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


$1,100 monthly (concurrent internship, $550)

Housing and Utilities

Adequate compensation, varies regionally


IRS standard mileage rate

Work Expenses

By agreement

Cluster Meeting

Expenses borne by congregation

New Supervisor Orientation

Registration cost borne by congregation

Health Insurance

$4,000 annually based on Luther Seminary plan for intern coverage (concurrent internship, $2,000)


Employer's portion

Travel Pool

$500 (billed after internship begins; split between years for concurrent)

Administration Fee

$1,000 (billed after internship begins; split between years for concurrent)

Moving Expenses

See below

Day Off and Vacation

See below


The stipend is $1,100 per month for a one-year, full-time internship; $550 per month for a two-year, half-time (concurrent) internship. As the intern is considered an employee of the congregation, his/her stipend is taxable. Congregations are required to pay the employer's portion of the FICA.

Please note: The internship stipend will increase to $1,300/month beginning in fall 2016.

Housing and Utility Allowance

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

The congregation will provide adequate furnished housing and utilities (including Internet) 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 and will pay a monthly housing and utility allowance directly 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 additional moving expense is not intended to be covered by the travel pool. While mileage support is paid to the intern for travel to and from the internship site, it will not cover all moving costs.) Alternative housing arrangements must be negotiated with the Office of Contextual Learning.


Business-related travel expenses are to be reimbursed to the intern at the IRS standard mileage rate or as a monthly car allowance.

Work expenses

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

Cluster meetings

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

New Supervisor Orientation

New supervisors will be required to attend a New Supervisor Orientation session prior to the beginning of internship. The registration fee ($300 for residential supervisors and $200 for commuting/traveling supervisors) is the responsibility of the congregation, but the Office of Contextual Learning will reimburse supervisors for their travel costs.

Health Insurance

The congregation will pay the intern's health insurance premium for the year, up to the equivalent cost of insurance offered by Luther Seminary for the student health insurance plan. The estimated annual premium for the coming year is $4,000. (For a half-time/two-year concurrent internship, the amount is 50 percent of the annual premium limit for each of the two years.) If the intern is covered under the seminary plan, the congregation may pay the seminary directly by sending a clearly designated check to 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 through another plan. With the Affordable Care Act, students may choose to acquire health insurance coverage through the marketplace. If a student is covered under an individual plan or that of a spouse, the congregation is obligated to pay the student's premium cost up to the seminary plan estimate of $4,000; the coverage amount will be paid directly to the student.

If, prior to the internship year, a student is not covered through the student plan, students will find a lapse in coverage if their prior coverage ends earlier than Sept. 1. The student health insurance coverage does not start until Sept. 1 of the internship year. The Business Office can answer questions you have about seminary insurance. Call them at 651-641-3240.


All stipends are subject to income tax and FICA. Since the intern is considered an employee of the congregation, the congregation is also subject to FICA. 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-plus-percent per month FICA on the stipend and housing allowance. Over the course of a full year, the liability of the congregation would likely be somewhere between $1,000 and $1,750. The congregation may assist the intern by paying the employee's portion as well.

Travel Pool fee: $500 (billed after Internship begins; split between years for concurrent)

  1. Travel reimbursement is based on the number of miles between the home seminary and the site, and the number of dependents accompanying the student. Interns receive checks at the beginning and end of the internship. Minimum reimbursement has been set at $150.
  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 or institutions. When both are interns, neither can be claimed as a dependent. Dependent children are reimbursed under only one intern's travel pay.
  3. Congregational payment for the travel pool is set by the Vocation & Education unit of the ELCA at $500.
  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 reassigned during the summer, additional mileage will be paid to cover travel to the new site if the distance is greater.

Extra time is allowed for students interning in excess of 500 miles from the 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 Contextual Learning if you have any questions.

Internship Administration fee: $1,000 (billed after internship begins; split between years for concurrent)

All internship sites are responsible for the $1,000 administration fee, set by the Vocation & Education unit of the ELCA, and will be billed, along with the travel pool fee near the beginning of the internship year. Concurrent internship sites will be billed $500 at the beginning of each internship year.

Moving Expenses

  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.

Day Off and Vacation time

Full-time (12 months) and concurrent interns will receive one day off per week and two weeks of paid vacation (including two weekends) per year. For a nine-month internship, the intern will receive one day off per week and 10 days of paid vacation (including one weekend).