Emily Medlin, Community Builder
What better way to prepare for a life in ministry than to practically experience it as part of your education?
SNU’s ministerial interns spend time working with churches in the Oklahoma City area. They are paired with a supervising pastor who serves as their mentor, while they work alongside congregation members, preparing them for their future vocation.
Emily Medlin is in her third year of the internship program, and says she can’t think of a better way to prepare herself for life after college, where she hopes to become a youth pastor.
“Having these practical experiences gives you something to reference when you might face a similar situation later,” Medlin explained. “It is a lot of intentional time in ministry, building relationships, being there for the highs and lows. Yes, there is hard work, but it’s also very rewarding.”
Emily is grateful for the ‘safety net’ that this program provides. It allows her to learn and practice with people to fall back on, rather than being thrown in the deep end when she graduates.
This program helps bridge any disconnect there might be between churches in the OKC area and SNU. Interns become a part of building a community, not only with church members, but with faculty and peers as well. Emily works hard to create that community, especially for the youth members that she works with.
“For youth groups, we want SNU to not be just a place, but a community,” she said. “Having an intern from SNU brings a new face to some of the youth in the community.”
So, what exactly do these interns do? Well, no intern has the same experience; their tasks will vary based on what is needed by the church.
“At smaller churches manpower is so important, and so is consistency in ministry,” Emily described. “They really benefit from just having the consistent face of an intern.”
In larger churches, it’s the smaller things that someone has to do. Interns help out where they can, so that the pastor has more time to do things that require a pastor and not just a body.
Ministerial interns receive a scholarship made possible by generous donations to the Ministerial Internship Program and Hall of Witnesses at SNU. This helps them pay for their college education, while preparing to serve the church in a greater capacity after graduation.
Emily believes the generosity of donors reflects God’s love. “It reminds me of all the ways that God is for me and loves me, because without my intern scholarship, I certainly could not afford to go to SNU.”