Church Life Internship

Apply to the 2017-2018 Church Life Internship 


What is the Church Life Internship?


The McGrath Institute for Church Life is dedicated to nourishing the Catholic imagination and renewing the Church. Through scholarship, education, and programming, the institute builds partnerships through which the university serves the Church while helping the Church to continually inform the university of its Catholic mission. One of the primary goals of the institute is to form leadership at Notre Dame for service to the Church.


The Church Life Internship is the highest-level opportunity for Catholic leadership development offered through the institute. The internship is available to senior undergraduate students. In consultation with institute staff and faculty, Church Life Interns develop research interests that are directly tied to practical leadership and service experiences. Church Life Interns sharpen their eyes for seeing the beauty and needs of the Church, cultivate their minds to understand pressing issues in Church life so as to imagine creative approaches for responding to these issues, and shape their hearts for lifelong love of the Church.


What do Church Life Interns do?


Church Life Interns work approximately 6–10 hours per week, on their own schedule and in consultation with their primary mentor (a member of the institute staff/faculty). Interns meet together along with the institute staff/faculty every month to discuss their work, explore areas of collaboration, and provide reflections on their research and service


What are the benefits?


The Church Life Internship is a paid internship (and the pay rate is very competitive). Church Life interns may concurrently serve as Resident Assistants.


For those interested in the Echo program, Church Life Interns have the option of requesting early admission (Spring 2017 for Summer 2018 start) for their post-graduate study and service, but interns are not required to seek early admission to Echo or to apply at all. In other words, Church Life Interns are not bound to a post-grad program but may seek early admission to one.


What have past interns worked on?


Each Church Life Intern collaborates with the staff and faculty of the institute to develop a distinctive research, leadership, and service interest that guides their year-long internship. In the inaugural year of the internship (2016-17), three interns pursued the following areas:

  • Madeline Lewis: 


    • Primary Focus: To study and practice crafting “stories of grace” for the renewal of the Catholic imagination and as a means for evangelization and catechesis.
    • Secondary Focus: To train and empower others to compose and share “stories of grace” through appropriate means.
    • Main Activities: cmpose and record (audio and video) “stories of grace,” edit “stories of grace” from others for weekly podcast, research ways to incorporate stories of grace into theological and catechetical settings in schools and parishes, coordinate and host Stories of Grace Evening Prayer Services monthly, teach in Notre Dame Catechist Academy.
  • Andy Miles:
    • Primary Focus: To study how Gospel parables are used in parish catechetical settings and Catholic school religious education.
    • Secondary Focus: To examine the development of biblical literacy and the religious imagination in childhood and adolescent faith formation.
    • Main Activities: bserve Catholic high school theology lessons that utilize parables, research classic biblical exegesis and homilies relating to parables, compose reflections on catechetical and theological approaches to teaching parables, teach in Notre Dame Catechist Academy.
  • Alex Viegut:
    • Primary Focus: To research distinct models of parish catechesis, with special attention to how catechetical leaders train, support, and empower (volunteer) catechists.
    • Secondary Focus: To observe and reflect upon particular examples of excellence in faith formation.
    • Main Activities: serve as aid in Catechesis f Good Shepherd atrium, participate in pilgrimage to Malta and observe the catechetical centers of the Society of Christian Doctrine, interview parents about faith formation approaches, visit local dioceses and parishes to observe catechetical models.

What do I need to know before applying?


Church Life Interns are selected according to their interests in research and service, their demonstrated leadership potential, and their prospective ability to integrate the life of the academy and the life of the Church into their work. Applicants are therefore asked to compose short essays (400-800 words) in response to the following prompts:

  • What (general) interests do you have for research, leadership, and service on behalf of nourishing the Catholic imagination and/or renewing Church life? (That is, what might you like to do?)
  • What experiences (academic, service-based, ministerial, personal, etc.) have contributed to your interest in offering leadership and service to the Church in some way?
  • What professional, academic, and/or vocational pathways are you currently considering after graduating from college?

When is the application deadline?


Applications are considered on a semi-rolling basis:

  • The priority deadline is January 24, 2017.
  • The secondary deadline is March 14, 2017
  • The final deadline is April 18, 2017

How do I apply?


The application for the 2017-2018 Church Life Internship is available here.


Who do I contact if I have questions?


If you have any questions about the Church Life Internship or to set up a meeting to discuss the opportunity further, please contact Prof. Lenny DeLorenzo at 574.631.2915 or