What is the Protege Internship Program?
The Protege Internship Program is a leadership immersion experience for those desiring to serve on staff in a missional church, learning leadership skills and developing character. The internship is 25 hours per week for either one or two years and is unpaid. We will, however, be providing free housing and utilities (while space is available) in our Protege House located near downtown Santa Cruz.
Protege has been designed as a hybrid of Mosaic church's Protege program in Los Angeles and is ideal for those entering into or already attending seminary, as we are partnering with Western Seminary who will be giving a discounted rate on tuition to students who participate in Protege. The internships will begin in mid August and run through either a one or two year commitment.
Do you have to be going to seminary to become a Protege intern?
No, you do not have to be in seminary. Protege is ideal for those who may not be going to seminary, but who are serious about leadership and gaining a year experience on a missional church staff. Many who are part of Protege are ones who take a year (or sometimes two) after receiving their undergraduate degree and explore serving in ministry in a church context prior to moving on to what is next on their vocational path. If you are thinking of seminary, it is idea as we have a partnership with Western Seminary which is a local, very trusted, accredited and wonderful seminary. By being part of Protege we have discounted rates through Western Seminary.
What areas of ministry will the internships be focused on?
We are specifically designing our internships around the passions and gifts of the people who are applying to the program. Discovering what your passions and gifts are will be part of the experience and generally, each intern will be assigned to one area based on their passion and gifts. The possible ministry teams that an intern may serve on at Vintage Faith Church include:
- Children's Ministry
- Jr. High Ministry
- High School Ministry
- Young Adults Ministry
- Connections/Community (connecting people into community and serving, small groups, men's/women's ministry, classes)
- Musical Worship
- Creative Arts
- The Abbey
- And Others TBD
What will a week look like in the Protege program?
Each intern will have a varying schedule, depending on their role in the church. But basically you would serve 6 to 8 hours every Sunday in whatever area of ministry you are placed in. You will have weekly Bible Study meetings with all the Protege interns and Erica Baughman, the Vintage Faith Church staff person who will be shepherding the Protege interns. You will be a part of all staff meetings as Protege are an integral part of the Vintage Faith Staff. You will be serving on a specific ministry team (youth, college, music, etc), so there will be meetings with a staff team leader within the actual ministry on which you serve.
Depending on the individual intern's situation, you will be allowing time in your schedule to focus on taking classes at your seminary. Or you may be working another job to gain income for food, gas and other non-housing expenses. We will work with you to create a weekly schedule that is sane, as well as one that includes a Sabbath day of rest.
Can you raise funds for this internship?
You can raise funds (like missionaries do) in order to cover seminary costs, books, food, gas and other expenses. If needed, we will work out an arrangement so that people donating funds to you can do so through the non-profit status of our church. We will talk with you further about raising funds if you want to pursue this as a possibility.
How does the free housing work and what other financial costs do you need to consider?
We have been given the wonderful gift of a 5 bedroom/3 bathroom house that we will make available for interns to live in at no cost to them. In Santa Cruz, housing is actually a major expense to have covered. This 5 bedroom house has a cottage in the back where we will have a residential leader who will oversee the interns, facilitate house meetings and prayer meetings as you all live together in community. The house is half a mile from the church building and very close to downtown Santa Cruz.
Because the rooms are limited, most will be doubled up like a college dorm room with 2 people per room (same gender in each room).
As for costs, you will need cover the cost of food, gas (if you have a car), insurance and entertainment. As we stated earlier, you may need to work a part-time job in order to raise those funds. We will walk through your expenses in detail with you during the application process, as we want every intern to be thoroughly prepared with a clear financial plan for their time with Protege.
How does the seminary component work with Protege?
Through our partnership with Western Seminary (San Jose extension), interns are offered a 20% discount on seminary tuition. Protege interns will be responsible for tuition costs, books, and transportation to seminary. The details and logistics of attending seminary will be worked out for your specific situation as you begin the application process.
Because a Master of Arts degree is 2 years, the Protege program is 2 years. Nevertheless, if one of our interns is not a seminary student, the internship will last one year with the possibility of a second year internship. If an intern desires to get a Masters of Divinity degree, the MA does apply towards a MDiv, so you can easily continue to get a MDiv should you so desire.
What is the strategy of leadership development for Protege?
Vintage Faith Church is a fairly young church plant. We planted from scratch in 2004, so we are still very much in that adventurous, chaotic, learning and growing stage. That is important to know, as you will be joining in on this adventure at this stage in the life of our missional church.
There will be three primary areas of development for the intern:
There will be leadership development meetings with some of the pastoral staff and leadership at Vintage Faith as a part of the Protege experience. These meetings will focus on understanding how God made you as a leader, how your unique design and strengths play out as a leader, and missional immersion into the reality of what missional vs. normal-church leadership is like. You also will be seen as a Vintage Faith Church staff member, so you will be on a ministry team and have a staff person helping you to own an area of ministry. You will be regularly meeting with your assigned staff person. There will be specific leadership skill building, depending on what area of ministry you are serving in. You will be going to all-staff meetings and events with the Vintage Faith Church staff.
Our desire is that you grow and learn and contribute to the mission of Jesus though Vintage Faith Church in whatever area you are passionate about. So our dream is that you discover and excel in whatever ministry you are serving with. You may even launch and develop a ministry, depending on what it is you are assigned to. We don't think there will ever be a dull moment as you are immersed in this leadership learning experience!
Protege has a Vintage Faith staff person designated to overseeing the care and shepherding of the Protege, the Protege Director. You will all be meeting weekly to pray, share life and grow together. Missional ministry is not easy, so the need for prayer and community heightens. You will be living in an intern house with other interns and also experience community and character development there. The Protege Director will facilitate prayer meetings/Bible studies and house meetings. Most of all, we want to stress that character supersedes skill or talent in ministry. If anything, the major focus and emphasize of our internship is to cultivate integrity and character as a servant of Jesus on mission.
For those who will be going to seminary, you will be having your theological training sharpened through your specific academic program. We will do our best to help you take the theological training you're receiving from seminary and translate that into the reality of actual missional church ministry and life. As you apply and talk to us about the internship, we will steer you to the appropriate person at the seminary who will then walk you through the application process for the seminary itself, which is a separate application and process.
What steps do I take to apply for the Protege internship?
- Read over the Vintage Faith Church website so that you can get a feel for who we are as a church. It is important that you understand the basics of our vision, philosophy and theology as a church. All Protege interns will be considered staff, so that means we will all need to be united on these things. You should also read carefully through our theology and doctrines on the web site. We will want to be united in theology, as our theology impacts how we go about ministry. You will have more philosophy and theology-based questions in the application and interview processes.
- If you are in alignment with what you read on our website, then contact Erica Baughman, our Protege Director, if you have any questions that have not been answered already. Once your questions are answered and you still feel like Protege is a good fit for you, you can fill out the PROTEGE APPLICATION HERE
- After we get your application sent to us, we will then set up a first interview with the Protege Director and another key staff leader - in person or on Skype. This conversation allows us to have more in depth discussion and will help to determine whether Protege is a match for all involved.
- If we think you are a good candidate for Protege we will set up a second interview with the Protege Director and the specific director of the ministry you are applying to work in.
- Our Protege Director will be working with you after the in-person/Skype conversations and will communicate whether or not you are accepted.
- We encourage prospective applications to spend considerable time in prayer in making your decision. Missional leadership is not easy and this Protege internship is a huge, huge step and commitment on the part of both the interns and the church. This process should be covered in prayer, so that the experience is wonderful and lives are changed as a result.