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Second Presbyterian Church of Louisville approves funding for Louisville Seminary internship

Mar 17, 2015

In an effort to provide a hands-on learning experience for future leaders of the Presbyterian church, Second Presbyterian Church of Louisville recently approved funding to support a new internship offered at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. On January 28, Second Presbyterian’s Mission Committee approved $37,500 to support a one-year placement of a Louisville Seminary student to be in service to a local Presbyterian church which otherwise could not afford the assistance of such a student. Funding for the internship supports the student’s salary, FICA/SECA, car allowance and other professional expenses.

JesterAccording to the Rev. Steve Jester (pictured), Second Presbyterian’s pastor/head of staff, the idea of supporting the internship came after Jester and his wife, Diana, attended a Louisville Seminary President’s Roundtable meeting. Diana commented on how small churches should have opportunities for interns and that larger churches, such as Second Presbyterian, have the resources to fund those opportunities. When the debt for a recent construction project at Second Presbyterian was paid off in December 2014, funding to support the Louisville Seminary field education internship became available.

“Leadership is always contextual,” said Jester. “You don’t know what kind of questions to ask until you are in that context. This creates an opportunity for future leaders of our church to ask those questions.”

Neither Jester nor Second Presbyterian Church will be directly involved in the selection of the intern. However, the Rev. Ken Hockenberry, Louisville Seminary’s interim director of field education, said that careful attention will be given to placing the right student with the right pastor in a professional setting that benefits both the congregation and the student.

“We are grateful for the ongoing partnership between Second Presbyterian Church and Louisville Seminary, particularly in this area of practical theological training for our students,” said Hockenberry. “This internship will clearly help the selected student gain practical experience for parish work – and it will be a boost to the selected congregation where this student will serve.”

According to the Rev. Kilen Gray, Louisville Seminary’s dean of students, this is the newest opportunity for Louisville Seminary students to integrate what they learn in the classroom in a professional setting. In addition to Second Presbyterian Church, Louisville Seminary maintains internship opportunities with organizations and congregations throughout the country.

“We give thanks to God for Second Presbyterian Church’s vision and commitment to pastoral formation and Louisville Seminary,” said Gray. “This project provides another coveted venue through which students may gain quality experience in congregational praxis and appropriate formation for leadership in the church of the 21st century.”

Learn more about Louisville Seminary’s Field Education Program at www.lpts.edu/academics/field-education.
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