What is an intern minister?

An intern minister is someone in the process of becoming a Unitarian Universalist minister who does the equivalent of about one year of full-time ministry under the supervision of an experienced UU minister. The internship may occur near the end of the candidate’s time in seminary or after graduation from seminary. Along with a Masters in Divinity and other training, evaluation and paperwork, the internship is a requirement to become a minister with the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA).

What is a teaching congregation?

Teaching congregations make a commitment to serve our Unitarian Universalist movement by helping form new ministers. The congregation makes a financial commitment to provide compensation for the intern. The congregation also provides an internship committee to support and provide feedback to the intern. Staff works with and supports the intern, and a portion of the Senior Minister’s time and energy goes toward mentoring. The congregation gains the benefit of having a new voice in the pulpit, new energy, and the skills that come with each intern.

What is unique about UUCD’s internship?

UUCD has been a teaching congregation since 1980 and has had 18 interns in that time. Since 2003, UUCD interns have served as Campus Minister for the UU student group at UC Davis. This congregation offers 10 month internships that run from September 1st to June 30th. It includes regular preaching opportunities and flexibility to engage in a wide variety of projects from crafting adult Religious Exploration classes to engaging in social justice endeavors. The intern gains well rounded parish experience and focused experience with campus ministry working in this vibrant mid-size congregation.

How can congregants support the intern?

There are many ways to support our interns in their ministerial formation. If you are interested in being part of a future internship committee, please talk to the Senior Minister or to a current committee member. Another is to offer direct feedback after an intern leads worship, teaches a class, etc. Alternatively, strike up a conversation at coffee hour to get to know the intern better.

What happens after the internship ends?

UUCD offers 10 month internships that end in late June. At that point, to ensure good boundaries, the intern leaves and is not in contact with the congregation for a year. The intern may return to seminary to finish the Masters in Divinity, or set off to begin their ministry. Some interns return to be ordained by this congregation and UUCD is proud to have ordained 10 of its interns so far! Past UUCD interns now work in a variety of ministerial capacities including hospital chaplaincy, college chaplaincy, parish ministry, community ministry with the homeless, and denominational work with the UUA. In fact, former UUA President Peter Morales was an intern at UUCD!