We’re introducing a new training program that integrates classroom learning and field experience: the Christ College Internship.

“The internship experience is one of the most crucial elements of leadership preparation programs for bridging the gap between theory and practice. Merely arming future leaders with knowledge to which they have had no authentic experience enacting will certainly not lead to effective leadership practice.”

Source: Sherman, W.H. and Crum, K.S. (2009) Designing the Internship in Educational Leadership as a Transformational Tool for Improved Practice, International Journal of Educational Reform, 18(1), p.64.

What is the Christ College Internship?

The Christ College Internship (Internship) is a structured field experience learning program that integrates with linked classroom units within the Course of Training (COT) to develop our Graduate Attributes.

The Internship is overseen by Christ College, and is delivered through a network of approved Partner Churches and trained Coaches. Theory and practice are integrated every semester by linking classroom theory with planned field projects, and challenging field learning experiences with reflective classroom assessments. This enables Christ College to cultivate the ideal conditions for transformative adult learning and work-ready graduates over the four years of the COT.

You can read more about the Internship by downloading the PDFOverview of the Christ College Internship in the Appendix section at the bottom of this page.

What does our Internship aim to do?

  • Satisfy the Course of Training requirements set by the Presbyterian Church of Australia’s General Assembly with respect to field learning
  • Address identified Graduate Attributes and Graduate Attribute Descriptors
  • Link field learning to classroom experiences
  • Integrate field learning across the preaching/teaching, leading and pastoral care functions of church leaders
  • Give flexibility for students in ministry contexts outside the local church, such as missionaries, university campus workers, and chaplains
  • Provide a quality learning experience that adds value to a student’s ministry-readiness and which is well-regarded by churches and other Christian agencies
  • Reflect present best practice in the literature on internships



What are the benefits of our Internship?

For Interns

  • Forms and equips qualified students into effective pastoral leaders who Love God in Christ, Know Self in Christ, Care for People like Christ, Lead God’s Church under Christ, and Preach and Teach Christ from the Scriptures.
  • Based on proven educational frameworks that encourage optimal transformative adult learning
  • Formal integration of classroom and field assessments through Christ College’s Graduate Attributes and Graduate Attribute Descriptors
  • Formal curriculum structured around church-based projects designed to satisfy assigned learning objectives
  • Qualified network of Partner Churches and trained Coaches
  • Field learning that is assessed every semester
  • Experience of church leadership in action, including observation of, and participation in, ordinary Session and staff meetings


For Churches

  • Better formation of future pastoral leaders
  • Student experience structured by the College in partnership with the church
  • Student allowances funded by the College
  • Church-funded Continuing Professional Development for Coaches



What does the internship look like?


Approved Candidates for the Ministry in the Presbyterian Church of Australia (Candidates) will automatically qualify for the Internship after completion of the first year of the Course of Training. It is important that anyone wishing to become a Candidate start the application process before or as soon as they commence study at Christ College. Candidates should make arrangements to speak with the Academic Registrar and Director of Internships regarding the process. Students who are not Candidates are eligible to apply for entry after the completion of the first year of the Course of Training (with an average unit score of a credit or above). They will undergo a separate application process attesting to their character, competence and ‘call’ for pastoral leadership.


The Internship requires 10 hours per week for 40 weeks over three years. Each Internship year has a distinctive project comprised of multiple parts, all of which are linked to specific Graduate Attribute Descriptors over the page. Linked classroom units will be undertaken prior to each Internship year, or as co-requisites, and provide theoretical frameworks and practical tools for field projects.

Formal Assessment

Interns will be formally assessed in a variety of ways. They include:
Each semester:

  • Oral presentations that link field learning to classroom assessments and foster the development of student learning communities (during scheduled Retreats at the end of each semester)


Each year:

  • A custom-designed multi-source/360-degree survey designed to assess Graduate Attribute Descriptors (in Semester 2 of each year)
  • A report given by Faculty on the progress made by each Intern (those who are Presbyterian Candidates) against the six Graduate Attributes (end of each year)


Plus other linked assessments that vary in their focus and form from year to year


Free 360 Survey Feedback for PCA Church Leaders!

The Centre for Pastoral Leadership, with Pulse Insights, has created two 360 surveys for the Christ College Internship: one for Interns and another for Church Leaders serving as Coaches. Christ College and Pulse Insights would like to make the Church Leader 360 Survey available to all Church Leaders serving as staff in PCA congregations, under the oversight of their Session. The cost of this survey is fully subsidised by Christ College and Pulse Insights (Church Offices) and is offered to Church Leaders at no financial cost to them or their congregation.

360 feedback has been used to foster leadership development across most industries and most organisational types (corporate, government, not-for-profit and military) since the 1990s. It involves a process for collecting, quantifying, and reporting ratings of an individual’s behaviour and effectiveness from multiple sources. This feedback enables individuals to understand better their impact on others around them, especially those immediately above them (superiors), beside them (team members and peers), and beneath them (those they serve directly and/or indirectly).

This 360 feedback for Church Leaders is designed to promote the personal and professional development of the Church Leader. This process requires the involvement of nominated members of the Church Leader’s Session, ministry team members and/or peers, and wider congregation (including Interns, if present).

For more information about this survey, please download the attached files. To complete a 360 survey, please email lara@pcnsw.org.au.

360 Survey Files

Church Leader 360 Feedback Explanatory Statement [Updated 17 August 2021]
360 Degree Report Sample [Updated 14 May 2020]
Church Leader 360 Rater Details [Updated 21 July 2021]


Please download the latest application form from this website before submission to Christ College.
[PDF] Overview of the Internship (updated 09/12/2020)
[PDF] Christ College Internship Policy (updated 20/10/2022)
[PDF] Partner Church Application Form (due 30 June) (updated 26/10/20)
[PDF] Student Application Form (due 30 November) (updated 01/06/2020)
[PDF] Pastoral Employee Internship Application Form (due 30 November) (updated 11/11/2020)

Want to find out more?

If you have questions regarding our Internship program, please contact Jonathan Pratt, Director of Internships, at jpratt@christcollege.edu.au.