Graduate Assistant Ministry Intern Program
The Graduate Assistant Ministry Intern Program is designed to provide the opportunity for interns to engage in full-time campus ministry at Whitworth University while simultaneously pursuing a master's degree over the course of two years. Each intern is mentored and supervised by a member of the chapel staff. All participate in regular meetings of the chapel staff, including ministry-planning as well as personal support/prayer gatherings.
One intern works with Associate Professor of Music Ben Brody, '97, in the coordination of all weekly chapel worship services. The university carries on a vibrant rhythm of worship, with community chapels each Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 11-11:30 a.m. during fall and spring semesters. In addition, Hosanna, our student-led worship service on Tuesday evenings, provides an opportunity for contemporary worship.
Our other intern serves with Dean of Spiritual Life and Campus Pastor Forrest Buckner, working in athletics ministry and overseeing the AWAKE ministry on campus. In athletics ministry, the intern helps to provide spiritual leadership for the members of each team. AWAKE is a student-led ministry in which students grow in their knowledge of who they are, who God is, and why that matters -- and they invite others to do the same.
Olivia Eldredge, '16
Graduate Intern for Music and Worship
"For the next two years, I have the incredible opportunity to be a graduate ministry intern at Whitworth. I will mentor the four student-led worship-team leaders and will oversee their teams in the services they lead each week on campus. I seek to bring authenticity and vulnerability to this campus through my relationships with leaders, students, fellow staff, and even my husband -- and through encouraging many mediums of worship: music, drawing, dancing, painting, and more, as Jesus is teaching me just how many ways there are for us to love and adore him. As a deeply empathetic person, I find that my heart breaks for this world full of suffering and brokenness, and that it longs for the restoration of all things, when "[Jesus] will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever" (Rev. 21.4).
Jake Chipka, '16, Hope College
Graduate Intern for Athletics and Outreach Ministry
"Sometimes, God shows up in unimaginable ways. This is one of those times. After I graduated from Hope College in May 2016 with a kinesiology degree and I withdrew my medical school applications, I had no idea what was next for me. Then Forrest Buckner's beautiful face showed up in Holland, Mich., and pitched me the idea of interning at Whitworth as a chaplain of athletics. God seemed to be throwing me, head first, into the next chapter in life, a chapter 2,000 miles away from home! Of course I accepted the internship. I am beyond blessed to be accepted into the Whitworth family, and I am immensely excited to begin a life in college ministry. College was for me a period of dramatic transformation, which has led to me feel supremely called to help students in their own walks through these monumental years. In my eyes, a college campus is perhaps the most diverse "church" on the planet, and I'm motivated by Jesus' own words when he prayed for us, in John 17, "that they may be one." Students from all over the world come to Whitworth to have their lives transformed, and, most important, to become "one" in Jesus Christ.