Multiplication Center

What You Need to Know about Church Internships and Residencies

February 3, 2016

By Warren Bird

A recent national study, perhaps the largest ever, has looked under the hood of more than 300 churches and summarized the findings in a just-released richly illustrated report, “Leaders in Training: Internships and Residencies Help Churches Shape Future Leaders,” brought to you by Southeastern University.

Key findings include:

  1. 1. Leaders want to see other leaders developed.
  2. Leaders help rising leaders mature.
  3. The number of intern/resident programs has increased rapidly in recent years.
  4. Most churches offer multiple programs and multiple specialties.
  5. The best interns/residents come from within the congregation itself.
  6. Upon completing the program, over a third become church staff.
  7. Almost half the participants receive academic credit.
  8. Churches show a high degree of confidence about the success of their program.
  9. The primary term is “intern” followed by “resident.”
  10. Paying for the program is a study in extremes.
  11. Early Fall and beginning of Summer are the most popular times to begin.
  12. The biggest audience for these programs is recent graduates.
  13. Program size grows with size of church.















To download this free graphic-rich report, go to

Other recently released Leadership Network reports, all authored or co-authored by Warren Bird, include:

Succession Readiness: Surveying the Landscape of Large Church Pastors, brought by Vanderbloemen Search Group

Campus Pastors as Key to Multisite Success, brought by Portable Church

Recent Shifts in America’s Largest Protestant Churches: Megachurches 2015 Report, brought by The Beck Group

Large Canadian Churches Draw an Estimated 300,000 Worshippers Each Week: Findings from a National Study, brought by DL Deeks Insurance and Pushpay

Coming soon: The Inside Story from Large Church HR Directors



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