The minimum time commitment for an internship is 90 days, and may be extended for up to two years. Internships may be started at any time of the year.



While interns come as volunteers, there are many benefits in addition to the valuable practical experiences.

  1. Room and board are provided free of charge, as are laundry facilities and supplies. Intern Grants are also available for the duration of your internship.
  2. Upon arrival you'll receive an orientation notebook providing much valuable information pertinent to your ministry with CEM.  You will be working alongside experienced interns. This is supplemented with weekly intern meetings dealing with a variety of subjects.
  3. All interns have an opportunity to take a battery of three personality tests: Taylor-Johnson Temperament Analysis, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and Religious Attitudes and Beliefs Inventory. The Strong-Campbell Vocational Interest Inventory is also available for those seeking additional vocational direction. Feedback is given by professionally trained staff after each test. This portion of the program has been immensely helpful to past interns, giving them direction and insight into personal and spiritual gifts and abilities.
  4. Your personal spiritual needs are addressed. Worship services are held on the property each Sunday morning, and, in addition to daily devotional time, there is a mid-week Bible Study all residents and interns attend. Each intern is given a spiritual mentor to meet with weekly. You will grow spiritually as you help others to see the light of Jesus' love.
  5. Wilderness camping is part of our ministry. Depending on the lenth of your internship, you may participate in at least one summer or winter wilderness backpack for your own personal growth.
  6. You will experience gratification as you see struggling youth respond to your input into their lives. You will use a multi-level Bible curriculum to disciple 1-3 students.
  7. Although we operate on a 24-hour/day 7-day/week schedule, you'll have one day off per week for your complete leisure. Office time is scheduled so you can prepare for your discipleship sessions, lessons, etc. Saturdays and Sundays are more relaxed with possibilities for recreation, though student supervision is still necessary. Friday nights all interns are off property together for team-building and relaxation. Interns also have two additional 4-hour breaks each week. Lake Tahoe is a convenient get-away just 90 minutes from the ranch. Grass Valley and Auburn (old gold-rush towns) are close by; and the state capital, Sacramento, is accessible within an hour drive. The area abounds with beauty and many recreational options.



The internship program provides an opportunity, as part of a ministry team, to develop personal ministry skills as you serve others. As much as possible, it is to be a seeing, practicing, and doing experience. The long-range goal is to develop effective, committed, and realistic Christian leaders who will ultimately train others. By preparing Christian leaders, counselors, social workers, missionaries, ministers, teachers, and administrators, Christian Encounter Ministries serves the larger body of Christ.

Ministry today is as demanding as it has ever been. Society is creating new strains of emotional turmoil faster than the helping professions can identify and classify them. This confronts the Christian community with personal and vocational challenges of monumental proportion. These challenges range from intimidating to overwhelming.

Meeting the deep needs of resident students demands more than theoretical awareness of the problems. Staff and interns (short-term missionaries) are presented with situations which require creativity, a firm grounding in the principles of scripture, and personal resourcefulness in the Holy Spirit.

As you serve others, God ministers to you. In loving others, you discover the depth and strength of His love. As you encourage others to grow, God matures you as His child. Whether your future holds ministry to a congregation, a Sunday School class, a neighbor, or your own family, CEM's training programs assist you in making the transition from the theoretical to the practical with personal growth in Christ as a natural by-product.



  1. The heart of your commitment to minister at the Ranch is your willingness to spend as much time as possible with the young people who come here for help. This is done in a variety of ways: sleeping in a dorm room with 1-3 students, working with them, informal counseling times, teaching at formal and informal settings, and relaxing and recreating with them. You are encouraged to take initiative in as wide a variety of relational, teachable and/or confrontational "ministry moments" as possible, thereby learning by doing.
  2. The students (currently males age 16-21 and females age 16-25) who come here may suffer from low self-esteem, depression, bitterness, rebellion, lack of love, substance abuse, physical or sexual abuse, emotional disturbances, immorality, or a variety of other emotional and spiritual problems. Each one is seeking help because of a personal and/or family crisis. We seek to introduce every student to Christ and lead each one into a consistent daily walk with the Lord. Your spiritual maturity and commitment are essential as you, along with other interns and staff, model Christ daily in a wide variety of settings and circumstances.
  3. Because there has been relatively little healthy parental involvement in the lives of many of the students, they have a tremendous need for security and consistency. Therefore, the Ranch provides a structured environment. One of your responsibilities will involve enforcing the basic rules of conduct and addressing inappropriate behavior. You will be expected to do this with firm kindness.
  4. The ministry is located on an 86-acre ranch and, as such, there is moderate physical labor required of everyone. This gives you the opportunity to model proper Christian behavior and attitudes even in difficult situations as you supervise and work alongside residents.
  5. You will be part of a community of believers dedicated to Christian service and to personal maturity in Christ. You will not only sharpen your ministry skills, but will also grow as a child of God through interaction with students, other interns, and staff.
  6. You will attend the weekly intern discipleship and business meeting.
  7. You will write an 8-10-page evaluation of your experience.
  8. If your internship is for college credit, you may also have assignments from your college.