For Credit or Not? Evaluating Your Internship, Gap Year, or Residency Program

Many ministry leaders are transitioning their training programs to offer academic credit and degree pathways for their students. If you have a ministry internship, a Christian gap year program, a church residency, or other similar training program, you may be considering doing the same. Most ministries can greatly benefit by making this transition. To help you discover if your ministry could be one of them, begin thinking through the following list of questions. 

1 | Are your students telling you that they are interested in earning credit? 

This can be the clearest sign that upgrading your program to include a for-credit option will produce real value–immediately. Learn why credit might matter to your students. 

2 | Have you been approached by a school about a partnership of some sort?

This could be a sign that schools see your ministry internship, Christian gap year, or church residency, as already having the kind of students who could succeed in an academic context. Learn more about the types of partnerships that are commonly offered and which one might be right for you.

3 | Have you entertained the idea of starting a school or pursuing accreditation for your program?

If yes, you likely already know the benefits of offering credit and are now trying to decide how to make that happen. Learn why you do not have to start a school or become accredited to get your students all of the benefits that you are looking for. 

4 | Do you encourage your students to further their education beyond your program?

If you find yourself doing this, then you know the value of a degree. What you might not know is your program can become a part of their education journey. Explore how you can seamlessly offer students credit towards a degree–or potentially a complete degree program–while they are still in your program.

5 | Are you looking for ways to increase the caliber of recruit who joins your program?

The most motivated and self-direction students frequently seek out programs that offer credit. Plus, those enrolled for credit apply greater focus and more significant mission-driven outcomes. See how offering credit may help you attract and filter for better candidates.

6 | Do you feel your program is underrated or under-appreciated?

You know how great your program is. But did you know that offering college credit can help you affirm the quality of your program to the broader public? Learn how offering credit may boost your program’s perceived value.

7 | Are you already offering classes AND in-context training to your students?

Both can be essential elements worth real credit. Here’s why you should make sure your students have the option to earn that credit.

8 | Do you feel lost or in the dark about what is involved in upgrading a program to offer college or master’s credit? 

You may be stalled because there seems to be an array of options that are either not a great fit for you or seem overly complex. Learn the three simple steps we walk every ministry through when you partner with us. Seeing the process laid out may help you make an informed and strategic decision on whether you should offer credit.

9 | Do you feel overwhelmed at how complicated the academic world can be? 

Here’s what you will need to know and why it is much more doable than you think.

10 | Have you delayed offering credit out of fear that it will take too long to make the transition? 

Having a partner and a path can remove the fear and help you make the right direction for your ministry training program.

Over the past twenty years, Eleven:6 has helped ministries like yours offer credit and degree pathways for their students. If you answered yes to the questions above, then your training program is likely one of the many programs which would benefit from upgrading to a for-credit program. Such a move can boost the quality of your program, attract more and better students, and set those students up for greater success for whatever God has planned for them in the future. 

Eleven:6 has been serving ministry leaders for over twenty years in helping them build practical ministry training programs that can also earn students academic credit towards a degree. If you are working to make this transition, then schedule a call with us today.