Here are answers to frequently asked questions concerning the GCI Intern Program:
Do I have to have a college degree to enter the program? Because of the pathway provided by GCI’s online affiliate, Ambassador College of Christian Ministry (ACCM), a college degree is not required for entrance into the Intern Program. While we have students in the program from other seminaries, most of the students in the Intern Program are pursuing a Master's degree at Grace Communion Seminary. Biblical/theological education is a vital component in the development of GCI's interns.
Do I have to enter the GCI Intern Program in order to be a GCI pastor or church planter? No, the Intern Program is one of three tracks that GCI provides to equip potential pastors and church planters. The other tracks are the GCI Pastoral Residency Program (for apprenticing future lead pastors) and the GCI Church Planting track (for apprenticing future church planters). Lateral entry opportunities for experienced pastors are also available.
Is seminary training required for all GCI ministry tracks? Pursuing a seminary degree is a requirement for those in the GCI Intern Program. Seminary training is not required for all other GCI pastors depending on their circumstances. Many GCI pastors and church planters, being bi-vocational, do not have full seminary degree. Also, while entrance to Grace Communion Seminary (GCS) 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 fund. The other half of the $15,000 part time salary will be provided by the intern’s sponsoring church. In return, the intern commits to engage in personal fundraising in an effort to replenish the sponsoring congregation’s account for future interns. Money raised by the intern will be processed by GCI’s home office so as to provide tax deductible receipting for donors. Learning the principles and skills for personal fundraising is a component of the Internship Program - an encouraging faith-building experience that will prove foundational for a life of faith-based ministry.
How can I live on a $15,000 salary? This may present a challenge, but remember that this salary is for approximately 20 hours a week of part-time employment. Also 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.
Am I obligated to remain with GCI in any capacity after the program is completed? No. Participants in the GCI Intern Program are under no obligation whatsoever (including financial) to remain with GCI after the internship is complete. We do ask our intern candidates in the Intern Application for their commitment to remain open for the duration of the program to the possibility of future roles within GCI. We hope the intern experience will be such a positive one that many will feel excited about a continued ministry journey with us as the Spirit leads!