Ministry Inquiry Program


The Ministry Inquiry Program (MIP) enables students at Goshen College to spend three months in ministry with a congregation. The goal of MIP is to facilitate significant student engagement with congregational ministry through the tutelage of an on-site pastoral mentor and with the church’s support. Students are expected to learn from both their active participation in ministry and from their observation of others engaged in ministry. Depending on the student’s interests and gifts, MIP activities can include worship planning, worship leading, teaching in Bible school and Sunday school, leading music, pastoral visiting, community service and preaching.

Students in MIP will experience:

  • Direct ministry to others in a congregational setting
  • Creative responses to perplexing human problems
  • Encounters with a wide variety of people
  • Insight into the challenges facing ministers
  • New relationships with a congregation

At the end of the ministry period, the supervising minister will write a report for Goshen College and the student, evaluating the student’s performance and potential for future experiences in ministry. Students should meet with their academic advisers to learn about the possibility of earning academic credit for their MIP experience.

MIP features:

“Even though it seems unrelated, it somehow affirmed my major, Elementary Education, and the feeling of being call to teach. My work with MIP also reignited my excitement for ministry work and opened me up to the possibility of seminary later in life.” – Annika Miller,  MIP 2012

“My goals for the summer included working on my Spanish skills, personal spiritual growth, exploring how I can work within the church at issues of social justice, learning about church and politics and exploring my future calling within the church.” – Martin Hofkamp, MIP 2012

MIP-Hillary-Harder-in-actionRegistration Deadlines:

Though we would love to provide placements for all students who apply, we are only able to accept 5-8 applicants per Inquiry Program. There are two deadlines: early-bird (December 1) and final (January 31). Students who complete their applications by the early-bird deadline will be processed (accepted or not accepted) first. Depending on the number of applicants in a given year, the possibility exists that all slots might be filled even before the final deadline. Therefore, it is in the best interest of the student to apply early!

If you are a student:

  • Visit the Campus Ministries office and speak with Bob Yoder, MIP administrator.
  • Let your academic adviser know you would like to participate in the program and explore the option of earning academic credit.
  • Discuss your ministry interests with the pastor of your home congregation.
  • Complete the online application form.

If you represent a congregation as a pastor or youth leader:

  • Call or write to the MIP administrator at Goshen College, and nominate an excellent student candidate from your congregation who would benefit from MIP.
  • Encourage students from your congregation with potential for ministry to participate in the MIP through Goshen College.

Congregations desiring interns should apply to the Ministry Inquiry Program through the program administrator.

MIP-Renae-Weaver-in-actionFrequently Asked Questions

How does the program work?

The Ministry Inquiry Program is designed to be a summer-long learning experience for Goshen College students. It calls for full-time involvement for 11 weeks.

Each MIP intern will receive a scholarship of $2,000 to be applied to college expenses during the academic year following the term of ministry. Ideally, the funds for the scholarship will come from the following sources:

  • $500 from Goshen College Campus Ministries
  • $500 from Mennonite Church USA
  • $500 from the student’s home congregation
  • $250 from receiving church conference
  • $250 from sending church conference

The host congregation will also provide food, housing, and a $500 personal stipend. The student will be responsible for travel expenses to and from the location of the host congregation.

Who may participate?

The Ministry Inquiry Program is designed for Goshen College students who have completed two to three years of college. Ideally, candidates for the program should have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Students from all faith traditions are warmly invited to participate in MIP and may negotiate an assignment with an other-than-Mennonite congregation.

May I participate in the Ministry Inquiry Program at times other than the summer?

Yes – if the MIP Administrator, your academic adviser at Goshen College, and a congregation agree on another 11-week period during the year or 11-week equivalent. However, the program’s primary intention is for a summer experience.

“If I were to pursue full time ministry I know now that establishing small routines, maintaining flexibility and balancing priorities will be some of the most important tasks for a successful ministry.” – Jeffrey Moore, MIP 2012

“I have also been able to connect several passions of mine – ASL, children, and the Deaf community – in a helpful way.  Vocationally, I have solidified that becoming an interpreter is definitely a goal of mine.  This summer was a life-giving, growing experience I will not soon forget.” – Renae Weaver, SIP 2012