The Challies.com Summer 2015 Internship Program

This year I am excited to be able to offer a summer internship program through Challies.com. This program is available to high school students from around the world. All communications will be done remotely, which means you are eligible to apply and participate as long as you have a connection to the Internet, the appropriate computer equipment, and are able to attend online meetings. The internship will require a commitment of 20 hours per week and will extend from July 6 until August 28. There are 3 positions available.

Become a Patron

The internship will focus on training in worldview and theology, as well as on developing writing and communication skills.

Opportunities

  • Take interactive online courses focusing on worldview and theology.
  • Communicate with other interns through online forums.
  • Participate in a weekly video roundtable with me and the other interns to discuss and apply the material you have learned.
  • Read supplemental material on worldview, theology, and the art and craft of writing.
  • Write non-fiction essays and articles on a variety of topics.
  • Participate in regular video meetings with me to discuss what you have learned and where you hope to see continued growth.
  • Earn a small stipend ($1,000 or international equivalent).

Qualifications

This internship is available to teenaged boys or girls…

  • …who are Christians and actively involved in their local church.
  • …who are ordinary. I am not looking for only the childhood prodigies, but for normal teens who want to impact their churches, families, and communities for God’s glory.
  • …who have completed 9th, 10th, or 11th grades (or international equivalent), or who have just completed 12th grade, but not yet started college or university.
  • …who have an interest in non-fiction writing and who would like to improve in written communication.
  • …who have an interest in worldview and theology.
  • …who are willing and able to make the full 8-week commitment and are available as per the daily schedule below.
  • …whose parents have given their consent.
  • …who have access to a computer, the Internet, a webcam, and a Skype account.
  • …who successfully complete an application and interview.

An intern may take no more than 2 weeks of vacation during the program, and will be expected to keep up (or very quickly catch up) with work missed.

Schedule

Interns are expected to commit 20 hours per week to the program, which includes the learning, reading, communicating, and writing components. Any “stretch goals” you choose to pursue may have to be completed in addition to your 20-hour commitment.

Interns are required to dedicate the following days to the program. (Note: These times are according to the intern’s local time zone.)

  • Tuesdays from 9 AM to 5 PM
    • Morning: Watch video lectures, complete coursework, communicate with other participants through online forums, write articles and essays.
    • Afternoon: Participate in a video meeting with me; complete supplemental reading.
  • Fridays from 9 AM to 5 PM
    • Morning: Watch video lectures, complete coursework, communicate with other participants through online forums.
    • Afternoon: Participate in a video conference with me and the other interns; complete supplemental reading.

Interns must participate in weekly video meetings and conferences at the following times:

  • Tuesday afternoon (various times, Eastern Standard Time)
  • Friday afternoon (3-4 PM Eastern Standard Time)

Course List

Interns will complete the following courses (using Ligonier Ministries’ Connect platform):

The Inerrancy and Sufficiency of God’s Word by Stephen Nichols (6 Lessons). “Can we really know God from a book? Is the Bible reliable? How can we know for sure? Join Dr. Stephen Nichols in Doctrine of Scripture as he carefully answers these crucial questions.”

Christian Worldview by R.C. Sproul (10 Lessons). “Do you have a biblical worldview? As Christians, we would like to believe so. Upon closer examination however, we discover just how much secularism has infiltrated our thinking. Join Dr. R.C. Sproul as he exposes the falsehood of non-Christian worldviews, and demonstrates that only Christianity answers life’s ultimate questions.”

Introduction to Reformed Theology by R.C. Sproul (12 Lessons). “You’ve heard of Reformed theology, but you’re not certain what it is. If you want a full explanation, not a simplistic one, join Dr. R.C. Sproul as he explains how Reformed theology reveals just how awesome the grace of God is.”

Reading List

  • Required Reading
    • What Is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert
    • Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey
    • Is God Anti-Gay? by Sam Allberry
    • On Writing Well by William Zinsser
  • Optional (“Stretch”) Reading
    • Why Pro-Life? by Randy Alcorn
    • Counter Culture by David Platt
    • Wordsmithy by Douglas Wilson
    • The Discipline of Grace by Jerry Bridges

All books and courses will be provided to the interns free of cost.

Syllabus

  • Preparation (Before July 6)
    • Watch: “When Worlds Collide” and “I’ve Got Half a Mind Too”
  • Week 1
    • Coursework: The Doctrine of Scripture, lectures 1-4, plus all assignments and online discussions
    • Reading: What Is the Gospel?, chapters 1-4
    • Writing: Why Does the Gospel Matter?
    • Roundtable: Introductions and discussion of The Doctrine of Scripture.
    • Meeting: Introductions and goals
    • Stretch Goal: Counter Culture, chapters 1-4
  • Week 2
    • Coursework: The Doctrine of Scripture, lectures 5-6 and Christian Worldview, lectures 1-2, plus all assignments and online discussions
    • Reading: What Is the Gospel?, chapters 5-8.
    • Writing: Why Should I Obey the Bible?
    • Roundtable: Online Q&A and discussion with a special guest (Topic: the gospel)
    • Meeting: Growth and goals
    • Stretch Goal: Counter Culture, chapters 5-8
  • Week 3
    • Coursework: Christian Worldview, lectures 3-6, plus all assignments and online discussions
    • Reading: Total Truth, chapters 1-4
    • Writing: Christianity: Truth or truths?
    • Roundtable: Christian Worldview and Total Truth
    • Meeting: Growth and goals
    • Stretch Goal: Counter Culture, chapters 9-10, plus Wordsmithy by Douglas Wilson, chapters 1-3
  • Week 4
    • Coursework: Christian Worldview, lectures 7-10, plus all assignments and online discussions
    • Reading: Total Truth, chapters 5-8
    • Writing: Memoir
    • Roundtable: The Cohesive, Coherent Christian Worldview
    • Meeting: Growth and goals
    • Stretch Goal: Christian Worldview, optional lessons 1 & 2
  • Week 5
    • Coursework: Introduction to Reformed Theology, lectures 1-4, plus all assignments and online discussions
    • Reading: Total Truth, chapters 9-13
    • Writing: Renewing Your Mind
    • Roundtable: Online Q&A and discussion with a special guest (Topic: Reformed Theology)
    • Meeting: Growth and goals
    • Stretch Goal: Wordsmithy by Douglas Wilson, chapters 4-7
  • Week 6
    • Coursework: Introduction to Reformed Theology, lectures 5-8, plus all assignments and online discussions
    • Reading: Is God Anti-Gay? by Sam Allberry
    • Writing: Total Depravity and Me
    • Roundtable: Reformed Theology and Christian Worldview
    • Meeting: Growth and goals
    • Stretch Goal: Why Pro-Life? by Randy Alcorn
  • Week 7
    • Coursework: Introduction to Reformed Theology lectures 9-12, plus all assignments and online discussions
    • Reading: On Writing Well, chapters 1-10
    • Writing: What the Bible Says About Sexuality
    • Roundtable: Online Q&A and discussion with a special guest (Topic: Homosexuality)
    • Meeting: Growth and goals
    • Stretch Goal: The Discipline of Grace, chapters 1-6
  • Week 8
    • Coursework: “Why Does the Universe Look So Old?,” “The Rock of Ages and the Age of Rocks,” “Pagan Sexuality,” and “Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert,” plus all assignments and online discussions
    • Reading: On Writing Well, chapters 11-14, 20-25
    • Writing: The Gospel and Homosexuality (or The Gospel and Abortion)
    • Roundtable: Salt and Light
    • Meeting: Growth and future goals
    • Stretch Goal: The Discipline of Grace, chapters 7-13

(Note: This syllabus is subject to change.)

History & Rationale

I first began to consider creating an internship program while observing my son in his 9th grade public school. He professes faith and is often called upon to stand for what he believes, but both he and I see the need for continued learning and development. For that reason I decided to invest in his training through the summer. As I created the program, I saw value in opening it to other participants, both for his benefit and for theirs. My son will be part of this internship, and is not included in the three additional spots (though he, too, will be required to complete the application and all the coursework).

Application

There is a two-step application process. The first step must be completed by April 15. All applicants will be chosen and confirmed by May 15.

Step One

To be an applicant you must:

  • Prepare a 3-4 minute video in which you briefly describe how the Lord saved you
  • Complete the Application Form (Note: I am not longer accepting applications)

As part of this first step, you will need to record a video of yourself no more than 4 minutes in length telling how you became a Christian. Video production quality is irrelevant—only the content matters. I am the only one who will watch these videos, and they will not be made public. You must upload the video to a location where I can access it (such as YouTube), but you may make it unlisted (so only people who know the link can access it).

After reviewing the videos and applications, I will choose some candidates to proceed to step two. 

Step Two

  • Provide a letter of recommendation from a pastor or elder at your current church
  • Provide parental consent to participate
  • Complete an online (Skype) interview with me

Following the interviews, I will select 3 candidates to serve as summer interns.

Are you interested in participating? Then speak to your parents, and complete step one above. This step must be completed by April 15.

Questions

You may address questions to [email protected]. I will attempt to answer emails promptly.