Urban Ministry Introduction

Strolling down memory lane and unearthing the archives, we will discover that The Christian & Missionary Alliance’s history began in the city.  It was in 1874 that A.B. Simpson (C&MA founder) was filled with the Holy Spirit.  He pastored Chestnut Street Presbyterian Church in Louisville, Kentucky but felt an unrest there as the Whittle/Bliss Campaign radically altered his view of ministry.  That event occurred in 1875 the year Simpson began evangelistic services in public halls – the portal for future ministry.

Simpson resigned his Kentucky pastorate and moved to NYC in 1879.  He pastored the 13th Street Presbyterian Church in New York City and was paid $5,000 per year while doing street evangelism at the docks of NYC.  Then in November 1881 he resigned from 13th Street Presbyterian Church to begin independent evangelistic ministries in NYC to reach “the unchurched and neglected masses” (these people were rejected because of their ethnicity and class in society).

In 1882 Dr. Simpson conducted evangelistic meetings in several public halls. The first issue of The Word, Work and World, forerunner of Alliance Life, appears.  The Gospel Tabernacle Church in NYC is organized and grows to 1,000 members within a few years. Dr. Simpson starts Friday afternoon meetings for consecration and healing.  The rest is history, one hundred twenty-five plus years later we have made a declaration at the Metro District, “To Change the World, Start Here” –that is– in NYC.  Will you join us?  Explore the following pages-- perhaps you will discover and unearth what God has already prepared for you.

Urban Internships

Mission: The Metro District Urban Internship Program seeks to facilitate and promote experiential learning for students, post-graduate, and professional men and women interested in preparation for ministry and leadership in urban and cross-cultural communities.

Vision: The Metro District Urban Internship Program seeks to embody the important relationship between leadership excellence, strategic ministry, and multiplied impact.  The program seeks to prepare, equip, and engage urban and international missional leaders for impactful service and life transformational ministry.

The Program desires to:

  • Foster relationships between Metro District urban churches (under-resourced and third culture) and Alliance Theological Seminary/Nyack College as well as non-Alliance Academic Institutions
  • Help interns fulfill the Great Commission as they learn to love God, love their neighbor, and serve the world which entails fulfilling the heart of Christ to care for the orphan, the widow, the oppressed, heal the sick, bind up the wounded, feed the poor, and so much more (Mt 22:36-40; Lu 4:17-19, 10:26-37; Is 58:3-12; Is 61:1-4)
  • Help interns participate in the engagement of Christ’s love and justice producing lasting change (Mic 6:6-8; Lu 10:26-37; Jn 15:16; Acts 6:1-7)
  • Create a farm system to find and develop emerging and third culture leaders from Alliance affiliated schools and non-Alliance schools

Beneficial objectives include:

  • immersion in the urban church environment and its community
  • practical experience and hands-on ministry participation in the variety of daily church and community life
  • one-on-one mentorship (3 Key Coaching model) and relationship building
  • focused curriculum (including seminars and conferences)
  • character, spiritual, and professional leadership skills development
  • sound application of Biblical principles, theological education, conflict management, church development and planting, spiritual warfare and prayer, and cross-cultural communication skills

 Vision and Mission Statement


1.  Alliance Theological Seminary Course Catalog, Intercultural Studies description, p. 46.  www.nyack.edu

2.  “Mission and Vision,” “Core Values” www.metrocma.org

3.  “Mission Statements and Vision Statements:  Unleashing the Power of Purpose.”        http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_90.htm, January 15, 2009.

4.  Pue, Carson.  Mentoring Leaders:  Wisdom Developing Character, Calling, and Competency.  Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2005.

5.  www.3keycoaching.net


“Those interested in leadership in cross-cultural Christian service and ministries related to the global expansion of the church in urban, international and intercultural contexts” (ATS Intercultural studies, p.46) Those interested in various fields related to service in Urban Ministry (may include, but not limited to Counseling, Youth ministry, Ethnic Ministries, Worship Arts, Education, Economics, Community Development, Sociology, International Relations) and the training that accompanies service in Urban Ministry for the preparation of Local and International Missions.

Interested persons will be required to complete an application for the program as well as short interview by Internship Program staff.

A.    THE INTERN (must fit one of the criteria)

1.  Current university, seminary, undergraduate (completing junior year) or graduate level students attending Alliance affiliated schools, or students attending non-Alliance schools with an interest in urban ministry with The Christian & Missionary Alliance (C&MA).  Students must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA and be in positive compliance/standing with the academic standards of their educational program.

Course Credit:

(a). Current students may participate in The Urban Internship Program in conjunction with their university/seminary degree programs.  Note: The ATS Internship Program and its requirements supersede the requirements expressed in this document.  However, those requirements must be completed within an urban ministry context to fulfill the Metro District Urban Internship Program requirements. 

(b). Current students may participate in The Urban Internship Program in conjunction with their university/seminary degree program’s independent study upon advisement and proper signature of academic counselor, Dean, and Urban Internship Program Director.


(c). Current students interested in personal and spiritual development and training for the purpose of pursuing a call in urban and/or international Christian ministry and service.

2.  Post-graduate alumni with at least 2.5 GPA interested in personal and spiritual development and training for the purpose of pursuing a call in urban and/or international Christian ministry and service with the C&MA.

3.   C&MA Missionary candidates who desire hands on experience and mentorship in preparation for international long or short term careers in mission will serve in an urban missionary home assignment.  Missionary candidate requirements are noted on the C&MA website.

4.   Professionals seasoned in specialized fields that desire enhanced on the job training geared toward Christian domestic and international urban ministry. This will be a tailored program designed for specialized tent-making professionals.  Tent-making requirements are based on International Fellowship of Alliance Professionals standards.  A professional resume and essay referencing one’s spiritual development, sense of call to ministry and passion to service must be provided.  The Application for Alliance Ministry must be completed.  Other developmental opportunities will be detailed during internship.


1.    An Urban church located in the Metropolitan district or an approved Affiliate chosen by Internship Program Staff.

2.    An Urban Metro District church/affiliate engaged and invested in active and specifically determined ministry, which interacts with its local community.  These ministries should serve to participate in local community development and transformation.

3.    Host church must provide a mentor who will have a direct relationship with mentee.

4.    Must commit Urban Internship Program for at least one year as a host church.

5.    Must complete Metro District Urban Internship Program Application for host churches.


1.  The mentor serves as a model of ministry, integrity, as well as accountability for interns.

a)    Available Pastor and/or other qualified and active licensed Official Worker of the C&MA positioned to mentor intern throughout time frame of agreed internship.

b)    Pastor and/ or Official Worker must be a certified 3-Key Coach or in the 3-Key Coaching Program.

c)    If mentors and interns are of different genders, an accountability mentor of the same gender must be arranged.

2.    As the mentor acts as a field supervisor by creating, preparing, and facilitating opportunity for participation in diverse areas of ministry, interns are also coached and counseled through successes and challenges by their mentor.  This interaction helps interns develop clarity in determining their ministry target issue and population.

3.    Relationship and prayer help mentors assess an intern’s building and development of character, direction/vision, commitment, spiritual discipline, and skill in areas of unique ministry interest.  Mentors work to encourage and lead interns to realize their potential.  In order to facilitate relationship, mentors must be willing to be transparent and available to interns.  Mentoring/Coaching model is found in the 3-Key Coaching website www.3keycoaching.net.

4.    The mentor willingly cooperates with goals of the Intern Program and the student’s educational institution by reviewing assessments with students or some cases having students complete assessments, by intentionally and consistently mentoring and attending meetings at required times.

Mentor resources: 

1.  Conn Harvie M. and Manuel Ortiz.  Urban Ministry.  Downer’s Grove, IL:  Intervarsity Press, 2001.

2.  “Internships and Practicums”  www.crossroads.edu  January 16, 2009.

3.  Pue, Carson.  Mentoring Leaders:  Wisdom Developing Character, Calling, and Competency.   Grand Rapids:         Baker Books, 2005.

4.  3 Key Coaching Pamphlet, Metro C&MA, 2008. www.3keycoaching.net.


A.    Current students

Will engage based on academic parameters set in the formal partnership agreement with their particular academic institutions and the goals of Metro District Urban Internship Program (includes required reading and written curriculum).  **This agreement should be no less than 360 active hours covered over a 1-year period and should extend no longer than 2 years.  Informal extensions may be granted based on assessment and advisement of Internship Program Director. (See note on page 2 under A.)

B.     Post-graduates and Missionary Candidates

Will engage based on the formal program designed and specified through introductory assessments by the Metro District Urban Internship Program (includes required reading and written curriculum).  **This agreement should be no less than 720 active hours over a 2-year period and should extend no longer than 3 years.  Missionary candidates will be exempt from 720 hours and will follow hour requirement guidelines for C&MA International Ministries program.  Informal extensions may be granted based on assessment and advisement of Internship Program Director.


A.    URBAN LOCATION DYNAMICS:                                                                       

In 2008, the world reaches an invisible but momentous milestone: For the first time in history, more than half its human population, 3.3 billion people, will be living in urban areas. By 2030, this is expected to swell to almost 5 billion. Many of the new urbanites will be poor. Their future, the future of cities in developing countries, the future of humanity itself, all depend very much on decisions made now in preparation for this growth.   -United Nations Population Fund Report 2007

With the stretch of limited institutional and natural resources, and continuing population growth, systemic issues like poverty and unemployment, racial and ethnic socio-economic marginalization, slum growth and compromised living disparities, inadequate and corrupt educational and governance structures, and deterioration of social and environmental conditions (i.e. drug abuse, criminality, mental illness, noise, air pollution, etc.) are concentrated dilemmas shared in cities worldwide.  In fact, unprecedented growth is occurring in the cities of developing nations.

Though cities across the globe share patterned challenges, there is healing and restoration through relationship with Jesus Christ.  In addition, there is a wealth of positive tent-making opportunities that inhabit the urban community (cultural diversity, concentration of resources and population, centralization of business and health care systems, efficiency of mass transportation, employment, centers of innovation and creativity, access to information (www.wri.org) and great potential for positive church expansion through sharing the Gospel).

The goal of the Urban Ministry Internship is to prepare and equip women and men for a lifestyle of service and community engagement that reflects the heart of Christ in Matt 25:35-46 and Matt 28:18-20.  Therefore, interns are trained through service with the outreach ministry of an urban church community.

Urban Location Resources:

1.    “Cities and the Environment,” World Resources Institute. http://www.wri.org/publication/content/8570.  January 23, 2009.

2.    Conn Harvie M. and Manuel Ortiz.  Urban Ministry.  Downer’s Grove, IL:  Intervarsity Press, 2001.

3.    “Peering into the dawn of an urban millennium,” State of the World Population Online Report.  http://www.unfpa.org/swp/2007/english/introduction.html.  January 22, 2009.


It is necessary that the church is engaged and serves the community within its context.  The Internship Program is being established through the outreaching ministries of local Metro District churches.  Possibilities for future expansion of the Intern Program may include linking the church with service sites outside of exclusively Christian organization (i.e. pregnancy centers, prison programs, transitional shelters, counseling centers, hospitals, etc.)  In both opportunities, interns are exposed to reach beyond church walls.

1.    Internships will take place in an urban C&MA/Affiliate church/ministry community, which reflects cross-cultural learning and development.

2.    Internships must take place at a church/ministry outside of an intern’s own membership/visiting church congregation. Note: Interns are not required to relinquish their memberships at their current church but should maintain their current membership.

3.    The location of each internship is determined by the Program Director and is based on evaluation and assessment of the intern’s greater ministry, spiritual, and career goals as they relate to Christian service in Urban and International Ministry.  Each intern will be placed in a church environment and mentoring relationship that will encourage successful growth of the intern, ministries outreach capacity, and community assets.


(Goals of on-site internship experience and learning)

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Matt 25: 35-46 (NIV)

“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  Matt 28: 18-20 (NIV)

The Internship program is designed to equip growing Christian women and men in discovering, implementing, and sustaining (Pue, 15) the vision in which God has called believers to practice. Interns should follow the example and heart of Christ by living out his loving justice and communicating the Gospel to the world.  Interns will complete hands-on assignments and academic curriculum coordinated with their mentor at an approved urban internship host site.  This experience links interns with cross/multi-cultural experience of relationship building in urban life, immersing students in full participation with the joys and tests of urban community and church life issues.  Those called to international missions will find an experience full of skills development that translate to effective ministry worldwide.

Assessment tools encourage interns to discover spiritual gifts and talents, personal identity and character, emotional intelligence, and leadership skills.  Through one-on-one mentorship and coaching, interns will be guided in determining direction and strategic planning for ministry goals (combination of issue and people group foci) and strengthening personal character and faith.  Hands-on experience will be the start of engaging gifts and talents in equipping interns for Christ centered relationship building, “decision making, leading change, and stewarding life-giving resources” (3-Key Coaching pamphlet).  The holistic experience of the Internship Program will develop and prepare the intern in four primary areas:  “(1) Character (2) Leadership (3) Evangelism (4) Kingdom Seeking” (Pue, 16).


Jesus discipled the first twelve (Mk 3:14).  He prepared them to be sent out through close relationship and communication.  They watched him feed thousands.  They witnessed him heal the sick and raise the dead.  They listened to him preach to the crowds.  They sat at his feet and learned by his wisdom.  Altogether, relationship is the core between serving and being served.   Vulnerability, transparency, honesty, integrity, trust, and love are a few of the relational characteristics a mentor/ intern relationship will exhibit.  By this example, interns will be discipled and learn of the physical and spiritual requirements of cross-cultural urban ministry through personal and professional relationship with an urban ministry leader.  Interns will be guided as they develop clarity in determining their target issue and population ministry.


1.    Bi-weekly sessions between mentor and intern allow the intern to debrief experiences and seek counsel on the mental and spiritual processing of the two-week observations, learning objectives, tasks and project movement, and needs.  These sessions allow the mentor to witness the intern’s incremental development, answer questions, and dialog through challenges and successes.  As a guide, bi-weekly sessions should be approximately one hour in length.

2.    Quarterly sessions allow mentor and intern to track accomplishments and revise goal setting and accomplishments.  Quarterly sessions also allow the mentor to review assessment tools that evaluate the intern’s skill and spiritual growth.  Quarterly assessments should be submitted to the appropriate Internship Program staff (forms provided/email).  These quarterly meetings will occur in conjunction with bi-weekly sessions.

3.    Every six months, mentor meetings allow fellow mentors and Internship Program staff to meet with one another for prayer, encouragement, assessment, and discussion of their coaching and mentoring process.  Some meetings may be held by conference call.  Interns/mentees will not be present in these meetings.

4.    The results of a written/emailed evaluation (Midway point and Final Evaluation forms) should be discussed at the midway point and again at the end of the internship with the intern.  Goals and achievement plans should be adjusted if necessary.  The evaluation forms should be submitted to Metro District Program Director/staff after the mentor has met and discussed with mentee.


There are a plethora of areas of service an intern could possibly participate.  The specificity of this participation is dependent on clarity developed in personal assessments, discussion, prayer, and further identifying the intern’s target ministry focus.  Listed are just a few possible participation suggestions:

  • Communication and building relationships with others of another culture, ethnicity, and religion
  • Language translation/teaching ESL
  • Provide for needs of the homeless population (prayer, food/clothing pantry, evangelism, housing needs, soup kitchen, Bible study, etc.)
  • Assist in skill training for unemployed (encouragement, literacy, computer literacy, resume/interview skills)
  • Youth mentorship (children’s/youth/teen ministries, Breakfast or After school programs, tutoring)
  • Organize, research issues/ lead new ministry development/ project designer (can include foreign missions)
  • Street evangelism
  • Preaching/Teaching the Bible/Bible Study
  • Leading a small group ministry
  • Leading Prayer Meetings
  • Conferences, Seminars, Interviews on diverse issues (Urban Ministry and Missions issues, specific cultural and social issues, areas of particular interest for intern target focus)
  • Administrative duties (church mailings, bulletins, contacting members, organizational tasks, etc.)
  • Computer skills (IT help/structuring, computer training, graphic design)
  • Church Leadership organizational responsibilities/planning/funding and support raising activities
  • Worship Arts/Creative outreach ministry


(Possible learning objectives, not an exclusive or exhaustive listing)

  • Building relationships/interpersonal skills
  • Cross cultural relations, ministry, and evangelism
  • Appreciation for other cultures and ethnicities, love of God for all people, develop an international world-view (family/ home life dynamics, celebrations, food, language, norms and values)
  • Strengthen Biblical theology/ learn more than one way to understand the meaning of Scripture and how it applies to decision making and spreading the Gospel in urban, international, and cross-cultural contexts
  • Lead/teach Bible study
  • Vulnerability and transparency
  • Accountability
  • Report writing and research
  • Communication skills
  • Work with others/ team/ partnerships
  • Time management
  • Project management
  • Conflict resolution
  • Decision-making and vision casting
  • Administrative support
  • Intercessory prayer/lead prayer meetings
  • Spiritual warfare
  • Church growth and development / principles of church planting/ start up ministry in challenged communities
  • Leadership, congregational leadership dynamics
  • Urban community dynamics and needs (strengths and weaknesses, socio-economic demographics, political issues, systemic issues)

 Participation and Learning Resources:

1.     1/5/09, Skype conference interview, Russia and Urban Missions Trenton, NJ, C&MA Missionaries

2.     1/20/09, phone conference interview, India and NYC Urban Missions, C&MA Missionaries

3.     Spiritual Formation Course Requirements, Alliance Theological Seminary


Curriculum will span over the required commitment period of the internship.  Where specifics of curriculum are not predetermined by formal agreement between Internship Program and syllabus of educational institution, the arrangement of due dates and other specifics are to be worked out with Internship Program Staff.

1.    Weekly Journal- opportunity for intern to process and chronicle activity, personal experience, required readings for spiritual growth, goal achievement, and desires.

2.    Service Hours Log- to document hours served in ministry in order to achieve required program hours.  To log how time is spent and bring intern awareness to time management.  Four-week log should be signed monthly by mentor.

3.    Bi-Weekly and Quarterly Mentor debriefing- (see “Mentorship”)

4.    Personal Assessments- Assessments are guides designed to help the intern become self-aware of strengths and weaknesses in areas of spiritual, emotional, and leadership goals and gifting.  They help to develop internship learning expectations.  Since the intern’s learning institution may be already administering 2 or 3 of these assessments, it would be advantageous for the intern to review the assessments with his/her mentor early during the internship. Assessments may include: 

  • Spiritual Maturity Assessment/ Inventory (S.H.A.P.E.S) (Spiritual gifts, Heart passion, Ability/Aptitude/Attitude, Personality, Experience, Season in life)
  • Spiritual Gift Assessment/ Learning Type Measure (Learning and Leadership style) www.aboutlearningdata.com
  • IDAK Group assessment (Identity, Occupational and ministry match, talents) http://www.idakgroup.com/ministryservices/
  • EQI Emotional Quotient Inventory Assessment (Dr. James Chin, ATS, NYC)
  • Personality Assessment, Myers-Briggs/ Personal Growth PF16 (Dr. James Chin, ATS, NYC)/D.I.S.C. Profile (personality) http://www.discprofile.com/whatisdisc.htm
  • S.M.A.R.T. goals (Peter Drucker, "The Practice of Management” 1954) (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic/Relevant, Time-Specific)

Note: If the intern’s learning institution has not required the intern to complete assessments prior to an internship, the intern should coordinate with his/her mentor to complete 2 or 3 of the above.

1.    Seminars, Conferences, and Interviews- C&MA Metro Office will offer attendance to selected seminars and conferences where interns can meet leaders in their field.  Interns will become knowledgeable of the most current ideas, trends and values, and activity in the urban and international mission fields.  Select seminars will be required attendance.  Seminars and conferences may include:

  • Perspectives in Mission/ Urban Ministry (Dr. Paul Keidel, Prof. Orlando Rivera)
  • Cross Cultural Orientation Training (Dr. Paul Keidel, David Peace)
  • Peacemakers Seminar
  • Metro Prayer and District Conference
  • Willow Creek Leadership Summit
  • CCDA Conference

2.  Required Readings (topics) - required reading offers foundational tools that equip the intern to engage thinking and decision making tools in diverse areas in the forefront of current and practical urban and cross-cultural ministry issues.  Specific texts are to be assigned.

  • urban ministry studies and textbooks
  • culture/Christian anthropology/sociology-urbanization/poverty issues
  • non-western communication studies
  • cross-cultural ministry text/non-western Christianity
  • church growth
  • mentoring/3-Key Coaching
  • congregational leadership
  • personal assessment/spiritual formation
  • racial reconciliation
  • prayer/spiritual warfare
  • autobiographical text of urban church experience/leader/International Missionary (1. U.S. 2. Non-Western)

WRITTEN REPORTS:  written reports synthesize required texts, service, research methods, mentorship, and seminar/conference experiences.  These are to be completed by the intern:

1.    Urban Internship Contract Worksheet- written worksheet based on dynamics of field service project. The intern will lead or have specific leadership responsibility and participation.  The worksheet will have S.M.A.R.T. spiritual and learning goals determined, assigned, and executed by intern and mentor.  It would help intern further develop and clarify ministry goals, issues, and people group target if the worksheet expressed the complete dynamics of the project including breadth, tasks, goals, execution, principles and tools used, measures of success/ growth, observations, final evaluation of achieved and unachieved outcomes.  The Urban Internship Contract Worksheet includes two 60-minute interviews (one at start, one at mid-way point) of mentor/church leadership, or missionary concerning the specific focus.  (Internship program will provide form)

2.    Community Development assessment report- to familiarize intern with history and demographics of urban community in which they are serving.  Through research, interns will discover shared qualities among urban communities and will compare research to local findings.  This assessment report also acts to engage intern in thinking about major issues in community development and socio-economic, political, and cultural consciousness of urban community.  The assessment report will help engage intern in prayer concerning felt community needs.  Intern program provides resource list of information tools that will help gather statistical data and effective observational and scholarly research.  (This report is to written in essay form, 6-8 pages)

3.    Post-Internship Church Growth Assessment- the purpose of this paper is to engage the intern in the specifics of assigned church functions/dynamics/demographics/major strengths, and opportunities for growth.  The assessment engages the intern in bringing observations of church dynamics, interviews and other research to concluding ideas/suggestions for church growth as well as possible funding streams.  This exercise acts to aid the intern and mentor in determining strong areas as well as opportunities for growth of the church as it relates to the health characteristics of Natural Church Development (NCD). (Internship program will provide form).

HOUSING:  housing will be provided through World Impact, Inc. located 275 Sussex Ave, Newark NJ for northern NJ and New York School of Ministry located in Long Island City for NYC locations when the host site cannot provide housing. The Metropolitan District will help subsidize the cost for housing.  Whereas the intern’s ministry location is too far to commute from Newark, the internship site will be responsible for providing housing.


Phase 1 – all interns are expected to raise funds to complete their internship or work as a tentmaker.  The Metropolitan District is currently seeking funding streams to help subsidize housing and transportation costs.

Phase 2 – all interns will receive a stipend for their ministry work; however, they are still expected to raise funds to complete their internship.  The District’s boat donation program will be a primary revenue stream for the internship program.  Other district and local fundraisers will be used as a secondary funding source.

Phase 3 – all interns will receive a stipend for their ministry work; however, they are still expected to raise funds to complete their internship.  When interns are unable to raise money for their internship, the District’s boat donation program, fundraisers, and corporate, federal, state, and local grants received will be used as funding sources to help subsidize expenses.

Urban Short-Term Missions

Greater NYC Global Network