Internship in Grinnell Iowa:  Mayflower Community and First Presbyterian Church

Two progressive institutions serving the same community

First Presbyterian Church and the Mayflower Community (Ministry of the Iowa Conference of the United Church of Christ and senior life plan community) are two active and important organizations in the city of Grinnell, and both are committed to living out their respective missions in the fullest way possible.  Both institutions are also living into new visions of what is means to be church and community at this time in rural Iowa.

This internship would be shared between the two organizations and would include a salary from the church and a furnished apartment with meals on the Mayflower campus.  The salary would be approximately $1,300 / month and room and board valued at $1,655 / month (includes rent, 3 meals per day, and amenities like cable and wifi).

In this document are the job descriptions for both organizations.  Broadly speaking, this internship would provide an opportunity to learn about and get good experience in both church ministry and chaplaincy.  In addition, because Mayflower is a significant nonprofit organization, there would be opportunities to learn about nonprofit management, board development, and philanthropy depending on the candidate’s interest.

Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) especially encouraged to apply.

To apply:
Send resume and cover letter to First Presbyterian Church by:
Email: or
Postal mail:  1025 5th Ave.; Grinnell, IA 50112

Mayflower Community

Mayflower is a residential community for seniors that includes independent, assisted, and skilled nursing care living. There are approximately 260 residents that live on Mayflower’s campus, and they are served by an energetic, innovative, and caring staff that provides a vibrant, purposeful, and compassionate community.  Mayflower is a place where people can live the last 1/3 of their life with as much meaning and purpose and fulfillment as the first 2/3.

Mayflower has both an historical and current connection to the United Church of Christ, though its residents are diverse in religious affiliation. About 50% of residents have an affiliation (faculty, staff, family) with Grinnell College.   Mayflower understands well-being from an integrated point of view, with spirituality being an essential component.

The chaplain would work on a team with other staff to create an environment of well-being and integrated health.

This position requires:

  • 15-20 hours a week
  • Attendance at wellness team meetings.
  • Caring for residents one-on-one and in groups
  • Collaboration with resident’s spiritual life committee
  • Providing the spiritual well-being of the staff and institution, in addition to the residents.
  • Organizing chapel and conduct services as needed.
  • Educational monthly training-CE Solutions.

Useful skills:

  • Pastoral Care – Chaplaincy is a ministry of presence and transformation in the midst of both the most mundane and most extraordinary times in people’s lives.
  • Mayflower is a community of intellectually curious residents.
  • Willingness to fill in the gaps in collaboration but without directive.
  • Interest in community building and role spirituality plays in community
  • Knowledge of issues facing the aging and elderly – aging creates incredible opportunities for growth even as it brings new limitations and challenges for people.
  • The ability to work meaningfully with people of all religious affiliations and none – Chaplaincy is a skill that is different from church ministry because you are working with people from all different traditions, cultures, and theologies.

Education and Experience:

  • Bachelors, or working toward a Bachelors in social services, psychology, and/or theology
  • Experience with people who are aging is a plus.

First Presbyterian

First Presbyterian Church (member of the Presbyterian church (U.S.A.)) is a small, progressive congregation looking for someone to join the staff as a team member in carrying out our mission and ministry.

Our pastor will be going from full to part-time from August 2021 – May 2022.  We are looking for someone with a broad set of skills, who is able to take on various aspects of ministry depending on the strengths of the individual and the needs of the congregation.

First Presbyterian is progressive in theology, traditional in form of worship, and dedicated to putting faith into action in the world.  We are governed by a council (Session) and a board of Deacons.  We have recently committed to the principles of the PCUSA’s Matthew 25 organization:  building congregational vitality; dismantling structural racism; eradicating systemic poverty.

This position does not require ordination but does require a deep appreciation for church.  The pastor will continue to perform ordained functions.  Beyond that, the team (pastor, staff, Session) will explore what staffing configuration works best based on the particular gifts of the staff members and what is needed to live out our mission.  The person must be open and flexible in regard to staffing needs as we live into our future.

The position requires

  • 15-20 hours a week
  • Attendance at worship
  • Attendance at meetings appropriate to role
  • Supervision by Pastor and Session

Useful skills:

  • Social work – working with individuals and families to find them the help they need to flourish in our community.
  • Preaching and worship – leading worship and offering interpretation of the Word on Sundays.
  • Pastoral care – caring for our congregation members in need through visitations, phone calls, and care during times of loss and grief.
  • Christian Education – providing opportunities for adults and children to grow in faith.
  • Community organizing – working with congregation and community on issues of justice. We have particular concern for the vulnerable, marginalized, oppressed, and impoverished.

We do not expect any one person to have all of these skills.  We will adjust the job description based on who we hire and how the team works together.

Education and Experience

  • Bachelors, or working toward a Bachelors with an interest in going into ministry
  • Church experience, either as an active member or on staff