Theological Summer Intern – Episcopal News Service


Theological summer student

Martha’s Vineyard, MA, Summer 2022

Martha’s Vineyard Campmeeting Association, a non-profit religious organization, is seeking a summer theological intern to assist us with our spiritual life programming during the 2022 season. This is a full-time, paid position that will includes accommodation. The ideal candidate is a person of faith with strong spiritual, organizational, interpersonal and computer skills.

Appointment: June – August or early September, 13 weeks (slight flexibility on start and end dates)

Hours: 40 hours/week, including Sunday

To pay: $13.50/hour

Lodging: Accommodation is provided on our land: a single room with bathroom and kitchenette, with access to a common outdoor barbecue and picnic area, with parking.

About Us:

Since its official incorporation in 1868, and informally since 1835, the MVCMA has fulfilled its mission to hold religious services on the island of Martha’s Vineyard.

Originally Methodist, our services are now interdenominational and, in addition to our own services, our historic Iron Tabernacle is currently being used by several other local congregations, to meet their need for outdoor worship during Covid-19.

As one of the few remaining camp meetings, which were a widespread phenomenon of religious revivalism in the 19th century, the MVCMA holds significance in American religious history. Our 34 acre grounds are a National Historic Landmark. While for many decades our Campmeetings attendees gathered in hundreds of tents, we now reside in Victorian Gothic Gingerbread Cottages, many dating from the 1870s.

We are a community made up of the residents of these tiny cabins and we welcome visitors to our summer programs. Every summer we hold weekly worship services as well as cultural and community events.

Site: Oak Bluffs, MA, on the island of Martha’s Vineyard; a few minutes walk from the beach, ferry, port, shops and bike paths.

Job description:

  • Help run our Sunday services (one per week) and those of visiting churches (usually three per week). Serve as a welcoming MVCMA representative to these services, provide oversight of Covid-19 safety protocols, coordinate volunteers, and strengthen our relationships with visiting congregations. Oversee the transfer of live streaming services to our website and YouTube channel.
  • Work to increase traffic to our services and programs through creative use of media: oversee spiritual life events on the MVCMA website, YouTube channel, and Instagram; coordinate advertising with local newspapers and websites; distribute event posters; and expand our media reach.
  • Edit weekly parish bulletins (one per week).
  • Develop a “Good Shepherd Program”, reaching out to residents who need friendly visits, focusing on residents facing illness and physical and emotional challenges.
  • Greet the guest preacher and his wife as they arrive on the island each week. Serve as a liaison with them, developing the relationship between MVCMA and these visiting clergy, and ensuring they have a positive experience.
  • Provide informal outreach to residents, develop relationships between neighbors, connect them to our programming, and connect them to each other.
  • Oversee and actively participate in the creation of a weekly Bible study schedule, with an emphasis on welcoming newcomers. These Bible studies may be led by the visiting preacher or by the trainee, at the discretion of each preacher.

Applicant requirements:

  • strong faith and a desire to share God’s love by caring for those in need and developing bonds among neighbors
  • graduate work toward an M.Div. or related degree; intention to enter the ministry strongly preferred
  • strong social confidence and interpersonal skills, such as welcoming visitors, making contact with isolated people and connecting them with others come naturally; the ability to make friends with strangers
  • caring acceptance of community members with diverse needs, political views, beliefs and identities; humility and commitment to building bridges across political and personal divides
  • organizational skills
  • the ability to work independently; the energy of an enterprising person who demonstrates leadership and initiative
  • social media and computer skills
  • writing, editing and proofreading skills; the skills needed to help produce advertisements and newsletters for our worship services
  • a commitment to help our community adhere to Covid-19 protocols
  • a high standard of personal behavior at all times. Ours is a small residential community, and the intern’s interactions, on and off the job, will be a reflection on our organization. High standards of personal behavior, including adherence to Covid-19 protocols and cordial and warm interactions with neighbors, will be expected throughout the employment period.

Additional information

  • MVCMA is a National Historic Landmark. We have our own seasonal cottage museum and community tours, and are in the process of curating a database of our historical archives. A person with an interest in American religious history would find this position particularly interesting.
  • If the intern prefers to do the IT aspects of this job not in our offices but remotely, on the island, this may be an option.
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