Internship Planning

Talk with your Religion Department advisor, or the faculty member you hope to have as your faculty supervisor, about the possibility of undertaking an internship as part of your program of study. Plan ahead! Begin developing an internship plan one semester in advance: if you hope to have a fall internship, begin in April, and if you wish to set up a spring internship, start planning in October. Information about internships is available in the IWU Career Center and the Internship Coordinator there can help you at any point along the way. In the Center you will find information on currently available internships; the programs listed in the categories of "Religious and Theological Studies," "Government and Public Service," and "Not-for-Profit" are especially appropriate for our field. You may, of course, also use your own initiative in securing an internship in an organization with which you are already familiar, or whose activities are of interest to you. Any of these options must meet the approval of one of the Religion Department faculty in advance of registration. Please do not expect your prospective faculty supervisor to create a new internship program for you-he or she will be working with you once you've identified your interests.

Once you find the internship program, the following procedures apply:

  1. Complete an "Intent to Participate in an Academic Internship" form, available from the Career Center. STEP 1 is your portion--fill it out without your signature [reading the directions carefully] before meeting with the faculty member you hope to have as your supervisor. Once he or she has signed approval, and the Internship Coordinator has signed it, you may sign the form and submit it to the Registrar. And then you may begin in earnest.
  2.  Identify the internship programs that interest you and are suitable for Religion 397. You may make an appointment with the Internship Coordinator or one of the internship peer counselors in the Career Center.
    Consult with your advisor to determine if the sponsor and the program you like best can indeed provide the environment that will be conducive to a credit-worthy learning experience. The Religion Department faculty member will make the final decision for approval.
  3. Apply for the internship program through the Career Center, or interview directly with the prospective employer. Since you will be pursuing academic credit, be sure to keep the academic side of the internship program in mind.
  4. If you receive an offer, discuss the internship with your faculty supervisor and arrange a meeting or phone conference with the faculty and the prospective employer. During the meeting, be sure that you understand the expectations of all parties-this precaution can be invaluable!
  5. Once you have accepted the offer, complete the "Internship Learning Contract" available from the Career Center; that form spells out all of your responsibilities connected with the internship. You must fill out the portion concerning your "Learning Objectives" (as well as the section on medical insurance). Together with your faculty supervisor, create a work plan that includes the following:
    • the schedule for the internship, and for additional meetings with the advisor
    • your duties and responsibility with the sponsoring organization
    • additional academic work to be completed in conjunction with the internship, including reports, journals or papers
    Once the contract is filled out and signed by the employing supervisor as well as by your faculty supervisor, you may sign it and submit it to the Registrar.
  6. Register for Religion 397.