As autumn unfolds and we feel the evidence of seasonal change all around, so Biblical Counselling UK is undergoing its own season of transitions. It’s an exciting time.
In addition to new staff, new courses and announcing the next conference, we have also had the opportunity to think through some of the existing training programmes we offer and consider how we might improve them. One of those areas is the Church-based Intern Scheme.
The Intern Scheme began in September 2016 and has since seen 37 churches and interns come through the programme. There are ten more interns training with us right now. As the pool of eligible applicants grows, we have noticed two ‘categories’ of interns emerging:
First, there are the interns who are passionate about biblical counselling and find themselves drawn to informal conversational ministry. They are often in churches who are keen to see a culture of care develop but are not currently developing formal counselling provision. Such interns help their church families to grow in wise ministry to one another.
Second, there are those interns who are passionate about biblical counselling and bring a measure of expertise in conversational ministry, through either church ministry experience or professional roles. They are often in congregations who are keen to develop a more formal counselling provision within their church or in collaboration with other local churches.
Both are so important, but their needs are different. To serve these two categories of interns better with more tailored training, we are developing parallel tracks for the second year of the Intern Scheme, launching in September 2023.
The first year of the redeveloped Intern Scheme will look very similar to the format of previous years. Interns will apply to the scheme along with their churches and benefit from a Biblical Counselling UK mentor, training meetings and peer consultations. The cohort will stay together for the whole year, enabling them to learn from the range of contexts and experiences represented by the individual interns.
Throughout their first year, interns – in collaboration with their churches and Biblical Counselling UK – will have the opportunity to consider whether they would like to pursue a church-growth emphasis in their second year or a counselling emphasis.
Here the cohort will divide, with each intern following one of two parallel tracks:
Church Growth Track
Interns will collaborate with their wider church leadership to identify a particular area of church life to develop with a biblical counselling framework in mind. They will research, create and implement a ministry proposal plan. Areas that interns may focus on include: small group development, pastoral care structures, premarital & marriage refresher material, evangelism & outreach, and so on.
Alongside this main focus, interns will still engage in other activities such as running a Real Change course and meeting with people for more informal discipleship conversations.
Interns should expect to spend a majority of their time in the second year engaging in more formal counselling conversations alongside activities that foster a biblical counselling mindset across their whole church (such as running Real Change or a seminar). Interns will work alongside their church leadership to structure this counselling ministry wisely and establish clear channels of accountability. Guidance and support will be provided by Biblical Counselling UK.
Both tracks will receive input from a Biblical Counselling UK Mentor, peer consultation groups and training meetings.
How to apply
A more detailed explanation of these parallel tracks and who they would benefit is available in our Before You Apply document. Applications for the September 2023 intake will open on 1 January and close on 17 March 2023. If you have completed the Certificate Course and are keen to find out more about these Internships, please contact Amanda Naves on firstname.lastname@example.org
Please be giving thanks with us for the many interns and churches who have partnered with us over the years and pray these new initiatives will serve the local church and glorify our Lord.