We believe we have a unique opportunity to help develop Spirit led influencers through the use of internships and year long, hands-on, ministry experiences. This page describes the three areas we focus on and a few past participant reviews.
The Summer Internship Program at Richwoods is a 12 week ministry opportunity for individuals who desire hands on training and experience within the church body. The program runs from the last week of May until the second week of August.
During your Summer Internship, you will accumulate valuable experience, mentors, and knowledge that will prepare you for stepping into the next phase of your life as a follower of Jesus Christ.
Summer Interns receive $75/week. It’s a 40 plus hour a week job. There are some weeks you may actually work everyday during the week. It’s hard work…but it is very rewarding.
As a Summer Intern at Richwoods’ you will have the opportunity to learn from a church staff who loves what they do and love to share their ministry and knowledge with others. You will participate in the day to day activities of church staff culture, stretch yourself as a leader, and develop a life-long pursuit of the passion and vision that God has placed on your life.
A Summer Intern will select a ministry concentration in which they will focus their efforts, but will gain a holistic understanding of working as a team within the church. Areas of concentration include: discipleship, children’s, youth, missions, production, worship, communication and business operations.
We hold our interns in high esteem and view them as partners in ministry. During the summer you will engage with the Richwoods leadership community at several levels including weekly staff interaction.
The Application Process
The potential Summer Intern will submit an online application form before May 1st. Space is limited, don’t wait too long.
There is a growing trend among colleges and universities requiring senior level students to complete an internship before graduation. We love this trend! Most of our staff have at least 5 years ministry experience in their field, making them excellent “field mentors.”
Working with the interns college or university, Richwoods academic internships run 8 months in over two seasons. The spring season runs from January through August and the fall season runs from June through December. This extended time allows the intern to experience the unique seasons within church life.
Academic Interns select a ministry concentration according to their major and institutions guidelines, but will gain a holistic understanding of working as a team within the church. Areas of concentration include: discipleship, children’s, youth, missions, production, worship, communications and business operations.
Interns receive a stipend of $75/week. It’s like a bad tip, just enough to cover gas. Richwoods does cover all expenses for development, trips, events and conferences.
The Application Process
The potential Summer Intern will submit an online application form before December 1 for the Spring Semester and before May 1st for Fall Semester. Space is limited, don’t wait too long.
The Protégé Program at Richwoods is a full year ministry residency for individuals who desire hands on training and experience within the church body. The program runs from September to August. We believe God has given us a great opportunity to be a green house for today’s young church leaders.
During your Protégé year, you will accumulate valuable experience, mentors, and knowledge that will prepare you for stepping into the next phase of your life as a follower of Jesus Christ. It is our intention that your Protégé year will give you the experience you need to find a rewarding full-time staff position in a local church or para-church ministry that best suits your gifts and calling.
As a protégé at Richwoods’ you will have the opportunity to learn from a church staff that loves what they do and love to share their ministry and knowledge with others. You will participate in the day to day activities of church staff culture, stretch yourself as a leader, and develop a life-long pursuit of the passion and vision that God has placed on your life.
A protégé will select a ministry concentration in which they will focus their efforts, but will gain a holistic understanding of working as a team within the church. Areas of concentration include: discipleship, children’s, youth, missions, communication and business operations.
We hold our protégée in high esteem and view them as partners in ministry. During the year protégée engage with the Richwoods leadership community at several levels including weekly staff interaction. Every protégé will have a staff mentor and engage in weekly leadership development pods and our quarterly all church leadership meetings.
During the experience the protégé will work on a personal leadership development and spiritual growth plans, serve at one of our weekend services, participate in leadership of a ministry or small group and participate in a local community service project. Richwoods will supply the books read and reviewed within the leadership development pod and the various materials, supplies and development needed to accommodate each protégé.
Don’t take our word for it, here’s what a few of our past interns and protégée have to say about their experience with richwoods.
I’m not sure that there is any other church quite like Richwoods. It’s not normal. What church staff regularly begs God to bring misfits through their doors or makes the unchurched and over-churched their target audience? Even though I was supposed to be there gaining hands-on youth ministry experience for my college degree (which I certainly did get plenty of), I left with a bigger vision of what church should be. My time there didn’t just strengthen my love for youth, but also my heart for the whole body of Christ.
Don’t get me wrong; it wasn’t all some in-the-clouds idealistic experience. In fact, it was mostly a lot of day-to-day tasks like meetings, planning, brainstorming, making flyers, putting together lessons, joking around with staff, hanging with students, and everything else that’s normal but so important. In all honesty, I think it was the day-to-day stuff that ended up giving me that larger-than-life experience, because ultimately it came down to all of us living life together and getting into the mess of humanity as one. I wasn’t just a gopher intern; I was a valued part of the team. Not only was I taken seriously as a fellow youth minister, I was taken seriously as a part of the church staff. That attitude made me want to give more of myself to the ministry as well as reap more from it.
In short, interning at Richwoods changed everything.
My youth ministry internship experience at Richwoods was one of a kind. My degree required that I have a seven month internship and while at Richwoods, I got to take what I learned in the classroom and apply it to what I was doing on my internship. At first I was unsure of what to expect, because I had never been to the church or didn’t know much about it before I went. But from the moment I walked in the doors, I knew I was were God had called me.
Being on a youth ministry staff was completely unreal. In the classroom, I had learned about working as a staff in youth ministry, but never saw it in action. The work load that is normally given to one person was spread out between nine people and it was the first time that I really had to work hard at working as a team. We worked together, played together, cried and laughed together, enjoyed meals together, learned together, and many times during the week we prayed and studied the word together. I also learned how to take the way the struggles I went through shaped that me and use them in ministry. For the first time, I was able to relate to my peers and really enjoyed the genuine community that I experience both with them at the church and through the friends that I had gained through those friends.
If I had the opportunity to repeat my internship at Richwoods, I would do it in a heartbeat. I was excepted for who I am, learned how to do ministry the ideal way (because that is the way Richwoods is setup), worked with great students (who were on fire for God, couldn’t care less about religion or relationship, and were searching to find something bigger than themselves), and made true lifelong friends that I still keep in touch with.
My time with Richwoods Christian Church was one of the most eye opening times in my life. I remember going in super excited but also cocky like I had an advantage over everyone else because my dad is a preacher and I had already been doing a weekend ministry. Lets just say I was wrong.
While I was at Richwoods I really started to understand just how much I had been cheating students I had been working with up to that point in my life. I learned the hard things. However, the great thing is I was not learning the hard things alone. I was going through it with a whole staff of people who asked the hard questions. Some of the hardest lessons for me were things like intentionality, focus on small details, and asking the right questions, these were not however the totality of the ways I grew and God used me.
Now having completed my internship and living life with others that are Christian or not I take notice occasionally of how ingrained in my system the lessons I have learned are. While I will always have more to do, learn, and discover my time at Richwoods is a time that built me up as a leader, youth minister, disciple, and as a man of God.
My business internship at Richwoods was truly a great learning experience for me. I needed a place to grow and discover more of who God was calling me to be, and I found that at Richwoods. The staff was very gracious in providing projects that fit my skill set. I never felt unappreciated. My input was recognized, and that’s not something you always find in an internship. Not only did Richwoods provide an atmosphere for strengthening my abilities, but also a place to grow spiritually. It was a unique experience that I am quite thankful for. I would recommend it to anyone looking to gain experience in church and non-profit administration, or for that matter, anyone hoping for an internship in which growth is encouraged.
My experience at richwoods would be characterized as one of the best times in my life. While there I began to understand who I was as a person and as a leader. The time spent in the intern development book was an important asset to forming my own leadership and ministry style.
The experience I received in leading and actually doing ministry was unlike anything I have really heard of else where. You were really given a part of the ministry, not just a trip or an event, but a crucial part of the ministry and if you did not do your part then the ministry would pay for it.
Ultimately the thing I loved about the uth ministry at richwoods was the opportunity to work in a team and become friends within that team and that is true for staff and adult leaders. Coming along side of them and preparing those leaders for there own ministry elsewhere or with in the uthgroop. The relationships that I made and the experience received were the things that changed my mind about the way ministry is done.
My experience as a Protégé at Richwoods Christian Church was life changing. When I joined Richwoods, I was broken, I was self-righteous, and I was judgmental toward others. I was carrying a lot of baggage and pain towards the local church and I can’t forget to mention that I thought I had youth ministry figured out. This all slowly began to change as I was challenged to look deep within my heart and evaluate the person I am on the inside.
Each week I was continually stretched, challenged and refreshed in my spiritual journey. This included a list of leadership books that we had to read and discuss together. What made these meeting most beneficial for me, was that they were not just a time for a teacher to teach at us, but a time for us to learn through conversation and discussion. This is something that bleeds through the whole Richwoods youth ministry, but was a new concept for me. My whole life I was told what to believe, I was given the right answers in Sunday School and I was taught my theology in College. I religiously lived my life accordingly to please God, others and myself… I soon realized how naive I was to the Truth.
It was a couple months into my Protégé experience, I started to open up, my brain clicked and started working and I began to verbalize my questions and thoughts. This rocked my world. I was challenged on everything I believed. I did not have an answer to why I believed what I believe accept that it was what my teachers taught me. I was forced to ask the right questions and really learn why I was trying to follow Christ.
What ministry areas can a Protégé participate in?
Each Protégé will focus in one of the following ministry areas: discipleship, children’s, youth, missions, communication, worship, production/tech and business operations.
What does a typical week of a Protégé look like?
There is no typical week at Richwoods, there are however patterns! Every week will look different depending on the specific upcoming ministry needs. Each Tuesday, Protégée will participate in Richwoods staff meeting, departmental meetings, and Protégé pod group. The Protégé pod group, which meets on Thursday will consist of on-going discipleship training and leadership development for the Protégée in a small group setting for accountability, prayer, and encouragement.
Protégée will also lead weekly small group and ministry gatherings and participate in weekend worship gatherings, outreach projects and leadership development events. Protégée will also be given responsibility in various projects within their ministry-focus area.
What Richwoods staff members do a Protégé interact with?
The Protégé Program will be administered by Joel Dryden (Campus Pastor) and Tim Barnes (Executive Pastor). They will serve as the primary leaders for the Protégé experience. Protégée will also work directly with and be mentored by a ministry leader in their focus area and the campus pastor at the location(s) where they serve on weekends. Finally, Protégée will interact with other staff during the learning labs.
What is the primary goal of the Protégé Program?
The Protégé Program is a green house for today’s young church leaders. During your Protégé year, you will accumulate valuable experience, mentors, and knowledge that will prepare you for stepping into the next phase of your life as a follower of Jesus Christ. It is our intention that your Protégé year will give you the experience you need to find a rewarding full-time staff position in a local church or para-church ministry that best suits your gifts and calling.
What qualifications are you looking for in Protégés?
Previous ministry and leadership experience is preferred and specific experience in the desired ministry focus area is certainly favored. We also look for people who have a clear sense of calling and dare to dream BHAG’s (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) for the Kingdom of God. Yet, we also believer in a good sense of humor, attitude, flexibility, ability to work within a team environment, therefore these character traits are taken into consideration.
When are the dates for the program?
The 2012-2013 Protégé Program will run from September 2012 through August 2013.
What is the admission process?
Complete the application and submit to Richwoods Christian Church Attention: Joel Dryden. For priority consideration, submit your application by August 15, 2012. Three references are also required. One should be from a current pastor or ministry leader, one should be from a current or former pastor or ministry leader, and one can be of a personal nature.
What is the cost to attend the Richwoods Protégé Program?
At the time of this publication there is no cost to the Richwoods Protégé Program. Richwoods makes a significant investment in the books and materials used for the program.
You will need the finances to support yourself and your family, (if you have one), for one year in Peoria, IL. You may accomplish this through fundraising, working a second job, or some combination of the two.
Can I get college credit?
The Protégé Program is not designed replace a seminary or Bible college experience; therefore, we are not currently offering any college or seminary credit. However, if you believe your current Bible college or seminary would be willing to offer independent study or internship credit for your involvement, then we are willing to work with you and your academic institution to provide them with the necessary documentation.
Does Richwoods provide housing for Protégée?
Richwoods does not have housing available for Protégée. However, our staff will be available to give guidance on areas of Peoria that might provide affordable housing.
Is the Protégé part-time or full-time?
You can do either, depending on your financial needs. Part-time Protégée are expected to work 25-30 hours per week. Full-time Protégé are expected to work at least 40 hours per week.
Can I seek part-time employment?Absolutely! It is our expectation that most, if not all, protégée will secure secondary outside employment. It will be understood, however, ministry expectations and time requirements take precedent over secondary work schedules.
Do I need to have a car?Having dependable transportation is a must. Peoria is a suburban area with spotty public transportation.