Who is the average applicant?
Our applicants are typically students that have recently graduated with their college degree and are looking for further training before they begin their careers in ministry. They all have had some prior experience working in ministry.
What are the minimum requirements to be considered for an internship?
We require that all applicants have a college degree and some prior ministry experience. However, if you feel you have a unique situation, contact us and we will discuss it.
Can international interns apply?
Yes! We have enjoyed having interns from Australia, Germany, and Switzerland! We encourage international applicants to apply. The only variation to the application process is that international applicants must apply for a Religious Worker’s Visa (R1) from the American Embassy in their country. This can be a lengthy process depending on the country, so we recommend international applicants apply for our internship program 9 months before their potential start date.
How do I decide which ministry is best for me?
One emphasis during the application process is to assess your SHAPE (Spiritual gifts, Heart, Abilities, Personality, Experiences). This will help to determine which ministry is best for you. The selection is made first by the applicant and reviewed by the director after the first interview.
Where will I spend my time?
You will be interning on the ministry team that you and the Intern Director decide you will land on. You will go through weekly training with other interns targeted at learning and applying the fundamental principles from The Purpose-Driven Church and The Purpose-Driven Life (and Purpose-Driven Youth Ministry if you land on a Student Ministries team). In addition you will receive a full understanding of the ministry that you serve on by serving (on rotation) the different members of the team. Our goal is that you fully understand how to develop and run the ministry of your choosing after extensive 2-year training.
Is it possible to intern for less than 2 years?
Unfortunately, it is not. Our program is designed around a 2-year process with the intern spending 6 months with each team member within the ministry in order to gain a full understanding of the ministry. We have found that this process works very well within the 2 year program.
Who will supervise me?
You will be supervised by two primary people: the Intern Director and the Team Pastor of the team you choose to serve on.
Can I work and be an intern at the same time?
Our full-time internship offers many things to you (mentoring, coaching, skill training, strategic thinking, collaborative learning, etc.) that will help shape you and your ministry. The internship requires a 40-50 hour work week, which would make it unmanageable for you to take on a part-time job. We want you to have the energy, time, and focus to make the most out of your internship as well as balance the other top priorities in your life. This is why we ask the interns to raise support.
Can I pursue an advanced degree?
Yes! Saddleback has a partnership with two seminary programs, one of which is Golden Gate Baptist Theological School (www.ggbts.edu) which offers classes that work around a full-time ministry-worker's schedule. This means you will be able to take up to two classes per semester on the nights that don't conflict with your ministry team’s schedule. Rockbridge University is the other seminary program Saddleback is paired with (www.rockbridgeu.org). It offers an online approach to taking seminary classes. You are welcome to attend any seminary part-time during your internship, but these are two that we would encourage you to look into.
When can interns start?
As soon as the applicant is approved and has raised the required 2-months support before beginning.
What are the admission requirements for the Interns Ministry?
Complete application, bachelor’s degree, seeking vocational ministry, pass various interviews (including a Theological interview with an Executive pastor).
Does Saddleback give benefits to interns?
Saddleback currently does not offer any benefits to interns at this time. However, we have developed strategies to help interns attain affordable benefits and we partner with our interns to make sure they are covered.
Will I be paid as an intern?
No. We strongly believe that if God has called you to this internship, He will provide the way for you. Interns are fully responsible to raise their own support during their internship. All approved interns can receive coaching on support raising through the internship program. We do require that 100% of your monthly support is set and that you have 2 months of your monthly support raised prior to starting your internship. Special note – All interns are responsible to pay their own taxes each year.
Is a married person eligible for the internship?
Absolutely! The only difference would be providing your own housing. However, if your spouse works, his/her income might provide the added financial resources. If your spouse does not work, you are required to raise additional housing support.
Where is Saddleback?
Who is Saddleback affiliated with? We are located in Lake Forest, California, a suburb of South Orange County. We are in between Los Angeles and San Diego. Saddleback Church (www.saddleback.com) is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention. For information regarding Saddleback's theological beliefs, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Are there any job guarantees after the Internship?
There is no guarantee of employment at Saddleback or outside of Saddleback after your internship. Though we have hired a few interns over the years, it is not our goal to accept interns so that we may hire them when their internship is up. We feel extremely confident that your 2-year investment with us will open many doors for you and we will definitely be here to help you with your next steps.
Can I still have an internship if I don’t agree with Saddleback’s theology?
We require that all of our interns pass a Theological Interview given by one of our Executive pastors. Beyond the basic Christian beliefs, you will not have to hold the same denominational values as the Southern Baptist Convention, but we ask that you will respectfully comply with these denominational values during your internship with us.
What are the standards that interns must abide by?
Saddleback has outlined standards for living above reproach for all Saddleback staff. Since interns are considered staff, they will be held to the same standards. We are required to sign a covenant including the following commitments:
- Commit to refrain from activities that could cause a new believer to stumble such as: abusing prescription drugs, consuming alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs, or engaging in gambling of any type
- Commit to sexual purity, and commit only to dating another believer (if single).
- Commit to living above reproach: this includes completely avoiding situations that may lead to temptation, or may appear compromising.
Some examples that the staff has outlined are:
Saddleback staff may not:
* Excluding family members of the opposite sex.
Will I be guaranteed to start the month that I apply for if I get my application in on time?
- Ride alone with a married person of the opposite sex.*
- Go to lunch alone with a married person of the opposite sex.*
- Kiss or show questionable affection with a married person of the opposite sex.*
- Visit anyone of the opposite sex alone at home.*
- Counsel the opposite sex alone.*
- Discuss marriage or sexual problems with the opposite sex.*
- Have a member of the opposite sex spend the night.*
In some cases the process takes more than 5 months as the result of uncontrollable variables, especially in international cases. You are not guaranteed to start during the month you apply for. If the process isn’t complete by the starting month you applied for, you will be given the option of deferring to the next hiring period, or withdrawing from the process.
Who pays for the cost of my visit to Saddleback?
You are responsible for the cost of your visit, whether or not we accept you into the program. We will provide a host home during your time with us and pay for lunch on the days you meet with our team. All other expenses you will be responsible for. We would encourage you to fly into John Wayne/Orange County Airport (SNA), because LAX is more than an hour away.
Why do you have a separate company set up for donations to interns?
We have it set up this way so the supporters will be able to deduct the money from their taxes.
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