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Churches Help to Form Seminarians into Pastors

Patricia E. Clawson

Churches in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church have a tremendous opportunity each year to help men aspiring to the gospel ministry to develop their gifts. One of the best ways to do that is for churches to have a pastoral intern serve their congregation during the summer or for a year. If your pastor has five years of experience as an OPC minister and your congregation can raise more than half of the intern's support, than your session may apply for an intern.

The Committee on Christian Education’s general secretary, Danny Olinger, interviews potential interns and submits their applications to the CCE's Subcommittee on Ministerial Training. The SMT at their March meeting gives final approval for interns. The approved applications are then sent to churches seeking an intern, unless the church already has a potential intern in mind. From the approved list, the churches then decide whom they want to have serve as their intern.

The CCE gives financial support to congregations of $1,100 a month for a summer intern or up to $1,500 a month for a yearlong intern. The congregation is asked to match that amount or even exceed it for the intern, depending on the cost of living in your area and whether the man has a family to support. For a summer internship, some churches lodge the intern in a member's home.

For a church to receive financial support from the CCE, they must fill out a church application for an intern, which is available at this link: Internship Program. The church application should include the session’s goal for the intern, a job description, a summary of how involved the intern would be with the session, congregation, and overall ministry of the church, and your pastor’s plan for serving as a mentor to the intern.

The deadline for applications from churches seeking an intern and from men seeking internships is February 29, 2012. The SMT will review and approve support for the churches and the men seeking internships at its March meeting.

For more information, contact Danny Olinger, intern director, at Olinger.1@opc.org or by calling 215-830-0900. When the message comes on, hit *812. You may also contact Pat Clawson at ccesec@opc.org or at the above number. Hit *828.

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