Pastoral Internship Template
**Important Note: This is the internship we started at Auburndale Baptist Church. This internship functions with no salary to the interns, or any money in the church budget. Additionally, this internship works in cooperation with SBTS to provide credit for a students applied ministry class. Feel free to use this template for your own church. This template can also be found in the book, Prepare Them To Shepherd.
Name of Church
(In Cooperation with the SBTS Applied Ministry Syllabus and Handbook)
Purpose and Benefit:
The purpose of this internship is to provide an atmosphere within a local church to train, equip, and affirm men for pastoral ministry. There are five potential benefits in considering this internship:
First, the benefit of a supportive and loving environment of a local church that assumes responsibility for the care, training, and education of the intern.
Second, the receiving of practical understanding and training for the essential areas of pastoral ministry within the local church.
Third, gaining an official church position approved by the church that can go on a resume reflecting ministry experience.
Fourth, the opportunity for a local congregation to affirm an individual’s gifts and calling.
Fifth, exposure to a pastor’s daily schedule to help an individual
evaluate the pastoral nature of their calling.
[January through April] or [May through August] or [September through December]
There is no salary for this position.
Approximately 10 Hours (Weekly)
(Wed: 3pm – 7pm; Sun: 9am – 12pm, 5pm – 8pm)
(Flexible to the intern’s needs and availability)
– Sermon and worship service planning and preparation
– Disciplined prayer life
– Pastoral care: hospitals, visitation, member care, and membership interviews
– Public worship service involvement and evaluation
– Funerals and weddings
– Leadership meetings (pastors, staff, deacons, committees, etc.)
– Essentials of administration
– Monthly report to the congregation on personal progress
– In addition to SBTS Applied Ministry requirements, 2 additional books to read and discuss with pastor or field supervisor (paid for by the church)
– In addition to SBTS Applied Ministry requirements, 2 additional (5 page) papers to write: theological implications on practical ministry issues
Field Supervisor for SBTS Requirement
Other pastors or staff
Internship Weekly Schedule (Flexible)
3pm – 4pm
Meet with pastor: discuss book/paper; time of instruction with learning objectives/ personal goals.
4pm – 5pm
Worship service planning with the pastors
5pm – 7pm
Staff meeting/ / administration and bookkeeping/ Bible Study
7pm – 8pm
9am – 9:30 am
Meet at church/ pray/ Prepare for Sunday School
9:30am – 10:30am
Attend Sunday School
10:45am – 12pm
2pm – 5pm
Pastor’s meetings (monthly)
5pm – 5:30pm
Monthly meetings: deacons/ committees/ membership Interviews/ etc.
5:30pm – 6pm
Prepare for evening gathering
6pm – 7pm
7:15pm – 8pm
Service Review Evaluation
Service review takes place as a round table discussion with one primary facilitator to evaluate the public gatherings for that Lord’s Day. It works best to have this time 15 minutes after our evening service with duration of forty five minutes – one hour. There are two main benefits: First, everyone is already at church to meet before going home for the day. Second, the gatherings for that Lord’s Day are fresh on everyone’s minds and hearts, which produce a more engaged evaluation. This time also provides wives and children the option to stay and fellowship with one another while the men meet. Sensitivity to families waiting is why this meeting should last one hour maximum. Anyone is invited to attend, but is primarily attended by those men who participate in leading and preaching in the public gathering, or aspire to do so. Those leading and preaching that day, as well as current pastoral interns are required to attend.
The primary role of service review is two fold: First, service review is a safeguard to maintain biblical fidelity within the public gatherings of the church. Secondly, service review is a tool to cultivate the skill of giving and receiving sincere, helpful, and godly criticism, which does not come naturally. It must be learned, taught, and molded into believers. Within these two chief purposes, there are several other purposes to be accomplished in setting this time aside to evaluate:
– To provide an opportunity to speak words of encouragement as well as correction if needed into the lives of those who led and preached in the public gathering.
– To create a culture of evaluating the public gatherings, not by preference or style, but biblically, theologically, pastorally, and practically.
– To create an environment to evaluate critically what is important and what is not important in regard to sermons and services.
– To create an environment for those participating and observing to learn, grow, and mature in the various roles discussed.
– To learn discernment in what are helpful, instructive comments—and what are not.
– To create an environment of humility, trust, fellowship, and openness with our lives to those present.
The facilitator’s role is much like a moderator or chairman. He is to keep the discussion progressing in a helpful direction and protect the group from digressing in a negative manner. The facilitator asks a question about the service or sermon and goes around the table soliciting thoughts and comments about that particular question. Here are a few examples:
– Did the service run on one continuous theme that led into the preaching of the word?
– What encouraging comments do you have for those who led the service?
– What could have been done better?
– Any theological concerns with the songs chosen?
– Did the congregation seem to sing well? Why or why not?
– What was one truth prayed in the service that was particularly meaningful to you?
– Was the Lord’s Table administered in a biblically appropriate way?
– Were there any distractions that need to be mentioned?
– What connections did you see to the scripture readings and the sermon?
– What is something you learned in the exposition of the text you didn’t notice before?
– What application from the sermon was particularly meaningful to you?
– Was there any portion of the sermon that you would suggest amending or condensing?
– Were there any errors spoken, or clarifications that need to be made by those who led or preached?
The facilitator can also use this time to have a short discussion about a topic if he feels it would benefit the group. Topics could include approaches to preaching a certain text, factors in determining songs, methods of applying texts edifyingly and faithfully, good templates to think through when praying publicly, and techniques for communicating effectively (e.g., voice inflection) are useful conversations to have with those leading, preaching, and aspiring to do so in your congregation.
This approach should leave those involved challenged to think through different issues in regard to the public gatherings of your church, but ultimately this time should encourage those who labored in leading and preaching, unless a particularly poor job was done. If you find these meetings have a more critical feel than mutual edification, you need to consider whether this time has taken too critical a direction and adjustments need to be made.
 This was deigned with Donald Whitney to work in conjunction with the Applied Ministry courses of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. This template shows one possible scenario on how to partner a pastoral internship with a theological institution. It is, however, not necessary to do so.
 I was first exposed to this idea through my friend and mentor, Mark Dever, and the ministry of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. I have tweaked it over the years, but very little originated with me.