Students Exploring Ministry Interests

Emily Derstine with her supervisor, Kirk Hanger, an EMU alumnusEmily Derstine, a JPCS major at EMU, with her supervisor, Kirk Hanger, an EMU alumnus, at Nueva Esperanza/New Hope Fellowship in suburban Washington, D.C.

A record-setting 10 students have begun internships with congregations through Franconia Mennonite Conference as part of Mennonite Church USA‘s Ministry Inquiry Program (MIP). The group includes three EMU students.

Two EMU students will intern with congregations in the Midwest:

  • John Tyson, a sophomore at EMU and a member at Souderton (PA) Mennonite congregation, will intern at Christ Community Church in Des Moines, Iowa;
  • EMU sophomore Jordan Good, a member of Bally Mennonite congregation, will spend 11 weeks with the Walnut Hill congregation in Goshen, Ind.

Emily Derstine of Plains Mennonite congregation, Lansdale, Pa., an EMU sophomore, will spend her summer in suburban Washington, D.C. with Nueva Esperanza/New Hope Fellowship, a “Partner in Mission” congregation with Franconia Conference.

Hands-on Experience

The Ministry Inquiry Program is an 11-week internship traditionally available to any student attending a Mennonite college. Students interested in a specific area of ministry – usually, but not limited to, pastoral ministry – gain hands-on experience by working alongside a supervisor in their respective discipline.

The inquiry program is offered year-round but is most popular in the summer, and all participants are given a stipend for their work.

This year, through a grant from Eastern Mennonite Seminary, three Franconia Conference students attending non-Mennonite institutions will participate in MIP.

  • Tim Moyer, a sophomore at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia from the Blooming Glen (PA) congregation;
  • Felicia Moore, member at New Beginnings Community Church in Bristol, Pa., who is in her second year at Indiana University of Pennsylvania;
  • Philadelphia Praise Center attendee and first-year Penn State University student, Andrew Liemon.

Moyer will work with Franconia Mennonite Conference, while Moore and Liemon will assist with ministries at their home congregations.

Several students will work with congregations on the East coast:

  • Jessica Cassel, a sophomore at Bluffton University, will work in youth ministry at her home congregation, Souderton (PA) Mennonite;
  • Peter Koontz, a member at Assembly Mennonite and Goshen College junior from Elkhart, Ind., will intern with Oxford Circle congregation in Philadelphia.
  • Mercy Oyana, a Goshen College sophomore from West Philadelphia Mennonite Fellowship, will work alongside managers at Spruce Lake Camp in the Pocono Mountains.
  • Krista Ehst, a Goshen College junior and member at Perkasie (PA) Mennonite congregation, will work alongside Tim Moyer at Franconia Conference headquarters in Souderton.

All participants are beginning their work at the end of May and will finish towards the beginning of August. Eight of the students are college sophomores.