thinking about full-time ministry?


Not sure what that looks like?


We are here to help.

The ELI Project is an initiative of the Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church to identify, encourage, and support young adults who are exploring a call to vocational ministry. The program is designed to provide young adults with a practical and experiential discernment process over the summer of 2018. Through this process, young adults will sense more fully God's call upon their lives as they explore who God is calling them to be and which ministries God is calling them to serve as faithful and fruitful leaders. 

Just as Samuel heard and responded to God's call in 1 Samuel 3, young men and women are hearing God's call to leadership in ministry.  The ELI Project team, along with host congregations and pastors, invite you to explore the call to vocational ministry through a hands-on internship encompassing all facets of ministry.

The program is designed to provide a practical and experiential discernment process over the summer of 2018.  Throughout  the summer, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Preach and/or lead a Bible study
  • Plan worship
  • Be involved in a social justice or community outreach ministry
  • Observe leadership development/discipleship ministry
  • Provide pastoral care


ELI Project internships are for young adults who have completed at least their first year of college or university. While the project is funded and organized through the United Methodist Church, students do not need a Methodist background to be considered for the internship. The ELI Project team will select up to 12 young adults to participate as a learning cohort for the summer of 2018. Placement will involve The ELI Project team matching a host United Methodist church and intern based on the intern’s learning goals and the strengths of the congregation and supervising clergy. The internships are for a ten-week period, beginning with an intern/mentor meeting day May 24 then, group orientation from May 29 to June 1, followed by the nine-week on-site internship (June 3 - August 5), and then a wrap-up retreat Sunday, August 5 - Tuesday, August 7 that includes group reflection, evaluation, and celebration. Interns will be full-time employees of the ministry site and will be paid $3,000. All ministry sites will be located in Minnesota and students will be expected to relocate if coming from out of state. Certain sites may provide housing for the intern so that will be assessed on an individual basis.  

All application materials must be received by March 1, 2018 for review by The ELI Project team. Acceptance notifications will be no later than March 31.


A third time the Lord called Samuel. He got up, went to Eli, and said, “I’m here. You called me?” Then Eli realized that it was the Lord who was calling the boy. So Eli said to Samuel, “Go and lie down. If he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord. Your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down where he’d been. Then the Lord came and stood there, calling just as before, “Samuel, Samuel!” Samuel said, “Speak. Your servant is listening.”