The Office of Public Witness (OPW) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) today unveiled its Internship for Public Witness, a new program designed for the formation of servant leaders in public policy ministry. 

Persons participating in the Internship program will enjoy exposure to a wide range of formative experiences.  Working with OPW staff, interns will have the opportunity to follow an issue or issue portfolio of interest through the legislative and decision-making process.  In addition, they will also be exposed to other components of public policy ministry, which may include church relations, communications, resource development, and event planning.

Reflecting on her own experience as in intern, Leslie Woods, the program's coordinator, remembers, "I started my ministry after divinity school in a very similar program.  I believe this opportunity can be invaluable to people who have a heart for service in the church and are discerning God's call in their lives.  It certainly was for me."

"The Office of Public Witness is prioritizing our internship program in an effort to train a new generation of prophetic leaders" says the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II, Director of Public Witness.  "By educating persons to speak truth to power, we acknowledge the important role of the biblical prophets, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and John Calvin. In these times of economic deprivation, environmental neglect, and human rights abuse, it is imperative that our internship program be connected to the contemporary role of the Church as an advocate for justice. We are calling upon churches and individuals to support this program financially as we seek applicants for this necessary ministry of the PC(USA)."

The OPW is seeking partnerships with local churches and teaching institutions. "This program is unfunded," remarks Leslie Woods, "so we are seeking reciprocal relationships with local churches who will share with us the benefits and responsibilities of service learning. We are also seeking partnerships with colleges, universities, and seminaries that may offer academic credit or other support to students completing internships in the Office of Public Witness."

Interested applicants may download the complete description online. The OPW looks forward to working with interns to create personalized opportunities for formation and discernment in the midst of practical ministry. 

Churches, colleges, universities, and seminaries interested in exploring this relationship, please contact Leslie Woods.  Financial support for this program may be offered through our secure website or by mailing a check to Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), P.O. Box 643700, Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700.  Designate the Office of Public Witness Internship, ECO # 051422.