Internships for Christian Ministry
Practical training for persons called to pastoral, cross-cultural, recovery and justice ministries
Rev. Dr. Robert Stephen Miller received a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Muhlenberg College, a Masters of Divinity degree and a Doctor of Ministry degree in Marriage & Family Ministry from Palmer seminary. Dr. Miller received the Orlando E. Costas Award for Mentoring (Palmer seminary, 2007) and was passionate about assisting the next generation succeed in ministry. He served as pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship (the church he helped to establish in 1989) for 26 years, was president and founder of two non-profit organizations (The Identity School for Christian Ministry and JusticeRain, INC), and author of two books (Survival Handbook for Young Pastors and TempleWork). Dr. Miller went home to be with Lord in March of 2015. He is dearly loved and missed.
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Rev. Dr. Tracy L. Saletta has been serving Christ in various ministry leadership positions for over 30 years. She has been the lead pastor at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship for the last year and was the associate pastor for the last 9 years. She worked closely with Rev. Dr. Robert S. Miller for 18 years and partnered with him to develop the Internship program, the Identity School for Christian Ministry’s curriculum, as well as developing and implementing his vision of JusticeRain, INC through her doctoral work. Since Rev. Dr. Miller’s death in 2015, Dr. Saletta firmly believes her call is to build on the foundation that was laid in his 28 years of faithful ministry. She is now the director of the internship program, the president of the Identity School for Christian Ministry, as well as the President and Executive Director of JusticeRain, INC. Dr. Saletta’s heart is to train up the body of Christ and ministry leaders to advance God’s kingdom of justice with integrity, character and faithfulness.
“There is a deep cry in my heart to see leaders in the body of Christ prepared, equipped and mature to advance the Kingdom of God on earth. I was in ministry for over 15 years making hundreds if not thousands of mistakes before a seasoned pastor purposely mentored me. It was there that my heartbeat for mentoring began as I experienced its deep benefits. One of the greatest joys in my life is to mentor future pastors and missionaries, guiding them in their preparation for the practical, emotional and relational terrain of ministry. I believe that healthy pastors and missionaries equal healthy communities that reach out holistically in the world to bring others to Christ.”
“There is no more joyous and passionate work in my ministry than to encourage, support, equip and commission future pastors and missionaries. There are a number of people who mentored me when I was beginning my ministry career, and now it’s my turn to give. I believe healthy churches and significant mission endeavors are established through healthy, self-differentiated leaders who are fully surrendered to Jesus and are equipped with effective ministry tools. I pray each of our interns burns with the Acts 2 fire and learns how to establish the Eph. 4 equipping within his/her ministry in order to fulfill the Matthew 28 commissioning.”
As pastoral mentors, our job is to prepare our interns for the challenging terrain of ministry. Every pastor and missionary will encounter isolation, loneliness, weariness and betrayal. Every ministry system includes people speaking and acting out of their pain, and sometimes this results in slander, power coalitions, gossip and division. Serving our Lord and His people is an incredible privilege, full of adventure and great joy. But those entering into ministry will be pressed on every side, and must be prepared for this intensity.
There is skill development in these internship programs, but our primary goal is to equip our interns with tools to survive the difficult seasons of ministry. The emotional-relational terrain is primarily responsible for the high attrition rate in ministry (1500 pastors are leaving their posts every month in North America, and 1 out of every 5 missionaries return from the field in their first term for preventable reasons). As pastoral mentors, we are committed to courageously addressing these dynamics and developing essential ministry survival tools in our interns. We are working for our interns' success in ministry and for the advancement of God's Kingdom work.
Rev. Dr. Tracy L. Saletta
Rev. Richard Mollica is a member of the pastoral team at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship and is the director of the SSE Pastoral Internship. Rev. Mollica was ordained in 2014 and was a graduate of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship's pastoral internship program. He has, in his 17 years of professional experience, provided Christian counseling, group counseling, pastoral care, intervention services and has helped to establish Christ-centered programming in treatment facilities across the country. His own understanding of the loving heart of Christ for those who suffer has motivated him to spend a lifetime reaching out to those in need of Christ's freedom. Rich feels called to network and unify the Body of Christ in order to effectively fulfill the great commission and to each the lost and hurting in an honest and tangible way.