As October becomes November, certain pertinent documents pertaining to internship are either due for completion or soon will be.
Learning Goals are due by the end of the second month of internship which, for most interns, means the end of October. Learning Goals are broad summary statements which are inclusive, far-reaching, and visionary. These goals (ideally 3-5) are then joined to objectives which are mini-goals which focus upon specific aspects of the overall goal. Those objectives should be, as you can read on the Luther Seminary website:
- agreed to by the principal parties
- measurable, containing some means of evaluation
- possible, given the time limits of the program
- moderately risky or challenging
Once the Learning Goals are established, they can become part of the agenda for future conversations between intern and supervisor and between intern and lay committee.
Project Proposals are also due at the end of the second month. The project should be in one of four areas: stewardship, ecumenism, evangelism, or lay ministry.
The supervising pastor and the lay committee are expected to review and approve the proposal on its appropriateness for the development of the intern and the congregation. The completed project is to be evaluated both as to whether the intern demonstrated initiative and organizational skills, and also whether the project resulted in significant new learnings for the intern. It is possible, therefore, for an intern to have a successful project even though it was a programmatic failure. If the intern took initiative, organized well, was later able to see why the project failed, and can articulate what they learned for future ministry, then it will be deemed a successfully-completed project.
It is important that the intern's project be new to the life of the congregation. This will give the intern an opportunity to exercise initiative and to take responsibility for a project or program that has not been developed previously.
Finally, the time is drawing near for supervisor and intern to be looking at the three month evaluation. This form is designed for reflective conversation between these two partners, leading to an assessment of how things are going so far. If the internship began at the beginning of September, the three month evaluation should be completed at the end of November.