Your Workplace as a Mission Field

“Most of my classmates in my computer engineering program are doing technical internships this summer. Will I fall behind them by participating in the Nav Summer Training Program?” asked an Urban Immersion Summer Training Program (STP) participant.

Work as a Mission Field: Training Internship

A valid question, one that Emily Snyder, NavWorkplace operations director, understands, with her technical career background in mechanical engineering. However, she and Al Miyashita, NYC Navs director, specifically developed the curriculum for the Urban Immersion STP to provide a foundation that allows students to flourish both professionally and spiritually in the workplace.

The seven-week program with 17 participants during the summer of 2017 included a unique combination of training in topics such as teamwork, leadership, conflict resolution, and time management—along with integration of spiritual growth topics. Participants worked through developmental assessments on personality, spiritual gifts, and soft skills, to better understand themselves and how they can maximize their effectiveness. All these experiences, skills, and tools equip them for their future trajectory from college into the workplace. They also provide a well-rounded experience that is essential, even in highly technical careers.

“The challenge is to connect their head knowledge with their hearts,” shares Emily. “We want the students to internalize the vision that their workplace is their mission field. For many of them, this is the first time they are hearing these concepts. So our hope is that during the summer we have planted seeds, and that these seeds take root in their lives. As they complete college and move into their careers, we want young adults to understand how they can live out their mission every day.”

While there have been STPs in New York City for several years, last summer was the first with the re-tooled emphasis integrating specific career training topics and spiritual formation. Based on this pilot, Emily and Al will update the curriculum and train others to launch this internship in other cities in the future, so more Nav college students can continue their journey as lifelong disciples.


  1. Wish you had answered the student’s question regarding the STP program article. I teach both freshman and senior level engineering courses at WVU. Most employers give hiring preferences to students with a technical internships. The engineering department specifically emphasises this to students. If the urban immersion program is coupled with a job at a technical/engineering company then yes, this is an excellent opportunity personally, spiritually and professionally. If not, they may need to accept that the absence of a technical internship may have a career cost. Nothing that God can’t overcome, but still a “counting the cost” moment.


    1. Colossians 3:23 says, “[w]hatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

      1 Peter 3:15 says, “[b]ut in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”

      As Christians, we are primarily employees.. We are to view the workplace as a place where we glorify God in our excellent work and in our service to our employer. In this way, God will give us plenty of opportunities to authentically share our faith,(during lunch, etc). unless we are hired to be a Chaplain.

    2. What if the Navigators had some sort of weekend/evening training for students in technical internships that would allow them to get the technical experience they need, spiritual direction, and the opportunity to practice what they are learning at the internship? There are plenty of locations to try this out in – areas with a Navigators presence and lots of technical jobs (e.g., Norfolk VA has lots of engineering and logistics type jobs, and would assume plenty of internships as a result).

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