Here are answers to frequently asked questions concerning the GCI Intern Program:
- Do I have to have a college degree to enter the program? Yes, a college degree is required to enter Grace Communion Seminary, which provides a vital component of the GCI Internship.
- Do I have to enter the GCI Internship program in order to be a GCI pastor or church planter? No, the Internship is only one of the three tracks for potential pastors. Candidates may enter GCI's Pastoral Residency Program (an apprenticeship for future senior pastors) or the GCI Church Planting track without going through the Internship.
- What if I already have a seminary degree: can I still enter the GCI Internship? Yes, if you are particularly interested in the youth ministry training experience you may still decide to enter this track. In lieu of seminary work, more attention can be given to your local youth ministry. You may still decide to enter one of the other tracks after finishing the two year Internship.
- Is seminary training required for all GCI ministry tracks? Seminary training is encouraged for all pastors, but not required except for those entering the GCI Internship. Many GCI pastors are bi-vocational and do not have full seminary degrees. Also, while entrance to Grace Communion Seminary requires a college degree, seminary training for those without a college degree is available through GCI’s affiliate in Australia, Ambassador College of Christian Ministry (ACCM).
- How much money do I need to raise during my GCI Internship, and how will I be paid? GCI Interns will be given a $7,500 stipend per year by GCI’s GCNext development fund. The rest of the intern’s salary will be raised personally by the intern (the goal is approximately $20,000 total salary). This money will be processed by GCI headquarters so as to provide tax deductible receipting for donors. Learning the principles and skills for personal fundraising is a component of the Internship. It is an encouraging faith building experience that will prove foundational for a life of faith-based ministry. For addressing other expenses, see the next question.
- How can I live on a $20,000 salary? This will be a challenge for sure, but remember that your seminary degree is completely covered by the local congregation that takes you on. Completing a seminary degree will be a great asset that doesn’t show up in the salary line. Also, your local host congregation is expected to help you find a place to live for the duration of your internship for little or no cost. Unfortunately, health insurance benefits are not part of your package. Travel to training and conferences is covered, however.