Ministry in Context

Learning Goals and Project Proposals

Most interns should be at work now on their Learning Goals and Project Proposal. These are forms due to be submitted by the end of the second month of internship. Supervisors and Lay Committee should be expecting to talk with the intern about the forms.

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,       

  • achievable
  • agreed to by the principal parties
  • specific
  • 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.

Each intern is expected to complete an internship project, which will be described in the Project Proposal. 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.

For more information about Learning Goals or the Project Proposal, please consult the website.

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