Pastoral Internships

Applications Closed

Give a Young Adult the Opportunity to Lead the Church

Pastors and congregations play a major role in helping young adults see themselves as leaders of Christian communities. Providing young people with opportunities to try on the mantle of leadership and expanding their imagination about what is possible through the church helps to cultivate future Christian leaders.

Eligibility & Awards

FTE provides grants for internships in traditional and new forms of church, introducing young adults to pastoral ministry and congregational ministries engaged in the broader community. Eligible congregations are those that create pastoral leadership and learning opportunities for high school and college students, and that work with young adult volunteers within their community.

Applicants may apply for grants between $10,000-$20,000 for summer and academic yearlong pastoral internships, depending on the congregation or church-related ministry’s size and capacity.


The Pastoral Internship Grant is available to congregations and church-related ministries in the U.S. or Canada that are interested in providing young adults with leadership opportunities within pastoral ministry.

Note: Organizations who are current FTE Grantees or hold current Lilly Endowment grants that are coordinated by FTE are not eligible.

Complete applications include:

  • Online application form
  • Cover Letter (1p.)
  • Proposal narrative (up to 4 pp.)
  • Project budget (1 p.) (download a sample template)
  • Financial information (most recent audit or annual financial statement)

  • Description of the congregation or organization applying (no more than 400 words)
  • Explanation of why engaging youth and young adults in exploring models of pastoral ministry and Christian leadership committed to changing the world is important to your organization, its vision and mission at this time
  • Description of your access to diverse ecclesial networks and/or networks within communities of color; your experience working with these networks; your capacity and commitment to work with diverse networks beyond your own cultural and theological orientation
  • Project description (no more than 750 words)
  • Key project activities, along with vocational methodology
  • Key leadership and role
  • A strategy for evaluating the project's effectiveness

FTE will evaluate application using the following criteria. Proposals should demonstrate:

  • A supervisory context that includes at least one ordained clergy.
  • Internship programs that provide high school and college age students opportunities to explore pastoral ministry.
  • Internship programs that include mentoring and vocational discernment.
  • Congregational/organizational support for intern(s) and a community that will establish a space for intern(s) to explore, ask questions and reflect theologically on their experience and ministry practices. Support should include a team of 3-4 congregational/organizational members or leaders.
  • A desire to expose young adults to ways faith communities can be places where they can make a difference in the world.
  • A realistic plan to continue the internship beyond FTE’s initial investment.
  • A commitment to participate in FTE’s research project on pastoral internships.
  • A commitment to participate in Grantee Learning Cohort conference calls.

Please contact Heather B.P. Wallace or send a message to us on our contact page.