Why does the MI have an Internship Program?
AQUEDUCT, MARCH 2012 – To some, an internship might seem like a strange offering in a highly academic environment. It is certainly not the case that Regent College students are want for an even greater workload. In fact, many of us set out each term wondering how we will accomplish everything before us, and end each year somewhat mystified by the fact that everything did indeed get done. So why the Marketplace Institute Internship Program?
For one, it is perhaps a misnomer to describe the internship as an “extra addition” to a student’s experience at Regent College. It is, instead, an integral complement to the Regent experience. This is precisely why the MI Internship is offered as a credit course toward completing a Regent College degree. The internship actually has a strong academic component; the students study ideological and practical aspects of leadership in the marketplace. Our desire for the interns is to offer them the opportunity to explore how understanding community and mission provides a platform for leading in every sphere of public life, to recognize the marketplace as a space in which the church, government, business and family – to name but a few – come together.
However, our intent is also to push our interns far beyond theory, a trajectory often lacking in academically rigorous environments. Through extensive Marketplace Institute work projects, facilitation exercises, intern-led discussions, and book studies on the mutual implications of community and leadership, the students are equipped through both ideological and experiential methods. The internship also allows students to explore what leadership and community look like in the public sector to which they uniquely feel called.
The environments within which this exploration and growth occur are two-fold. The Marketplace Institute intern house provides a community rhythm where people are able to grow as individuals alongside others. Unique aspects of the Christian life are developed and shaped through practices such as shared meals, discussion and prayer. The second environment is that of the Marketplace Institute itself. As reflected by this newsletter, the Institute is involved in a number of projects whose collective intent is to help Christians recognize the implications of the gospel on their daily lives. The interns take part in these various efforts.
Our hope is that Regent College can provide opportunities for students to learn through both study and active engagement within supportive and guided environments, and the Marketplace Institute Internship has proven to be an incredibly fruitful example of this kind of learning.