Ministry & Service Internship Funding (formerly "Lilly Summer Discernment Institute")

As of February 1, 2016, the Lilly Summer Discernment Institute (LSDI) has been dissolved as an independent program. The Ministry & Service internship funding that has been provided through LSDI will now be administered by Career & Leadership Development (CLD), but will remain under the guidance of All Saints’ Chapel. Folding the Ministry & Service internship funding into CLD’s online internship funding application will make it easier for students.  Ministry & Service funding will continue to be reserved for up to 16 Sewanee students per summer who are interested in exploring ordained ministry and other vocations that embrace service as a way of life.

  • The deadline for students to apply for this funding is April 1.
  • As it was with LSDI, all students who are selected to receive funding from Ministry & Service internship funds will be required to attend discernment retreats before and after their summer internship. The retreats will continue to be led by the Lay Chaplain and the Assistant Outreach Coordinator.
  • The internship funding amount will match all other internship funding: $350/week for up to 8 weeks.

Interested in reading about the rich and varied Ministry & Service internships that Sewanee students have done over the years? Read their summer reports here.

FAQ: Internship Funding

 Ministry & Service Internship Fund:

Information for 2016

History. In 2002, a grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., provided funding for students to do vocational discernment via retreats and summer internships. Thanks to an endowment that consists almost entirely of estate gifts from William Spencer, C’41, and Barlow Henderson, internship funding for students who are interested in careers in ministry and service will continue indefinitely.

Name Change. “Lilly/LSDI” will now be known as the “Ministry & Service Internship Fund.” LSDI will fold into the University’s internship funding program and cease to be a separate program.

Discernment Retreats. Students who receive Ministry & Service funding must agree to participate in the two discernment retreats and to give a public presentation in the fall. There will be one five-day retreat that begins on the Monday following Sewanee graduation, then another one-day retreat on the first Sunday after classes resume in the fall (August/September.) The retreats will be held at St. Mary's Retreat Center in Sewanee. The Lay Chaplain and the Assistant Outreach Coordinator will co-plan and co-led the retreats.

Ministry & Service Public Presentations.  The week following the Sunday retreat in August/September, all Ministry & Service funding recipients will give 10-minute public presentations during lunchtime at the McClurg ABC rooms on Monday-Thursday (Monday and Wednesday at 12-1, Tuesday and Thursday at 12:30-1:30)  CLD will coordinate these presentations.


#1: May 9-13

#2: September 4

Ministry & Service Presentations Week: September 5-8

Commitment to Attend Discernment Retreats.  On the online funding application form, students will indicate whether or not they are willing/able to attend the two discernment retreats. If the student indicates that they can attend the discernment retreats, their funding application will be considered for Ministry & Service funding; if they cannot attend, their funding application will be put on the “general internship funding” list.

Stipends. The stipend amount is $350/week for 6-8 week internships. No additional travel monies will be granted to applicants, even if they are going to an international site. Students may be eligible to receive Ministry & Service funding more than once, but preference will be given to those who have not yet receive this funding.

Preference for non-seniors. Due to the need for students to be able to return to campus for the second retreat, preference for awarding funds will be given to non-seniors.

Funding for External Students. Beginning in the 2016-17 academic year, all Ministry & Service funding will be awarded to Sewanee students only. The summer of 2016 will be the last one in which funding for non-Sewanee students will be accepted.

Application Selection Criteria. CLD will advise students about how to apply for Ministry & Service funding, but students are welcome and encouraged to seek the input and advice of the Chapel staff.

Tracks (Ministry, Service). Ministry & Service funding will maintain its Ministry (formerly known as Track 1) and Service (formerly known as Track 2) ratio guideline of 50%-50%. Some applications will be “blended”, so awarding the funding will be at the discretion of the selection committee.

Selection Committee Membership. The Ministry & Service selection committee will consist of the Lay Chaplain, the Assistant Outreach Coordinator, a second staff member from the Chapel, and one faculty member (to be selected by CLD and/or the Lay Chaplain.) The selection committee meets once a year to review internship funding applications and to award funding (in early April.) The maximum number of students to receive funding will be 16. This ensures a small-group experience for the discernment retreats.

Questions? Please contact or 931.598.1211.