Two Students Prepare for Ministry Internships in Washington State
When Campus Pastor Rev. Dr. Paul Rohde sent out an email to Augustana students about an internship opportunity with Messiah Lutheran Church in Vancouver, Washington, senior Miriam Hanson from Rochester, Minnesota, and sophomore Austin Krohnke from West Des Moines, Iowa, were eager to apply.
After landing the two open positions, Hanson and Krohnke shared details with us about their pending move out to Vancouver this summer.
Q: Please tell us more about your upcoming internship.
Hanson: The internship is a 10-to 12-week program. The church accepts two college-age interns who live with a host family for the summer, while spending time working with each of the congregation’s full-time staff members. Essentially this means we will spend a week or two with the senior pastor, during which we will see what his daily job responsibilities are and also get to deliver the sermon that Sunday. We will spend time with the youth director, the minister of music, etc., getting to learn what their positions are, and getting the chance to try them out. The program is designed to give students who are considering pursuing a vocation in ministry the chance to really see all the various facets of ministry, so that they can better discern where they are called to serve.
Q: How are you preparing for this summer?
Krohnke: The head pastor of Messiah will be sending us various assignments and reflections about vocation to prepare us for the summer.
Q: What do you hope to gain from this internship? How will it tie into your career goals?
Krohnke: I hope to have a better grip on my vocational calling and build some long-lasting relationships. The internship will hopefully confirm my call to being a pastor and help me discern how I think God calls us to minister in certain situations.
Hanson: I will graduate this May, and I have plans to attend seminary sometime in the future, so this internship will give me a hands-on experience in trying out that vocational field. I am hopeful it will also provide me with some insight on what type of ministry I am best suited for, as well as build my confidence that I can be a strong and capable leader in the church.
Q: What are you involved in on campus?
Krohnke: I run on the cross country and track teams. I serve on chapel staff as the coordinator for our relationship with Pueblo de Dios, a local Latino congregation. I participate in Outreach Ministries and other Bible studies. Next year I will be a Viking Advisor on the south side.
Q: Who have been some of your most inspirational professors and why?
Krohnke: Dr. Ann Pederson in the religion department inspires me because she asks very real questions and is able to make theology available and applicable for each student despite their backgrounds. Dr. Pilar Cabrera in the Spanish department inspires me because she is very intentional about how she teaches and seems to always meet students right where they are.
Hanson: One of the most inspirational professors I’ve had here at Augie would have to be Dr. Richard Swanson. He is a wonderful professor and so intelligent. I always leave his classes feeling like I’ve had my worldview flipped around, but I am grateful for it. He is very encouraging with all of his students — no one ever has a wrong answer, even when you know you have no idea what you are talking about. He just takes in whatever you’ve said, nodding and saying, “We’ll I’ve never thought of that before," and suddenly this answer that you pulled out of thin air seems like a viable possibility. As a student that is extremely valuable because I always feel like I can keep asking questions and trying to find answers, and I know I won’t be shut down or embarrassed by getting it wrong.
Q: Best Augie memory?
Krohnke: My favorite Augie memory thus far is probably the concert and silent auction fundraiser that we did last year to raise money for students of Pueblo de Dios to attend the ELCA Youth Gathering last summer. It was so rewarding to see so many people come together for a fun cause.
Hanson: My best Augie memory thus far was probably Viking Days 2016. Celebrating homecoming as a senior is just different because there is so much more nostalgia and you know that this is your last Viking Days as a student. This Viking Days was full of friends, fun, and also a good reminder that while we may leave this physical campus, it never really leaves you.