Contextual Education

The Office of Spiritual and Religious Life offers year-long Contextual Education internships for second-year Candler School of Theology students who are interested in college and university chaplaincy. Mentored by one of the chaplains on staff, interns have the opportunity to learn and serve in relation to the various programs and services of the office.

Opportunities for learning and serving include:

  • Beloved Community: A Sunday morning ecumenical Protestant Christian worship service for the university setting that affirms hospitality, inclusion, and justice.
  • Inter-Religious Council (IRC): IRC is comprised of undergraduate student leaders from campus spiritual communities and offers a space to build relationships while engaging in and fostering inter-religious dialogue.
  • Other projects that develop from the backgrounds and interests of the interns themselves and the needs of the office that relate to the spiritual leadership arts of preaching and liturgy, religious education, pastoral care, service and social justice, outreach, and administration. Examples include campus vigils and memorial services, offering a retreat or small group ministry, working with student organizations, organizing a service or social justice project, tabling at Wonderful Wednesdays, and learning about the organization of the office, administration, and collaboration with campus units.

Through working with their mentors on such programs, interns have the opportunity to:

  • Develop leadership capacities and experience in the area of spirituality in higher education
  • Cultivate skills for facilitating conversations that allow for diversity and difference
  • Work collaboratively with the OSRL team and learn about divisions and offices of the University
  • Explore practices of spiritual leadership and pastoral caregiving in an interfaith setting
  • Write and lead curriculum for student programs that seek to strengthen spiritual experiences and cultivate inter-religious relationships

This placement offers opportunities to learn in each of the five areas of ministry:

Help plan, liturgize, and preach at the Beloved Community Protestant Worship Service Sundays at 11 a.m. in Cannon Chapel; help plan vigils and special holiday celebrations; offer invocations and benedictions at university ceremonies and gatherings

Engage in and reflect on group and one-to-one pastoral care sessions; assist in planning memorial services, weddings, and other rituals; assist with the Anatomy Lab Program

Share in outreach regarding diverse spiritual life opportunities for the campus community; learn about data and communications; learn about the Journeys of Reconciliation program and other peacemaking programs; develop service and social justice oportunities

Assist in leading educational and formational programs like the Inter-Religious Council and Off the Record; learn from and support the activities of religious and philosophical campus organizations

Engage in contextual analysis; learn about the university and matters of strategic planning, personnel, budgets, space, policies, internal and external relations, and advancement; help to support the religious life affiliates; create leadership development opportunities or retreats for student leaders; learn about intersectional work with other campus offices; learn about chaplain professional associations

For more information or to apply for an internship, please contact the Emory University Dean of Religious Life.