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General Interest

What You Need to Know about Church Internships and Residencies

By February 3, 2016 No Comments

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 www.leadnet.org/intern.

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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Warren Bird

Author Warren Bird

Warren Bird, Ph.D. has been named a Leadership Network Senior Fellow in light of his exemplary service 2006-2018 as Director of Research and Intellectual Capital Development at Leadership Network. He serves as full-time VP of Research for ECFA.org (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability). An ordained minister with background as both a pastor and seminary professor, Warren is an award-winning author or co-author of 31 books for ministry leaders including Hero Maker with Dave Ferguson, How to Break Church Growth Barriers with Carl George, and Next: Pastoral Succession that Works with William Vanderbloemen. Other recent titles are Better Together: Making Church Mergers Work with Jim Tomberlin, and Wisdom from Lyle E. Schaller. Some of Warren’s recent online reports include "Leadership Network/Generis Multisite Church Scorecard," and "The Heartbeat of Rising Influence Churches." See also research reports at leadnet.org/megachurchleadnet.org/salary and leadnet.org/portable. He is widely recognized as one of the nation's leading researchers of megachurches, multisite churches, large church compensation and high-visibility pastoral succession. He also oversees the world's only active, sortable list of global megachurches. Follow him on Twitter @warrenbird.  Click here to subscribe to Leadership Network Advance to get updates from Leadership Network.

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