience

Internships build resumes and professional networks, and some interns are hired directly after graduation by the companies or organizations that sponsored their internships. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ (NACE) 2017 Internship & Co-op Report, 51% of interns become full-time employees upon graduation. Additionally, 56% of employers surveyed for the NACE’s Job Outlook 2017 Report prefer recent graduates to have related internship experience. In other words, an internship can be a crucial step to landing a job post-graduation.

Practicums are similar to internships, but are typically reserved for graduate students. Many master’s programs in teaching, social work, science, and clinical health require them for degree completion. Participants spend much of their time observing others working in the field, and also have the opportunity to apply lessons and theories learned through coursework. Students work under the direction of advisers or professors, and are usually evaluated for college credit.

As you consider Christian internships or practicums, it’s important to keep your career goals in mind. Your internship can lead to your first job, or it could help you determine which aspect of Christian ministry you’d like to pursue.

What to Expect From Your Internship or Practicum

Completing Internships Through Mission Trips

Mission trips provide service opportunities for students and recent graduates. They take place in underprivileged areas of the U.S. and overseas. Participants immerse themselves in the culture of the region they serve and explore the various circumstances affecting the population. Some of the initiatives missionaries assist with include poverty alleviation, education, housing, business training, and sharing the Gospel. Mission trips allow participants to live the Gospel and have a positive impact on the individuals and families they serve.

While some internships are directly related to the mission, others provide the occasion to learn more about the sponsoring organization by working in their offices

Short-term mission trips are typically two to three months long and are often held during the summer months. Some are even one-week in length and usually occur during spring breaks. Long-term mission trips are often overseas and can last from one to two years. Many missionaries feel they are called to the work and remain dedicated to it long after completing their degree.

Some mission trips provide Christian internship opportunities, which usually take place prior to the field work. While some internships are directly related to the mission, others provide the occasion to learn more about the sponsoring organization by working in their offices. You can identify mission trips that offer Christian internships by conducting online searches, meeting with your school’s career counselors, or attending job fairs.

Where to Find Christian Internships

Christian internships are available through organizations that minister to people in the U.S. and abroad. There are a variety of resources to help you identify one that aligns with your degree program, talents, and interests. Some places to begin your research are listed below.

Your School’s Career Center

Staff counselors assist you with identifying internship opportunities that meet your goals. They also provide resources to prepare you for resume writing, job searching, and interviewing.

Job Fairs

These events are sponsored by colleges and organizations to promote employment. They provide job seekers an opportunity to meet local employers and discuss job openings. Employers also seek interns at job fairs.

Recruiting Events

Often sponsored by an organization or company, recruiting events provide candidates the chance to speak to hiring managers and learn more about the host organization. Recruiting events can also be similar to job expos or fairs, where multiple organizations are represented.

Alumni Network

Colleges and universities have online alumni organizations that offer a virtual setting for networking, volunteer activities, employment, and internships. These valuable networks connect graduates of all ages and geographic locations.

Job Boards and Internship Databases

These online databases offer thousands of internship and employment positions. Users can customize their searches by location, job type, and title. Some sites allow users to post their resumes to connect with potential employers.

Christian Counseling Internships

  • Indeed This popular job search database provides listings of Christian counseling internships nationwide. Positions listed are both paid and unpaid.
  • Biblical Counseling Coalition This organization shares jobs and Christian counseling internships at organizations that share its mission, which is providing Biblical counseling services dedicated to Jesus Christ and rooted in scripture.
  • Safe Harbor Christian Counseling With multiple locations in eight states and he District of Columbia, this organization employs counselors dedicated to clinically sound Christian counseling. Christian counseling internships are available.

Christian Nonprofit Internships

  • Christian Career Center This database for Christian job seekers features employment and internship listings, along with career development resources. Users have access to its sister job sites and can register for the Christian Career Center newsletter.
  • The Gospel Coalition This organization comprises Evangelical churches dedicated to the Reformed tradition. It offers an online job board of nonprofit and church internships in the U.S. and abroad. Users can register to receive job listings by email.
  • Featuring thousands of internship listings nationwide, this online database includes paid and unpaid Christian nonprofit internships. Student and entry-level employment opportunities are also available.

Missions and Ministry Internships

  • City Vision Internships This organization provides access to one-year and summer ministry internships. Students apply online to the undergraduate work study internship program or to the MBA Community Fellows Program. Scholarships are available.
  • HOPE International Unpaid domestic and international ministry internships are available with this Gospel-based organization. It works to alleviate poverty through microloans, training, and savings programs.
  • Compassion International, Inc. This global ministry organization seeks to transform the lives of children through Christ-centered poverty alleviation. It offers 10-week, paid Christian internships at the organization’s Global Ministry Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Students participate in mission trips prior to commencing their internships. Locations vary, but have included Mexico, Haiti, and Nicaragua.