“Internships are increasingly important today . . . because skills are increasingly important in the new economy and because colleges increasingly don’t teach the ones employers are looking for.” Thomas L. Friedman in the NY Times June 9, 2013
The same could be said about internships and seminaries. Seminary internships – also called Field Education – can be immensely helpful in terms of fortifying one’s Pastoral Identity as well as teaching essential skills on the job.
I serve on a Middle Judicatory Staff as an Interim Associate Executive. So, for starters, I’m just the interim and so it makes little sense for me to consider getting an intern. But I’ve pondered what an internship in my office might look like. A couple of initial questions:
- Would anyone even want to be an intern in the Presbytery Office?
- Could we come up with responsibilities that went beyond filing things?
- How would we deal with confidentiality issues? (“Don’t mind the seminarian standing over there. Just go ahead and tell me about how dysfunctional things are over there.)
But I imagine that there are skills that would be teachable out of the Presbytery Office: Mediation. Juggling. Conversations about Common Church Crises and Transitions.
The future of Middle Judicatories and Mainline Church hierarchies in general is uncertain. I see my role – as I saw it when serving as a parish pastor – as working myself out of a job. Our work involves equipping others to do what we do.
And yet something tells me that there will always be more to do as people continue to long for community. Maybe someone like me or someone like you could help with that. Know anybody who wants to intern at the Presbytery? Just wondering for the future.