Global Missions and Internships
Are you a student or young professional looking to learn more about serving people with disabilities? Our internship program will give you hands-on experience with ministering to people and families living with disability!
Types of Internship
Joni and Friends has several different types of internships available in order to offer a variety of hands on experiences and growth opportunities. Learn more about each type of internship.
The capstone intern (i.e. Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, etc.) will serve under the supervision of a University faculty member and a Joni and Friends staff member in order to earn credit for the capstone project benefitting people living with disability.
Small teams of interns participating in the Ukraine/Thailand or Uganda Mission will join together for training on the biblical view of disability and a theology of suffering through our Beyond Suffering curriculum. They receive an opportunity for practical application of their learning by serving people living with disability in the countries where they visit.
Cohorts of Doctoral of Physical/Occupational Therapy or Special Ed or Nursing students are taught Beyond Suffering as a core text, then serve as Short Term Missionaries (STM) at a Family Retreat. As a capstone to the internship, students serve people living with disability through our Wheels for the World™ or International Family Retreat program where students have the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Additionally, Respite at Home is our newest University-Affiliated internship opportunity here at Joni and Friends which provides rest, hope, friendship and encouragement to children and their families living with disability. Participating students gain practical experience and insight into the unique joys and challenges experienced by all the family members as they serve on a regular basis over the course of a semester.
I am so blessed to have been able to spend last week serving God and providing mobility to those in need. . . I have never learned so much about patience and gratitude than I did from the people in Peru.
—Lauren Leopold, Peru 2019
“Through Cause 4 Life Internship, I got a deeper understanding of what people with disabilities go through. Through this deeper understanding I got to see God's love shine in these people.”
—Justin Dowdy, Thailand 2019
“…this internship definitely clarified my calling. I’m better equipped to grow the ministry and serve youth and adults affected by disability.”
—Ashley Jones, CA Academy
“[The internship] allowed me to support those with disabilities and their families by loving them, accepting them, and celebrating them for exactly who God created them to be.”
—Hollyn Lentz, Thailand 2019
“This internship taught me more than I could ever have imagined, to go out and bring in everyone, to step out of my comfort zone, to share the gospel and help those in need.”
—Huntington Howe, CA Academy
“For the first time I was able to see myself as a leader and realize how to become the best leader I can be… God uses a willing heart to fulfill his purpose.”
—Maria, AZ Academy
“[The internship] has helped me to become a better employee and brother to those around me.”
—Jonathan Choy, CA Academy
Stories and Inspiration
As followers of Christ, whether in a formal leadership role or not, we all have a responsibility to reflect Jesus’ leadership model. The word leadership can bring a lot of varying ideas to mind. My view of leadership is that anyone given this important position should be a servant leader, dying to self and daily…
This internship was an experience that was so much more than just learning about an organization or a specific area of ministry. As I think about the time I spent in Arizona with Cause 4 Life, it is something that leaves me truly in awe of how God is so present in our lives, even…
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” -Mark 10:45 If there was two words to summarize the impact of the Tell family on my internship experience it would be humble servitude. My name is Hollyn Lentz and this…
Investing in the Next Generation!
“It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” COLOSSIANS 3:24 When we first started the Cause 4 Life Internship Program our goal was to equip students to become leaders in disability ministry. Today our interns are changing lives as they live out the Gospel through their service! We had the privilege of sitting down with…
Deeply Pulled by God
On November 29, 2018— my 18th birthday, to be exact— I submitted my application to become an intern at Joni and Friends, an organization to which I felt God was pulling me. I had only volunteered at one Family Retreat, but there was just something about Joni and Friends that was blindingly different than any…
My Cause 4 Life: Uganda Experience
“If there was any phrase to describe the atmosphere it would be “literal heaven on earth” My name is Tristen Udeh, and this was my first time being part of an internship program that involved a short term mission overseas and learning about disability ministry. In preparation for this trip, I was nervous, optimistic,…
Invite Those Who are Uninvited
I was humbled to be a part of the Cause 4 Life internship team in Uganda. My experience as an intern hit close to home because of my own family experience and familiarity with the daily challenges of disability. When my younger sister, Addie, was born with Down syndrome, my parents were able to receive…
From Wrestling to Finding Rest
When I was 8 years old, I sat in the backseat of my mom’s car with a smile on my face and no worries of my future. My mom tried to comfort me as I had just received the diagnosis of a genetic eye disease that would lead to my vision loss. As she tried…
To the Next Generation
Take a moment and look at the smiles in this photo. Yes, that’s me in the middle, surrounded by young people excited about disability ministry, and there’s a reason we’re smiling. There’s not a one of us whose heart isn’t on fire with the calling God’s given us! You see, these young adults are part…