2017 Summer Urban Internship

Program description

The United Methodist Urban Internship is an eight week summer experience for college students who wish to explore living and working in faith-affiliated summer programs in Los Angeles' urban core. Interns meet individually weekly with a spiritual mentor, and weekly with the program coordinator to reflect on their experience in the program, and to process and discern a calling to service and/or ministry in poor, urban areas of the city. Interns are provided a room, and live together in cooperative community at Orchard House near USC, which is provided by the United Methodist Cal-Pac Conference. Meals are planned communally, and transportation via public transit is provided.

One highlight of the program is the very real contribution that interns make to their work-sites. This year's work-sites include Peace Camp at United University Church; the Urban Foundation and Kid City, affiliated with First United Methodist Church of Los Angeles; and Freedom School, at Holman United Methodist Church. We are hoping to be able to offer more sites and will update this page as they are confirmed. One important aspect of the intern experience is to share their work with the church congregation, and to provide a bridge for the congregation to support and participate in the work at the work-site. 

It is our hope that through this internship experience, participants will consider if they are called to work in urban communities, whether in ministry or in some other aspect of service.

Program details:

Interns are introduced to the program, work-sites, and mentors during the first week of the program. Much of the first week is also spent at the Annual Conference of the Cal-Pac United Methodist Church, where interns participate, serve as volunteers, and have a daily reflection with program staff. 

For the remainder of the summer, interns live in community at Orchard House near USC campus. They work an average of 35-40 hours per week at their placement sites in affiliated faith-based programs in south and central Los Angeles. All sites are accessible by public transit, and interns are given MetroTAP cards for all their transportation needs. In addition, interns meet with their spiritual mentor weekly for spiritual direction and to reflect and process issues in the internship. As part of their work with the placement site, interns are expected to participate in Sunday morning worship, and to engage the congregation in the work they are doing. Finally, the program coordinator meets with interns weekly as a group for reflection and dialogue, as well as during two day-long retreats during the program.

Dates:  June 10 to August 6

Housing: Interns live in Christian community at Orchard House near USC campus. The on-site Resident Advisor will coordinate household chores, purchase of shared staples, communal supplies, field trips, and other community events. Interns are required to live at Orchard House during the entire internship and participate in all events. 

Board: Interns will share a communal budget for shared staples so they can cook and eat together.

Transportation: Interns will receive Metro TAP cards and use public transportation. Personal cars are not needed and are allowed only in special circumstances to be discussed with the program director.

Work-sites: Each intern will be assigned a work-site (a church or church-affiliated program) where they report to a site supervisor. Based on information received from applications and interviews, staff and work-site supervisors will assign placement sites, as much as possible according to interests and career goals of the intern and needs of the sites.

Mentoring and church attendance: interns meet with a spiritual mentor one hour a week, and attend Sunday morning worship. There, the intern should get to know the congregation and serve as a liaison between the congregation and the affiliated worksite.

Weekly group mentoring: Interns meet once a week on Thursdays for a communal dinner and spiritual reflection.

Additional retreats, trainings, and outings also include visits to each other’s work-sites, social media training with James Kang, urban ministry discussion with Professor Helene Slessarev-Jamir. 

Stipends: Interns will receive $2000 for the summer will be paid in four installments: June 30, July 15, July 31, August 15. 

Questions? Please call the Urban Foundation at 213-749-0212 ext. 2# or email Anne Hawthorne at info@umurbaninternship.org.

Ready to apply? Apply here.