A Legacy of Mentoring SNU Ministerial Interns
For more than 15 years the Piedmont (OK) Church of the Nazarene, led by Pastor Darrik Acre, has invested in SNU through the Ministerial Internship program. Currently, SNU senior and Pastoral Ministries major, Aaron Harding, is serving in his second year as a senior pastor intern at the OKC metro area church.
Providing experience and practical ministry helps and mentoring along the way, Pastor Acre makes it a priority to assign interns to roles that match their ministry calling, always including them in various ways in worship services, as well as teaching age appropriate groups, participating in compassionate ministry projects and, at some point, preaching. As a senior pastor intern, Harding will preach several times and even lead a board meeting – all valuable experiences according to both pastor and intern.
When describing the impact of the internship program on the church, Pastor Acre said, “Both personally, and as a church, we gain from the student’s perspective, energy and enthusiasm.” He added, “Their authenticity breathes new life into our ministry.” Harding stated, “Leading adult Bible studies, preaching and being mentored by Pastor Acre and, previously, by Pastor Nate Cook at Midwest City, (OK) Community church are experiences that have given me confidence and have confirmed my calling to ministry.”
Dr. Doug Samples, Intern Director and Assoc. Professor of Pastoral Theology at SNU, characterized the Piedmont Church of the Nazarene as a “pastoral-training-center” church. He said, “Working with our interns is not just a pastor value at PNC, but also a congregational value!”
Harding is on track to graduate from SNU in May of 2017 and hopes to begin pastoring right away, with graduate work in his future, as well. He stated that his time at SNU has been an amazing transformation filled with experiences such as a summer program at Oxford University in England, working with curators of The Museum of the Bible, and leadership roles in student government.
To learn more about the Ministerial Internship Program, visit snu.edu/ministry-internship-program. Internship scholarships are made possible through an endowment funded by gifts made to the Hall of Witnesses at SNU, honoring elders and laity who have invested their lives in Christian service. Learn more at snu.edu/hall-of-witnesses.