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Summer Spotlight: Internships

​Dozens of Westminster Seminary students are interning around the country this summer as part of their practical equipping for their future work. Highlighted here are a few of our students and their experiences in a variety of settings this summer.

Koos Hagg

Hagg, a former missionary in Vietnam and 1st-year M.Div at WSC, is interning at Resurrection Orthodox Presbyterian Church, in Westminster, California. Hagg said of his internship:

I am serving in an internship with Resurrection OPC, the Vietnamese congregation of Westminster OPC in Westminster, CA, in the heart of ‘Little Saigon.’ My internship work includes four main activities: An ESL outreach class for Vietnamese in the community, which meets 3 nights/week; a Citizenship Class outreach, which helps Vietnamese who are preparing for their US citizenship interview; teaching a bi-lingual Sunday school class (we are studying the Heidelberg Catechism); and four opportunities to exhort throughout the summer.

This internship has helped me to regain Vietnamese language skills and it has helped me to become more comfortable in teaching Sunday School and the opportunities to exhort with guided preparation have helped me to improve in preaching skills. I find myself more joyful in ministry activities and in meeting folks who come to our outreach ministries. I have also been able to peek into the Vietnamese culture in the US, which has many similarities and many differences to the culture of Vietnam. There is still much to learn!

Many of the things we learned in our first year [at WSC] have served to be lenses through which I can observe and learn from the different ministries of the church and the community around it, and our practical theology courses have helped me in thinking through the preparation of a sermon, and the many ways to approach the task and ministry of the Word.

Matt Stone

Stone, a 2rd-year MDiv student, is interning this summer at River Community Church in Dell Rapids, South Dakota. His work includes teaching, leading worship and fellowship events, visitations, and providing pulpit supply in neighboring churches. Stone said of his time at River Community:

This internship has presented me with many ministry challenges and situations that are fairly unfamiliar to me. It’s required adaptation of teaching skills, quick thinking, and growing discernment between what’s necessary and what’s ‘fluff’ in keeping the attention of old and young alike! Leading worship and thinking through the order of worship has stretched my knowledge of and care for God’s redemptive story. Lastly, I love a new church environment because the relationships in that (new) community help me to grow in seeing hte many different facets of God’s amazing grace in Christ and the unity of his Spirit as the church presses on together! 

This internship has caused me to reflect on two things that WSC excels in. Firstly, the breadth and depth of the Word of God is laid out for students as a foundation, not just for our coursework, but as the bedrock of ministry and life. When faced with circumstances that require flexibility, sensitivity and solidity, a wide and comprehensive knowledge of God’s Word is essential! Secondly, dependence on God and his Spirit are the happy by-products of being thrown into the deep end of the “theological pool” at WSC. The resulting growth in character and love for God’s people leaves a seminary student humbly and joyfully treading water. 

David Mendoza

Pursuing a Masters in Historical Theology at WSC, Mendoza obtained an opportunity to intern with Acton Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Some of his work was just recently published. Mendoza said of his time with Acton:

My internship has included a lot of reading and professional development. Acton wants their interns to have at least a basic understanding of economics and Christian anthropology. Currently, I’m doing research on American poverty and how the principles of Acton can be applied to help solve the issues of impoverished communities.

I have grown through my meeting and networking with people. Acton had its annual conference called Acton University where I was able to meet various scholars and ministers from around the country. Their willingness to invest in me and give me advice for future career endeavors has been indispensable. 

Westminster’s high academic standards have been immensely helpful for me. The writing skills that I acquired from the professors have aided me tremendously in this internship. I simply would not have been able to perform well per Acton’s standards had I not received exceptional training from Westminster. What has also been encouraging is hearing the great respect that scholars from other traditions have for Westminster. They have the highest regard for Westminster’s faculty and academic rigor.