Your church residency or ministry internship program might produce great leaders, but are those leaders getting the academic credit they could be? There’s a way for your program to keep producing great leaders while also offering undergraduate and/or master’s degree outcomes.
Why Credit Matters
Over the last twenty years, we at Eleven:6 have seen again and again that academic credit matters. Every time we help a ministry transition their internship, church residency, or gap year program into offering transferable credit (or even full degree programs), they come out ahead in a number of ways.
Ministries that offer academic credit in their programs see a tangible rise in the quality of candidates that apply. Serious students seek out programs offering credit. Credit-offering programs also tend to have more candidates applying to get in. Plus, offering credit raises the perceived value of your program. Even if you changed nothing else, offering credit to your students means your church residency or ministry internship program will now be perceived as more valuable.
Your Program Deserves the Recognition
Having spent as much time as we have in both the academic world and the ministry world, we know your ministry likely has a fantastic training program, with very real strengths that just cannot be offered in a campus environment. But because you lack accreditation or the ability for your students to make progress toward a degree, other programs get the first look. This means that potential residents or interns are bypassing your program – all because their search filters include a for-credit option.
If you are raising quality leaders, the world needs to know about that. Potential candidates deserve to know that you offer something valuable. Ministry leaders who might hire your graduates want to know that you trained them well. Being able to offer your interns access to academic credit is a way for you to accomplish both of these things. And it’s not as complicated or impossible as you might think! See how simple it can be here.
What Academic Credit Can Do for Your Students
Academic credit can help your residents or interns in a number of ways. First, instead of your church residency or ministry internship program being a separate thing they do before or after a degree program, your program becomes an integrated part of the process. You become a part of their degree pathway. This means that instead of competing with big schools, you are partnering with them to train next generation leaders. Aspiring students do not have to choose between you and a school. They can have both.
Many potential college students might join your program as a way to help them figure out the next step in their life. When your program can offer academic credit, it means they are not “losing out” on a year of college by joining your program. Their academic options all remain on the table. Wherever God calls them in the future, your church residency, ministry internship program, or gap year program can propel them forward. That is a big bonus for your student. But think about what that could do to your recruitment, as well.
Experts at Making the Process Simple
You may be asking, “Does this mean we will need to become an accredited educational institution?” We addressed this question and several others in depth in a previous article. But the short answer is no. Accreditation is not something your church or ministry needs to worry about, even if you are seeking to have your students gain academic credit. There is a simple process we walk every ministry through that lets them transition their program into one that offers their students many different kinds of degree pathways.
We partner with some of the most recognized names in Christian higher education so that your ministry can offer amazing degree pathway options without the cost and complications of accreditation. Through the years, we have refined the process so that it is simple for anyone wanting to make the transition. And since we have tuition discount agreements with two different schools, we can help you design and set up a program that fits you without any direct cost to you.
When you are ready to help your student get the academic credit they deserve, then schedule a call and we will get you moving.