Resources For Supervisors

Internship Supervisors

Internship Supervisors are:
  • Qualified, experienced ministry practitioners who are ministry mentors and engage the intern in the process of theological reflection and ministry formation. 
  • Responsible for coordinating, facilitating, and assessing the intern’s learning in the placement.  
The Internship Supervisor:
  • Is expected to meet with the Intern for one hour per week of individual supervision.
  • Works collaboratively with the Director of TSIP (email Dr. Michael Krause, Director of TSIP at mkrause [at] tyndale [dot] ca).

Table of Contents:

Qualifications for Appointment as an Internship Supervisor

Internship Supervisors are considered to be part of the extended faculty of Tyndale Seminary and are selected and approved on the basis of the following criteria:
  • Agreement with the mission and purpose of Tyndale Seminary.
  • Theologically trained with a proven record of effective ministry.
  • Engaged in a ministry context that is supportive of training students for ministry.
  • Well-established in their current ministry context for a minimum of one year.
  • Deeply committed to the ministry of supervision.
  • Willing to follow the Internship Program’s objectives, expectations, and evaluation methods as outlined in the Internship Manual.

Training and Resources for Internship Supervisors

  1. Orientation, training and professional development are provided as part of its overall commitment to excellence in the Internship Program.  The Seminary is committed to recruiting and developing a team of gifted, experienced Internship Supervisors who are partners with the Tyndale Seminary in the vital ministry of educating students for Christian leadership.
  2. Every new Internship Supervisor will be provided with a special orientation session that will acquaint them with the model and method of Internship Education at Tyndale Seminary. New Internship Supervisors are, as key partners in the Internship Program, expected to attend these workshops, unless extenuating circumstances prevent them.   The Internship Supervisors will be informed with regards to the date and times of such events. In addition, other workshops/forums/lectures will be offered to all Internship Supervisors periodically.
  3. Internship Supervisors will also be invited to meet, consult or correspond, with the Director of TSIP throughout the year.  Informal conversations, questions, suggestions and feedback are always welcome. The Director of TSIP should be consulted at the first sign of any problem or difficulty in the placement because ignored issues often lead to an escalation that may be averted by a timely three-way meeting involving the Student, Internship Supervisor and the Director of TSIP.

Student Placement

Students must meet with the Director of TSIP to discuss their learning objectives, vocational goals, and ministry interests before any arrangements are negotiated with a placement setting or an Internship Supervisor.

After meeting with the Director of TSIP, the Intern arranges a site visit and an inquiry interview with a prospective Internship Supervisor to determine whether there is a mutually agreeable fit. The student, the Internship Supervisor, and the Director of the TSIP must all be in agreement before the placement is finalized. A Placement Site Information Form (docx) must be submitted to the Director of the TSIP for final approval.

Initial Inquiry Interviews between Students and Internship Supervisors

The following are useful questions to consider when students and prospective Internship Supervisors are meeting for an initial inquiry interview:
  1. What personal learning objectives does the Intern hope to meet in this placement?
  2. What ministry opportunities, learning experiences, and resources can the placement provide?
  3. What knowledge, experience, and skill does the Intern bring from previous experience and training?
  4. What does the Internship Supervisor consider to be his/her ministry strengths and supervision style?
  5. What is the student’s preferred learning style and how does this fit with the Internship Supervisor’s approach?
  6. What are the Internship Supervisor’s expectations of the student’s participation in the placement in terms of roles, responsibilities, level of independence, etc.?
  7. Is there a match between what the Intern expects and what the Internship Supervisor and placement can offer?

Supervision Sessions

Internship Supervisors are expected to devote one hour per week in a scheduled supervision session with the student.  The supervision session is to be distinct from other meetings focused on planning and organization (e.g. staff meetings). Internship Supervisors and students are expected to hold one another accountable to the weekly supervision time so that it does not get usurped by other engagements.

Supervision sessions are intended to provide a safe and supportive context for open discussion, theological reflection, and mutual feedback. Students should take the initiative in these sessions by bringing for discussion the puzzles, dilemmas, challenges, questions, concerns, celebrations and reflections arising from their ministry experiences.

It is strongly recommended that students keep an Internship Journal in which they record their reflections on their ministry experiences. Students are encouraged to bring the Internship Journal and other materials to the session such as verbatim reports, sermon notes, audiotapes, presentation outlines, ministry proposals or any other documents that may serve as a source for discussion and theological reflection.

Clear, direct, and honest feedback is one of the most valuable gifts an Internship Supervisor can give to an Intern in supervision. Feedback also needs to be reciprocal.   Students and Internship Supervisors are encouraged to mutually reflect on the value and effectiveness of the supervision sessions and to make modifications as needed. Frequent reference should also be made to the Learning Covenant to ensure that the student’s progress towards the learning goals is always in the forefront. It is, as stated, important to consult with the Director of TSIP as soon as possible if a problem arises.

The primary focus in supervision should be on the Intern’s actual ministry experiences.   Occasionally, however, Interns and Internship Supervisors may wish to use the sessions for discussion of any number of topics related to the practice of ministry, including for example:

time management leadership roles self-care
relationships family life pastoral care
administration social action evangelism
worship ethical issues mission
success/failure conflict management gender issues
expectations from others spiritual formation finances
weddings/funerals ministerial relationships church polity

The Learning Covenant

The Learning Covenant (docx) is one of the most critical elements in shaping an effective and growth-producing Internship Educational experience.   The Covenant provides the focus and structure for intentional learning and development and is collaboratively formulated by the Intern and the Internship Supervisor.

The Covenant sets out:
  • Specific and achievable learning goals (SMART goals)
  • A spiritual formation goal that is intentionally set but not formally evaluated
  • Specific tasks and responsibilities designed to accomplish the learning goals specific time allocations including the scheduled supervision hour
  • Specific dates for starting, ending, and scheduled absences.

The Covenant also becomes the primary evaluation tool by which the student’s progress in meeting their learning objectives is monitored and assessed.

This document is called a Covenant rather than a Learning Contract to signify the nature of the commitment that is being made between partners in the Internship program to work collaboratively for the mutual benefit of one another and for the sake of the gospel. The Covenant is signed by the Intern and the Internship Supervisor and submitted to the Director of TSIP for signature by the due date. The Director may request that the objectives be modified or clarified.  The placement receives final approval only after the Director signs the Covenant. Registration cannot happen without a signed Learning Covenant in place.

The Covenant is:
  • Designed to engender mutual accountability for the commitments that have been established. If circumstances change and the terms of the covenant cannot be kept, the new terms must be collaboratively negotiated among all signing parties, rather than unilaterally made.
  • Intended to be a fluid document that may need revision and modification over the course of the placement. 

New learning needs, goals, and priorities often arise in the midst of ministry. For this reason, the Covenant should be revisited at several points during the year, especially at the mid-term break.  Revisions to the Covenant need to be submitted to the Director of TSIP for signature.

It is the student’s responsibility to submit signed copies of the Learning Covenant to the Director of TSIP before the internship begins.  Three copies of the Covenant should be made, one each for the Student, the Internship Supervisor, and the Director of TSIP.

Time Expectations

  1. Interns, as mentioned, are expected to spend 10 hours per week in the placement (this includes preparation and tasks), for a total of 260 hours over two semesters. The Internship will also involve additional time for such commitments as: the time spent with the Internship Supervisor, the Ministry Reflection Seminars (take place in Fall and Winter semesters), the Integrated Reflection Paper, travel, and time with the Director of the TSIP.
  2. Time allocations are specified in the Learning Covenant and every effort should be made to honour them. Overtime hours should be avoided.  If on occasion overtime hours are necessary, compensatory time off should be negotiated in advance.
  3. Placement responsibilities should not interfere with the student’s class schedule. Likewise, academic workload or assignments should not take precedence over the placement. Any time spent in the placement fulfilling assignments for other courses must not be counted as part of the required placement hours.

Absence and Illness

  1. The Internship Supervisor must be notified immediately if the Intern is unable to attend the placement at the scheduled time. 
  2. Days missed in the placement should be made up at a time negotiated between the Intern and Internship Supervisor.
  3. In exceptional circumstances (e.g., death in the family) a suitable plan will be developed between the student, Internship Supervisor, and the Director of TSIP to ensure that the Intern has the opportunity to meet the requirements and expectations of the program.

Financial Arrangements

  1. Some placement sites are able to offer the Intern remuneration or financial assistance; however, such arrangements are entirely at the discretion of the church or organization and are privately arranged. Remuneration is not a determinative factor in placement selection.
  2. Placements, if possible, are encouraged to cover travel expenses related to special ministry assignments such as home visits or external meetings.
  3. However, students should be prepared to pay the cost of travel to and from the placement.
  4. Students are also responsible for fees related to prerequisites set by the placement site, for example, immunizations or police background checks.

Ethical and Professional Conduct

  1. Tyndale Seminary has a zero tolerance policy concerning harassment and will act within its purview to prevent or remedy discrimination on the basis of gender, race, age, ethnic origin, citizenship, disability, marital status, or physical appearance. All partners in the Internship Program including students, faculty, Internship supervisors, are expected to adhere to the Seminary’s policy on harassment and anti- discrimination.
  2. Students in placements are expected to function in a professional and ethical manner consistent with Christian principles and the professional and ethical guidelines that are set by the placement site.
  3. Students are expected to maintain appropriate professional boundaries in all relationships within the placement.  They should also attempt to maintain neutrality and professional distance in any disputes or grievances among individuals within the placement. The primary role of the Intern is that of learner and not intervener.

Evaluation Procedures

Ongoing evaluation and feedback is an expected component in the Internship Supervisor/Intern relationship. Internship Supervisors are expected to give students regular feedback regarding their performance and progress in meeting the learning goals. Students in turn are expected to seek and welcome such feedback. Whenever possible, feedback should be supported by specific examples and direct observation.   It is, to reiterate an important point, the Intern’s and Internship Supervisor’s responsibility to consult with the Director of TSIP if a problem arises, and to do so as early as possible. Overlooking problems may lead to an escalation that could jeopardize the placement.

A mid-year evaluation involving the Intern and Internship Supervisor will occur at the end of the first term. This evaluation will involve:
  1. A written self-evaluation by the Intern,
  2. An oral evaluation by the Intern and Internship Supervisor,
  3. A submission of the Intern’ self-evaluation to the Director with the signatures of the Intern and the Internship Supervisor.

A supervision session should specifically be set aside at that time to review the Learning Covenant, to clarify roles and expectations, to identify further learning needs, and to revise learning objectives if needed. Any revisions or additions to the Covenant must be submitted to the Director of the TSIP.

The year-end evaluation takes the form of a summative written evaluation (See Appendix C in Internship Manual (pdf)).  Interns and Internship Supervisors fill out their respective evaluation forms.

Supervisor's Final Evaluation Form (docx)

The assessment is individualized in relation to the learning goals set out at the beginning of the year in the Learning Covenant.  Evaluation is made regarding the progress made towards achieving the student’s learning goals, as well as overall assessment of the student’s strengths and growing edges as evidenced in the placement.

The year-end evaluation is a process that takes place in the final weeks of the placement. The student and the on-site Internship Supervisor should complete their appropriate evaluation forms independent of one another and then meet to discuss the reports. Both the Intern and the Internship Supervisor must sign the evaluation forms, signifying that that the reports have been read and discussed. If irresolvable disagreements arise regarding the evaluation, the Director of TSIP should be contacted.

The final grade of credit, no credit, or incomplete is determined by combining all of the evaluations from all of the partners in the Internship process.  Evaluation reports are confidential documents intended primarily for the Intern’s self-understanding, growth, and development as Christian leaders. They are not released to denominational officials or any prospective employers unless specifically requested by the Intern in writing. All reports and evaluations are kept in a secure file and released only to the Director of TSIP.