YDS Internships

The Internship Program helps students gain professional competencies in the art and practice of ministry and nonprofit leadership, build frameworks for addressing practical theological issues, acquire comprehensive and contextualized views of ministry in the church and the world, discern and develop professional ministerial identities, and establish a foundation for pursuing lifelong learning individually and among peers. One internship is required for the M.Div. program; internships are also available to students in the M.A.R. degree program. The Negotiating Boundaries in Ministerial Relationships workshop (REL 3990), required of all M.Div. students, is a prerequisite for an internship. It is typically offered three times during the academic year. A description of REL 3990 can be found in the chapter Areas and Courses of Study, under Courses without Area Designations. For more information about requirements and policies regarding internships, please consult the Office of Vocation and Leadership website (https://divinity.yale.edu/academics/office-vocation-and-leadership).

Students may participate in one or more of the following programs. Completion of one is required for the M.Div. degree, although only REL 3986/REL 3987, REL 3988, and Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) fulfill this requirement. These programs carry elective credits that do not apply toward Area IV. Only fifteen internship credits (including CPE) may be applied toward the M.Div. degree.

All internships, including CPE, carry a stipend arranged through the Office of Finance and Administration.

Programs Offered by Yale Divinity School

Yale Divinity School offers internships in ministry and nonprofit settings under the Part-time Internship with Practicum (REL 3986 and REL 3987) carrying three credits per term in the fall and spring or the six-credit Summer Intensive Internship with Practicum (REL 3988).

YDS also offers opportunities for specialized internships: Part-time Internship with Advanced Practicum (REL 3996 and REL 3997) or Summer Advanced Intensive Internship (REL 3998) , designed for students returning for a second internship and carrying three credits total for the academic year or the summer; and the Reimagining Church Facilitation Advanced Practicum (REL 3970 and REL 3971), three credits total for the academic year.

Fuller descriptions of these internships can be found in the chapter Areas and Courses of Study, under Courses without Area Designations.

Programs Offered by Other Educational Institutions–Transfer Credit

Students may transfer internship credit from other educational institutions as approved by the program directors and in accordance with the Transfer of Credit guidelines in the Standards and Requirements chapter. Qualifying programs, such as the ongoing Clinical Pastoral Education Program described below, must include the following:

  1. Supervision by a qualified mentor with an M.Div. or equivalent;
  2. A minimum of four hundred hours of work;
  3. A peer reflection group.

Clinical Pastoral Education (6 credits) CPE is offered by the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE). One unit of CPE, which can be taken during a summer or an academic year, fulfills the internship requirement. CPE sites are accredited by the ACPE and include hospitals, hospices, geriatric care facilities, community organizations, prisons, and occasionally churches. CPE brings students into supervised encounters with persons in crisis. It provides an in-depth pastoral experience with individual and group supervision by certified teaching chaplains. Each program has its own application procedure, schedule, and policies. Students preparing for ministry are strongly encouraged to take CPE. Eligible students may receive a stipend through the Office of Finance and Administration.

Intern Year

YDS does not offer credit for an intern year as required by some denominations for ordination, unless that year of study is formally supervised and credited by another seminary and is approved by the director prior to the internship. However, students who wish to maintain their student status at Yale while participating in an intern year may do so by making an application to the Professional Studies Committee, explaining how the intern year fits into their educational goals. If the committee approves the intern year, then students will be allowed to complete a technical registration that will allow them to continue their current student status at Yale and to continue to use Yale email. Because the student status continues, the individual will not need to start repaying student loans and will not have to reapply for admission to YDS at the end of the intern year. Upon completion of the intern year, students are expected to supply the Professional Studies Committee with a brief written evaluation of the intern year.