Do Internships and STINT Really Result in Long Term Laborers?

March 24, 2015 — 3 Comments

In my research I’ve had several people ask about the effectiveness of Internships/STINT in raising up long term staff. I believe that an Internship or STINT is good for any and every student. Any graduate, no matter what they plan to do for their career, would benefit from doing a year or two of college ministry.


Tim Keller has commented that doing college ministry is the best preparation for pastors AND lay people for a lifetime of effective ministry and leadership in the church.

In doing college ministry, “by exposing people to the cutting edge of culture where they have to deal with the modern mindset, where they have to deal with non-Christians — that, in Keller’s opinion, is the best way to develop pastors and lay leaders.”

We want Internship or STINT to be a launching pad to a lifetime of effective ministry in the workplace, as a mom or dad, as a neighbor. As OU’s MTL put it:

My husband and I Interned and our lives were radically changed. We both learned to share our faith. And learned to love Jesus. I saw Internship totally change my husband’s life. And he left Cru sent. My husband is now in medical school. He’s seen 5 guys in his medical school come to Christ. I saw what the Lord did in my husbands’ life and I became convinced: It doesn’t matter if they join with us long term. I want students to Intern with us and experience being used by God – I want them to really fall in love with Jesus and get to do a lot of ministry.

But we also desire for these 1-2 years to be a test run for students considering long term full time ministry. Our hope is that Internship/STINT will produce many long term staff – for the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few.

So how are we in Cru doing at raising up long term staff through Internships and STINT?

Jim Rhodes is the national Intern coordinator for Cru. I asked him to send me stats on retention rates of Internships and STINT.

This past year (2013), nationally …

  • 75% of our U.S. Interns stayed with us.  (This means they continued in their employment with us as either Staff, a 2nd year Internship, or as PTFS-part time field staff).
    • Of the 75% … 24% joined staff … 38% signed on for a 2nd Year of Interning … 6% transitioned to a part-time or Affiliate status.
    • 59% of our STINTers stayed with us.  (Same meaning as above)
    • Overall … 68 % of our combined U.S. Interns and non-staff STINTers stayed with us
  • 22% of our Interns and STINTers joined staff this past year.
    • 22% joined staff … 46% re-Interned or went PTFS and 32% left our employ.
    • 24 % of the Interns joined staff … 19% of the STINTers joined staff.

I asked Jim: One thing I’m trying to figure out – when it comes to raising up long term staff, is it “better” to recruit to STINT or Internship (i.e. – which one yields more staff?).

I think recruiting to both is honestly the best answer to your question.  Transition to Staff rates are currently higher for U.S. Interns than for STINT, but my observation is that the leadership qualities of the STINTers who come on staff are higher. Both rates are well below are goals.  As a goal we are shooting to have 33% of both our STINTers and our U.S. Interns joining staff each year.  Our vision is to grow to the point where we are sending 1 out of 3 on staff … another 1 out of 3 staying with us for a 2nd year … and sending the final 1 out of 3 into the marketplace as part of 100% sent.

What do you think? What are your takeaways?

Do you think Internships and STINT are effective in raising up long term staff?


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