The Ohio XA internship offers a variety of missional experiences across three distinct college settings – a public university (Wright State), a private univeristy (U of Dayton), and a community college (Sinclair CC). Each intern will be exposed to an established ministry, an up and coming ministry, and a ministry on a strictly commuter campus. Each school provides it’s own challenges and opportunities for learning that will benefit the intern with a wide scope of skills and competencies, along side character and theological growth.
The ultimate goal of all Chi Alpha internships is to offer an authentic place of growth and excellence in preparation for campus missions. An intern is not relegated to being a staff person’s gopher or a “special projects” person. Instead, an intern joins a Chi Alpha ministry team as a coworker under training. In that position, he or she takes on the work, challenges, and intensity that campus staff face in an ongoing way as mission leaders. This program is specifically designed to develop a person’s character, intellect, and ministry skills.
To promote character growth (which is Scripture’s overwhelming concern for pastoral leaders – see 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1), each intern will be personally supervised by a staff person. The interns have consistent opportunities each week to meet with their pastoral supervisor for prayer and discussions that touch on the attitudes, disciplines, and expression of our lives as ministers.
With regards to intellectual development, our goal is not to teach many things briefly, but rather to concentrate on establishing firm theological foundations. We intend to leave with each intern both the skills and knowledge needed to pursue a lifelong development of their intellect.
An intern can anticipate time being given daily to develop the disciplines of devotion and personal study, as well as weekly group gatherings to discuss the essentials of a biblical, evangelical, and Pentecostal faith. Finally, there is the broad area of skills. We are deeply aware and committed to the reality that knowledge only becomes a helpful skill when the knowledge is allowed to be experienced repetitively in a person’s life. Therefore, an intern can expect not only training, but the opportunity to “do the work of the ministry.”
Following training, each intern will have significant opportunities to teach from the Scripture in a variety of settings. Each intern will lead a small group dedicated to Bible study, prayer and practical training. There are also such areas as evangelism, administration, time management, counseling, support raising and ministry budgeting, to name but a few of the skill areas addressed and experienced during the CMIT internship.
In these and other ways we intend to see men and women properly prepared in their character, intellect, and skills for effective ministry to the secular campuses of the United States.
Campus Missionary Qualities
- Personal life of prayer, devotion, and spiritual disciplines.
- A life with healthy boundaries and balance between ministry and family.
- Character, including honesty, integrity and moral purity.
Self-motivation, self-starting and self-direction (especially important for pioneering).
- Outward/Missionary mindset (as opposed to administrative, which is needed as well).
- Commitment to continued growth through study, reading, classes, etc.
- Strong sense of calling, self-awareness, and wisdom.
- Ability to receive ministerial credentials with the Assemblies of God (AG) at the end of CMIT experience.
- Ability to relate to the AG.
- Ability to connect to Chi Alpha on a district, regional, and national level.
- Ability to develop and maintain a support team.
- Ability to prepare ministerial taxes.
- Ability to apply Scripture to personal life.
- Ability to relate personally to students, parents, staff, church leaders, college/university personnel, and AG officials.
Ministry Skill Competencies
- Ability to implement missions/pioneering principles including but not limited to evaluating needs, developing appropriate evangelism strategies, marketing/promotion, and evaluation.
- Ability to minister cross-culturally, including international students.
- Ability to administrate including but not limited to planning events and the administration of time, financial, and human resources.
- Ability to develop appropriate structures and training for student leadership development.
- Ability to communicate verbally including preaching, teaching, and leading discussions in a variety of contexts.
- Ability to provide leadership.
- Ability to lead worship.
- Ability to plan and execute a missions experience.
- Ability to disciple students.
- Ability to provide Biblical counseling.
- Ability to communicate in writing, including but not limited to newsletters.
- Ability to utilize computer software.
- Ability to operate in the gifts of the Spirit.
- Ability to explain/defend core theological doctrines/issues.
- Ability to explain/defend Pentecostal theology.
- Ability to exegete the Bible properly.
- Ability to articulate current collegiate culture.
- Ability to express/defend issues concerning women in ministry.
- Ability to identify, define, and explain various world religions
(by Brady Bobbink, Director of Chi Alpha Campus Ministries at Western Washington University; Bellingham, WA)
The words “Campus Missionary in Training” seem to lack the zing needed to grab most readers’ imagination. But before you pass over this article, consider the following question: Have you ever been operated on?
I have faced that unpleasant but needed experience in life. I was calmed considerably knowing that practical preparation required of my doctor before he was set free to work on me.
Consider the teacher, counselor, pilot, or electrician. All of these fields and many more have long realized the need for supervised “in-field” training. This training (especially in the medical field) is known as an internship, and is considered an essential aspect of credible preparation.
But what about the area of pastoral calling, where many seem much slower to see “in-field” training as an essential aspect of proper preparation? This attitude prevails in spite of the fact that the minister (be it campus or church) is a combination of the teacher, counselor, pilot, and doctor. The campus pastor will be a teacher of eternal truths and will be called on to give counsel to countless number of students. He or she will guide (pilot) the student fellowship through many storms. The campus minister is a surgeon of the soul who must learn rightly to use the scalpel of the spirit.
With these things in mind and in light of Scripture’s concern for the proper testing of leaders (1Timothy 3:10), one wonders why we place so little stress on meaningful internships in the training of our pastors. It is time we recognize that a CMIT is not irrelevant, it is essential!
You may be thinking, “I’ve been to college, Bible School, or perhaps seminary, so why should I do a CMIT?” Good question! Pastoral ministry, like a surgeon, pilot, or electrician, entails much more than simply fostering simple theological truths and ministry philosophy in a formal classroom setting.
The mind must be prepared, but there must also be an extended time of testing one’s character, discovery of one’s gifts, and [to] be done realistically requires “hands on” experience.
A veteran CMIT director stated, “My experience was over the nine years of training interns from Bible Schools, seminaries, and secular colleges has confirmed that all of them needed and greatly benefited from the practical supervised training they received. This need for practical training is the first reason to do a CMIT.”