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.

“I know that this inquiry experience has changed me and equipped me with tools for living…I am excited to see how this experience will continue to guide me in the coming years.” – Andrew Pauls,  MIP 2015

“After such a wonderful experience, I am seriously considering going to seminary after college. I felt purpose and meaning, which is powerful…I am grateful to have had such a blessed summer…” – Halle Steingass, MIP 2015

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:

  • The Inquiry Program has moved to Career Networks, so visit the Career Networks office and speak with David Kendall, 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.

“MIP provided a way for new and old connections to be cultivated. It grounded my beliefs in real life– in the experiences of those on the margin, in my own experiences, and in my academics and research. Specifically, it expanded my beliefs concerning theology. For me, theology, and therefore its influence on my life, will always be shaped and influenced by my learnings and experiences from this summer, and I have MIP to thank.” – Madeline Kauffman, MIP 2018

“I am very grateful for my time in the Ministry Inquiry Program. Although I have not felt a strong call towards a career in ministry, I have felt a deepening in my commitment to an active church life.” – Hannah Yoder, MIP 2015

“My time at CMC has taught me many things, but perhaps the most meaningful of which is how to stand for one’s own values while simultaneously engaging with those who do not share them. Spending the summer at CMC while witnessing the broader goings-on of the Mennonite Church has deepened my desire to be involved in the church in a meaningful way in the future.” – Jenae Longenecker, SIP 2015