Sojourners Internship Program: FAQs

For more than 30 years, the Sojourners Internship Program has welcomed young leaders to work and learn alongside our professional staff as we fulfill our mission to articulate the biblical call to social justice. The internship program combines full-time, entry-level jobs in our Washington, D.C. office with an opportunity to live in a shared community house for a year. The internship is a time for personal, spiritual, and professional growth open to anyone 21 years or older. The following questions are meant to be helpful guides in understanding more about the program: answers accompanied by quotes from previous interns. 

Do interns get paid?
What if I have student loans?
What type of work would I be doing?
How does Sojourners define “intentional Christian community?”
How is faith lived out during the internship year?
I’m still figuring out my religion and spirituality—is the Sojourners Internship Program right for me?
How simple is “simple living?”
What does the application process entail? Is it competitive?
What educational background or work experience do I need to apply and be accepted?
What do interns do after their internship year is completed?
Where I can I get more information about the Sojourners Internship Program?


Do interns get paid?

Interns receive housing, health insurance, loan deferral assistance, and transportation funds as part of the internship program. As a community, the cohort of interns manages a shared budget that provides for food, personal and medical needs, and all supplies needed to maintain the household. Additionally, each intern receives a personal monthly stipend of $150.

What if I have student loans?

The Internship Director can assist in getting one-year deferments or hardship postponements for student loans if needed. The Internship Program Director will write a letter verifying Sojourners’ non-profit status and the intern’s compensation level. In the event of student loan deferment being denied, an intern is encouraged to seek financial support for loan payments from their families or home congregations.

What type of work would I be doing?

“I would recommend the Sojourners Internship Program for someone looking to get a comprehensive understanding of how a larger non-profit works in different areas, or someone who wants to gain access to people working in social justice.”

Interns work full-time in the ministry of Sojourners. Each participant is placed in an entry-level position in one of our departments. All of these positions are desk jobs, with occasional opportunities for travel and/or meetings around the city for some positions. Tasks and duties are individualized to the work placement, but most include a level of administration, communication, organization, research, and writing.

Half of the departmental positions have a concentration of non-profit management, while the other half are concentrated on program development.

Read short descriptions of  intern placements for the 2017-2018 cohort.

How does Sojourners define “intentional Christian community?”

“Living together with nine others teaches you how to be vulnerable, how to listen, how to forgive, how to collaborate, and how to resolve conflict.”

Sojourners was formed initially as an intentional community, with community members sharing vocation and personal life. The Sojourners Internship Program grows out of that foundational aspect of the organization, weaving together the threads of community life and the organization’s work. Together, interns worship, share meals, manage a common budget, engage in weekly house meetings, maintain the household, pray, and learn to live as a communal body of Christ living out peace and justice. No two interns come from exactly the same place in their faith journey, so the definition of “Christian” spans multiple denominations and backgrounds.

How is faith lived out during the internship year?

“I feel that I grew spiritually through contact with people who believe differently than I do (though not so differently as to cause dissention), and to get to understand the underlying factors behind those beliefs.”

Structured, communal spiritual life is part of the community aspect of the program that can take many forms. Some years, interns have done liturgical prayer each morning, while others choose prayer partners each week, or celebrate Sunday evening worship service together. Spiritual practices such as Bible studies, creative prayer, singing of worship music, and sharing of prayer requests are all ways past interns have lived out their faith while in the internship program.

As an organization Sojourners holds chapel once a month and offers multiple other opportunities for a shared faith life. Additionally, many interns join a church community in DC during their year with Sojourners.

I’m still figuring out my religion and spirituality—is the Sojourners Internship Program right for me?

Yes! Interning with Sojourners is an excellent opportunity to delve deeper into your own faith life. As a spiritual formation program, the internship requires willingness to engage in a common spiritual life with fellow interns. In addition, you will be working at a Christian nonprofit organization. However, we understand that we are all on a faith journey and do not require a statement of faith for participation. The application includes a section on your faith identity and must be completed for consideration as part of the program.  

How simple is “simple living?”

“Our Sojourners community taught me how compromising, self-sacrificing your own needs/desires, and constantly asking for prayer can build a strong community for all and not few.”

Each intern community works to define “simple living” in their own terms and according to their values. The budget and resources available to the internship program are sufficient, though often necessitate creativity and compromise in our consumer-driven society. The house comes fully furnished, with shelves stocked with books and most everything needed to live already provided.

What does the application process entail? Is it competitive?

Completed applications consist of four parts: 1) Individual Application 2) Personal Essay 3) Resume 4) Three Recommendations. The selection process includes review of your application by several staff members, a telephone interview, and an offer of a specific position in the program. Applications are due March 1 of each year. Notification of acceptance is in late April.

Each application cycle is different, and so there is no definitive sense of the competitiveness of the program. Each year, the review of applications is conducted in an effort to form a community of individuals with diverse experiences, passions, faith backgrounds, and a combined interest in all aspects of the program.

What educational background or work experience do I need to apply and be accepted?

Any and everything! Anyone 21 years and older with a US Social Security number or Employer Identification number, without dependents, is eligible to apply for the Sojourners Internship Program. The program benefits from the diverse experiences of its interns. Past interns have studied social work, business, English, religion, international relations, anthropology, art, and much more. Interns have previous work experiences ranging from teaching English as a foreign language to working on election campaigns, working at summer camp to organic farming. You can read the bios of the current class of interns here.

What do interns do after their internship year is completed?

“Completing a hard job has empowered me to feel that I can overcome difficult experiences in the workplace. I am going after jobs I wouldn’t have applied for last year.”

Program alumni have gone on to careers in advocacy, nonprofit administration, design, ministry, law, journalism, missions, politics, teaching – even business and farming. Some go to graduate school after their internship; others continue working in Washington, D.C.; and still others find jobs or programs throughout the U.S. and the world.

Where I can I get more information about the Sojourners Internship Program?

To learn more about the Sojourners Internship Program, go to www.sojo.net/interns or to our Facebook page to watch our videos about the program. If you have any questions about the application process, email volunteer@sojo.net.  

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