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Part 3 of 4

Internships: Blessings or Blind Spots?

Here’s how churches can avoid tripping up on important legal, tax, and risk management issues with interns.

Internships: Blessings or Blind Spots?
Image: Image: Illustration by Vasil Nazar / Source Images: GettyImages / Flaticon

Many churches believe that part of their mission is to train the next generation of ministers and lay leaders. While Bible schools and seminaries provide information and knowledge, most individuals need hands-on experience to apply what they have learned.

In a tradition that goes back to Joshua serving and learning from Moses, churches open their doors to qualified individuals seeking hands-on experience. Churches frequently use the term “intern” to describe these workers.

Interns benefit from the work experience, résumé enhancement, career exploration, networking opportunities, and, sometimes, the potential for a job offer from the church. Unfortunately, the term “intern” does not have a statutory definition, so each church defines the term to suit its purposes. While the meaning of “intern” varies among churches, churches often believe that ...

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