Emerging Leaders Internship Program

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

About the Internship


How to Apply

Back to GLIDE Emerging Leaders

About the Internship

Why does GLIDE want interns?

We have a powerful, working model of community service and community renewal that is unique in the field. The internship, endowed by the Epworth Trust, is our opportunity to build new community leaders who can experience GLIDE’s service model and apply their experience to their own future community work. Back to the Top

Is this internship paid?

For students from UC Berkeley and UC Davis the current wage is $11.03/hour. In the summer, interns typically work 30 hours per week. Back to the Top

What are the hours of this internship? How long does it last?

The initial immersion into GLIDE’s programs and services is a structured, 2-week process that you will experience together with your fellow interns. Once you are placed in your own project, you and your supervisor will work out a work schedule that matches both of your needs. A typical internship runs 30 hours per week for 9-10 weeks. Back to the Top

Is the internship competitive? What are you looking for in an applicant?

While there are typically many more applicants for the internship program than we have available positions, we do not consider this internship to be “competitive” in a traditional sense. The qualities of openness, self-awareness, and flexibility that we seek in an applicant do not walk hand-in-hand with an impressive resume or perfect grades. Applicants who have experiences that connect them to the social and economic margins are particularly encouraged to apply, but we know that compassion is a human quality that can be found at all strata and corners of society. Back to the Top

Do I need to be a Christian to do this internship? What if I am Buddhist, Muslim, agnostic, Jewish, spiritual but not religious, an atheist, or have some other set of beliefs?

We are putting together a diverse team of interns and welcome applicants from every background, religious and non-religious. The fact that you are interested in GLIDE’s work with the poor and marginalized is a good indicator that your belief system overlaps with GLIDE’s organizational philosophy. Our previous interns have come from a range of spiritual backgrounds, including Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, agnostic, as well as Methodist, and many told us that their internship experience deepened and strengthened their own personal growth and spiritual journeys in ways that were unique to them. Back to the Top


What types of work will I be doing?

After the two-week immersion, where you have the opportunity to work in many locations across the organization, we will spend time with you to place you in work that brings together both your interests and the needs of the organization. GLIDE’s services span the spectrum of our community’s needs: medical, educational, housing, food, job training, psychological services, youth services, and more. Previous interns have worked on projects related to child literacy, architecture & design of community spaces, building the community web pages, leading support groups for clients, and coordinating procurement of essential hygiene products for people without homes. Back to the Top


I hear that the neighborhood around GLIDE, the Tenderloin, is pretty bad. Will I be safe?

The Tenderloin is in fact a neighborhood that is home to some of the poorest, most distressed residents of San Francisco, and is one of the primary reasons GLIDE has grown into such a unique organization. The Tenderloin is also a place that is full of laughter, support, and human kindness.

As in any urban environment in the United States, there is a risk of crime. While most of our interns adjust quickly to working in the Tenderloin community, you will want to check it out and make a decision based on your own assessment. For local applicants, we typically offer an on-site interview that includes an opportunity to take walk in the neighborhood. Back to the Top


Is academic credit available for my work as an intern?

Some interns have arranged for academic credit to be granted for their internships. This is usually arranged directly between the student and the academic department where the credit is given. For example, the Emerging Leaders Internship program frequently accepts students from Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy who are getting degree credit for their summer practicum work at GLIDE. Back to the Top


Can I do this internship while taking classes? What if I have an un-moveable scheduling conflict this summer, e.g. family vacation, training, or a wedding?

Most students find trying to balance the demands of taking a class during the internship period to be very stressful, and we encourage you to consider choosing only one. Nevertheless, we know that some of you out there are natural over-achievers who thrive on doing the impossible. If you are extremely organized and never get tired, you may be able to juggle both coursework and the internship with success, so don’t let us stop you from trying. We do suggest, however, that you plan to take courses that meet in the early morning or in the evening, since your working hours during the internship typically fit between 8 am and 6 pm, Monday through Friday. Also, you MUST be able to attend the program’s Friday reflections, which run from about 10 am until 4 pm every Friday during the internship.


If you have a pre-existing commitment (like a wedding or a family vacation) for the summer that will take you away from your internship responsibilities for more than a couple days, you should consult with us before accepting a position. We are often able to allow you to take a few days off, and we make these decisions on a case-by-case basis. If there is an unresolvable conflict, it typically does not affect our making you an offer, but the tough choice then falls to you! Early communication with us during the application process can be helpful, as we can help you look at your options in the context of the program’s structure and requirements. Back to the Top


Are graduate students eligible for this internship?

Yes. Students from all graduate and professional programs are welcome and encouraged to apply. Back to the Top


Is the internship limited to students from certain majors?

We encourage students of all religious and academic backgrounds to apply. We are seeking a diverse team of students, and no majors are inherently preferable. Our past interns have majored a full range of fields including Computer Science, Architecture, Social Work, Public Health, Psychology, Business, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Religion, Peace and Conflict Studies, English Literature, Ethnic Studies, and Community Health. Back to the Top



What is GLIDE? Is GLIDE a church or a social services agency?

GLIDE is both and more. What started as a church has, in the last 40 years, developed into a new model for community building and development that puts theology into action and takes it to the streets. GLIDE is currently one of the largest and most comprehensive providers of services in the city of San Francisco. As an intern, you will have the opportunity to visit Celebration, GLIDE’s Sunday morning event, as well as work in several of GLIDE’s social service programs. Come see for yourself how GLIDE “walks the talk” of Cecil Williams' vision. Back to the Top

What are GLIDE’s mission and values?

Our MISSION is to create a radically inclusive, just and loving  community mobilized to alleviate suffering and break the cycles of poverty and marginalization.

Our core values emerge from GLIDE as a spiritual movement. They are rooted in empowerment, recovery and personal transformation. Our core values inspire and guide our behaviors. They are the ground we stand on.

The Ground We Stand On
Radically Inclusive
We welcome everyone. We value our differences. We respect everyone.
Truth Telling
We each tell our story. We each speak our truth. We listen.
Loving and Hopeful
We are all in recovery. We are a healing community. We love unconditionally.
For the People
We break through barriers. We serve each other. We change the world.
We sing. We dance. We laugh together. We celebrate life!

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What types of services does GLIDE provide in the community?

GLIDE has developed a network of comprehensive programs to meet the needs of the Tenderloin community. This includes the Daily Free Meals Program that serves nearly 1 million meals a year: family, youth and childcare programs; seniors programs; training and employment services, including high-tech training; health services, including a health clinic, mental health services, recovery programs and HIV/AIDS outreach programs; and low-income, permanent housing. You can find out more about GLIDE’s programs here. Back to the Top

Does GLIDE place restrictions or limitations on its services because it is a church?

No. GLIDE focuses on the needs of the people it serves, and our programs emerge to meet those needs. For example, many GLIDE programs use a client-centered harm reduction model that allows clients to work within their own value systems to build goals and strategies for change. Back to the Top

How to Apply

I’m interested! How do I request an application?

You can download the application directly from the website here. The application is a Microsoft Word document you can fill out and email back. If you prefer, you can send a request for a paper or electronic application to: James Lin, Emerging Leaders Program Manager, Glide Memorial UMC, 330 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94102, phone 415-674-6014, email emergingleaders@glide.org.


2015 GLIDE Emerging Leaders Program Application
2015 GLIDE Letter of Recommendation Form

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What is the application deadline?

While we sometimes accept applications up to the start of each internship cycle, the internship slots may be filled well before that point, so we recommend submitting your application and reference letter by March 1 before the summer when you would like to intern at GLIDE. You may submit your application as early as January 1.


Anticipated 2015 internship timeline
January - March: Applications may be submitted by March 1 for full consideration
March - April: Application review and interviews conducted
Mid-April: Acceptances sent out
Mid-June: Start of internship
Mid-August: End of internship

You may submit your application early if you wish.


Please note that students from universities that run on a quarter system may start their summer internships slightly later to accommodate the academic calendar at their schools. Back to the Top

How do I submit my application?

The simplest way to submit your application is to fill out the MS Word application form and email it back to us. The recommendation from a faculty/staff/supervisor can also be emailed, either separately or together with your application. If you prefer, you can print out the application and fill it out by hand before mailing it in. Back to the Top

Whom should I ask to write the recommendation letter?

The recommendation letter should be written by a professor, staff member, or supervisor who has worked with you or mentored you. This might be a professor/TA who supervised some academic work or taught a class you took, a staff person who worked with you on a volunteer project, or a pastor or supervisor who knows you well. Peer recommendations from a friend or fellow student should not be submitted, unless that student directly supervised you in a relevant job or volunteer experience. It may help your referee to tell her/him about the internship and why you are applying for it. Back to the Top

When will I find out whether I have the internship?

Final decisions are often made shortly before the start of the internship. Applications submitted before the deadline may be reviewed first, so early application is encouraged. Back to the Top

Whom do I ask if I have further questions?

Contact James Lin, the program manager, at emergingleaders@glide.org, or call 415-674-6014. Back to the Top



GLIDE  330 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 | 415.674.6000

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