The Departments of Church Leadership and The Center for Youth and Leadership (CYL) at North Central University join together to provide students with an individualized opportunity to integrate their theology and theory into a ministry immersion experience under the guidance of a proven practitioner-mentor.
As part of our academic programs, the Departments of Church Leadership and the CYL strive to offer the best training in areas of pastoral ministry, professional church and community work. Our academic programs work to build a common sense of community, pride, cooperation, and opportunity among those who desire to work in and alongside churches and service organizations in a variety of settings. To do this we look beyond the borders of our campus to build strategic partnerships with church, ministry, and community leaders.
One of the significant programs to prepare, connect, and serve emerging and existing leaders is through internships. These are off-campus, professional experiences in a ministry, program, or organization that reflect the student's area of interest, calling, and specialization. Students who display expertise in their area of interest are placed with qualified professionals to be mentored, trained, and to gain greater insight into the specifics of their anticipated career and ministry. Internships can take place in churches, para-church organizations, community organizations, and ministries located in urban, rural, suburban, or foreign settings. They are designed to give students an exposure to ministry and professional careers in the real world.
The Departments of Church Leadership and the CYL at NCU are always interested in partnering with churches, ministries, and organizations that will provide excellent opportunities for our students to learn, grow, and flourish in their area of interest. Participating partners also benefit from having energetic, knowledgeable, and passionate assistance for anywhere from three months up to a year. This mutually beneficial relationship impacts the lives of our students and those that these partner organizations touch on a daily basis.
The philosophy of the internship program at NCU is based on the strategy of Jesus and New Testament church leaders. Jesus called his disciples to "Come, follow me" (Matthew 4:19). He invited them to follow and see a lifestyle and ministry modeled. He also involved them in ministry and held them accountable in this effective learning experience. The apostle Paul used this model of learning to train for ministry and develop young leaders in the early church. He was mentored by Barnabas as a new believer and minister, (Acts 9:27 and Acts 13:2-3), and mentored young leaders such as Timothy and Titus. The model is that disciples were mentored for more effective ministry while they were involved in ministry.
Internships are a vital aspect of the academic programs at NCU. They are a requirement for graduation for all academic programs in the Departments of Church Leadership. Although internships are practical in nature and field-oriented, they must also have academic merit. Students must commit finances, time, and energy to the completion of the academic requirements. With the high cost of education, we are committed to providing the highest quality learning experience for their investment. Our goal is to assist students in whatever way possible, whether it is through directing them to quality opportunities, helping them find the necessary resources, and providing insightful feedback.
Students need an opportunity to experience ministry, to reflect upon that ministry experience with a qualified mentor, to articulate insights that have been gained, and to plan for future ministry utilizing these newly learned insights. This learning context will help students integrate previous learning and ministry experiences. As a result, the students' educational experience will be enhanced. Ideas learned in the classroom will be put into practice and evaluated in actual ministry settings.
At the heart of NCU's internship program is the belief that the development of the student's interior life is foundational to effective ministry. It is our desire that each student will learn to be the person of God as well as possessing the skills to do the work of God. The development of their identity and integrity is a priority in the preparation process. Spiritual growth is essential and results from a heart surrendered fully and sensitive to Christ.