Ministry & Service Internship Fund


In 2002, a grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., provided funding for students to do vocational discernment via retreats and summer internships. Thanks to an endowment that consists almost entirely of estate gifts from William Spencer, C’41, and Barlow Henderson, internship funding for students who are interested in careers in ministry and service will continue indefinitely.

Discernment Retreats

Students who receive Ministry & Service funding must agree to participate in the two discernment retreats and to give a public presentation in the fall. There will be one five-day retreat that begins on the Monday following Sewanee graduation, then another one-day retreat on the first Sunday after classes resume in the fall (August/September.) The retreats will be held at St. Mary's Retreat Center in Sewanee. The Lay Chaplain and the Assistant Outreach Coordinator will co-plan and co-led the retreats.

Commitment to Attend Discernment Retreats

On the online funding application form, students will indicate whether or not they are willing/able to attend the two discernment retreats. If the student indicates that they can attend the discernment retreats, their funding application will be considered for Ministry & Service funding; if they cannot attend, their funding application will be put on the “general internship funding” list.


The stipend amount is $350/week for 6-8 week internships. No additional travel monies will be granted to applicants, even if they are going to an international site. Students may be eligible to receive Ministry & Service funding more than once, but preference will be given to those who have not yet receive this funding.

Preference for non-seniors

Due to the need for students to be able to return to campus for the second retreat, preference for awarding funds will be given to non-seniors.

Application Selection Criteria

CLD will advise students about how to apply for Ministry & Service funding, but students are welcome and encouraged to seek the input and advice of the Chapel staff.

Tracks (Ministry, Service)

 Ministry & Service funding will maintain its Ministry and Service ratio guideline of 50%-50%. Some applications will be “blended”, so awarding the funding will be at the discretion of the selection committee.

Selection Committee Membership

The Ministry & Service selection committee will consist of the Lay Chaplain, the Assistant Outreach Coordinator, a second staff member from the Chapel, and one faculty member (to be selected by CLD and/or the Lay Chaplain.) The selection committee meets once a year to review internship funding applications and to award funding (in early April.) The maximum number of students to receive funding will be 16. This ensures a small-group experience for the discernment retreats.