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Ministry Inquiry Program Gives Students Hands-On Experience


Five Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) students are learning through direct experience this summer with congregations and organizations throughout the United States as part of Mennonite Church USA’s Ministry Inquiry Program.

Students are encouraged to teach, preach, provide pastoral visitation, participate in administrative meetings and learn about the day-to-day challenges and joys of serving as a pastor,” said Carmen Schrock-Hurst, instructor in the Bible and religion department and EMU director of the Ministry Inquiry Program (MIP).

Participating students

Jordan Luther, a junior Biblical studies major from Martinsville, Va., is interning at Wellman Mennonite Church in Wellman, Iowa.

Andrea De Avila, a senior psychology and Biblical studies double-major from Victoria, Tamaulipas Mexico, is interning with West Union Mennonite Church in Parnell, Iowa. In addition to her MIP internship, De Avila will serve as youth worship leader at the Mennonite Church USA convention in Phoenix, Ariz.

Nathaniel McKnight, a sophomore social work major from Gaithersburg, Md., is serving as pastoral intern at James Street Mennonite in Lancaster, Pa.

Jacob Landis, a 2013 graduate of Hesston College, is participating in an MIP internship program in Scottdale, Pa. Landis will be a transfer student at EMU in the fall.

In addition, Matthew Naugle, a junior congregation & youth ministries and peacebuilding & development double-major from Forest, Va., is participating in a ministry internship with RISE (a United Methodist church plant) in Harrisonburg. Naugle’s placement is not officially within the scope of  the MIP program, but it’s supported in part by a grant from Haverim, EMU’s Bible and religion alumni organization, “in recognition that many students create and serve in significant ministry internships that are beyond the scope of Mennonite Church USA’s MIP program.”

Hands-on experience

At the completion of their 11-week placement, students in the MIP program receive funds to apply toward their education at a Mennonite college. In addition to Mennonite Church USA, funding comes from EMU, the host congregation and conference, and the student’s sending congregation and conference.

“A significant part of the learning comes from the gift of time that the supervising pastors give to serve as mentors and guides for the learning process,” said Schrock-Hurst. “Many MIP students will serve the broader church in ongoing leadership roles.”

For more information on the Ministry Inquiry Program, visit emu.edu/bible/ministry-inquiry/.

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