The financial guidelines for the internship program are established by the Vocation & Education Churchwide unit of the ELCA.

  Stipend $1100 monthly (half-time internship, $550)
  Housing and Utilities Adequate compensation, varies regionally
  Car/Mileage IRS standard mileage rate
  Work Expenses By agreement
  Cluster Meeting Expenses borne by congregation
  New Supervisor Orientation Registration cost borne by congregation
  Health Insurance Approx. $3,000 (at 100%)
  FICA Employer's portion
  Travel Pool $500
  Administration Fee $1000
  Moving Expenses By agreement
  Day Off and Vacation By agreement
  Off-site Supervisor $150 monthly (minimum)
  Affiliation Fee Cost borne by intern
  State Residential Fees Cost borne by intern


The stipend is $1100 per month for a one-year, full-time internship; $550 per month for a two-year, half-time (concurrent) internship. For tax purposes, the intern is considered an employee of the congregation and NOT clergy;therefore, the intern's stipend and all other benefits—including housing allowance—are taxable. Congregations are required to pay the employer's portion of the FICA.


(For geographically restricted internship sites the following housing or a housing allowance requirements are waived. Contact the Contextual Learning office if you have questions about this provision.)

The congregation will provide adequate, furnished housing, including utilities; or a housing allowance. Separate, private housing is expected. The intern is not to be housed together with a parishioner.

If housing is not secured in advance by the congregation, the congregation will assist the intern in locating housing. A monthly housing and utility allowance will be paid to the intern.

If housing has been secured but is unfurnished or under-furnished, moving expenses between the internship site and the seminary will be provided by the congregation. (Please note, this cost is not covered by the Travel Pool.)

Any other alternative housing arrangements must be negotiated with the Contextual Learning staff.


Car expenses are to be reimbursed at the IRS standard mileage rate as an allowable deduction or as a monthly allowance.


The congregation will reimburse the intern for approved expenses incurred in his/her work.


Expenses for participation in cluster meetings by the intern and supervisor are the responsibility of the congregation.


New supervisors will be required to attend a New Supervisor Orientation session prior to the beginning of internship. The registration fee (approx. $300) is the responsibility of the congregation, but the Contextual Learning office will assist with travel costs.


The congregations will pay the intern's health insurance premium for the year. (For a half-time concurrent internship, this amount will be 50% of the premium.) For interns covered by the Student Seminary Insurance plan, the annual premium is approximately $3,000/year, but will vary depending on the student's circumstances. Congregations can pay the seminary directly by sending a clearly designated check to the Luther Seminary, Business Office, 2481 Como Ave., St. Paul, MN  55108.

A health insurance program has been provided for all ELCA seminary students. Students may choose not to participate in the seminary student insurance plan because of coverage in another plan. If, prior to your internship year, students are not covered by the student plan but through other employers, students will find a lapse in coverage if their prior coverage ends earlier than Sept. 1st. The student health insurance coverage does not start until Sept. 1 of the internship year. Additional information is available through the business office.


All stipends are subject to income tax and FICA, and congregations are subject to FICA for the intern as employee. Income tax and FICA will also need to be paid on the housing allowance or fair-rental value of housing that is provided. Thus, the financial implication for a congregation hosting a full-time intern is the payment of 7+% per month FICA on the stipend and housing allowance. Over the course of a full year the liability of the congregation, therefore, would likely be somewhere between $1000 - $1500. The congregation may assist the intern by paying the employee's portion as well.


Travel Pool fee: $500

  1. Travel reimbursement is for costs related to moving to and from internship, and is based on the number of miles between the seminary and the site, as well as the number of dependents accompanying the student. Minimum reimbursement has been set at $100.00.
  2. If a married couple serves internship together, each spouse is eligible to receive a mileage allowance unless only one travel pool fee has been paid by the internship congregations. When both are interns neither can be claimed as a dependent. Dependent children are reimbursed under only one intern's travel stipend.
  3. Congregational payment for the travel pool is set by the Vocation & Education unit of the ELCA at $500 and will be billed along with the administrative fee by early October following the start of the internship year.
  4. Students not returning to Luther Seminary may request return reimbursement unless they receive a call to a congregation which pays for all moving expenses. The return mileage is based on the distance between the site and final destination or the site and the seminary, whichever is less.
  5. If the situation at a site results in a student being re-assigned during the summer, additional mileage will be paid to cover travel to the new site if the distance is greater.
  6. Extra time is allowed for students interning in excess of 500 miles from seminary for return travel. Thus, for example, interns in Florida should be allowed three days, in addition to their vacation time, to travel back to St. Paul. Contact the CL Office if you have any questions.


Internship Administration fee: $1000

All internship sites are responsible for the $1000 Administration Fee, set by the Vocation & Education unit of the ELCA, and will be billed, along with the travel pool fee, by early October following the start of internship. These fees will be payable to the Contextual Learning office.


  1. If a congregation provides unfurnished housing, the student is entitled to some assistance in moving furniture and personal possessions. Normally this means the congregation will pay for the rental of a trailer or a truck. The student is responsible for negotiating this agreement with the congregation.
  2. If the congregation has provided furnished housing, the congregation bears no additional responsibility to assist with moving costs for furniture or other personal items.
  3. Any agreement regarding reimbursement of moving expense to or from the site must be in writing with a copy provided to the Contextual Learning office. All negotiations should be completed before the student leaves for the site.


Normally, the intern will receive one day off per week and two weeks of paid vacation (including two weekends) for a year's internship. for a nine-month internship, the intern will receive one day off per week and ten days of paid vacation (including one weekend).


In internships where supervision is provided by a pastor who has no official relationship to the internship site except for being the internship supervisor, it is appropriate for the supervisor to be compensated by the internship site. Such compensation should be identified when the internship application is submitted as part of the financial obligation that the internship congregation is prepared to assume in order to host an intern. Minimum compensation should be $150 a month plus reimbursement for expenses such as mileage or telephone costs. Any request for a variation from the above recommendation is to be negotiated with the Contextual Learning Director.


Affiliated students from any non-ELCA seminary will be assessed a $300 placement fee.


It is the responsibility of the intern to find out what the obligations are and fulfill them as necessary. Residential requirements differ from state to state and may affect car insurance, licensing, etc.