Apprenticeship Vs. Internship

What is the difference between an Apprenticeship and an Internship?

Our Worship Internships are now going to be called our Worship Leader Apprenticeship Program. So, what is the difference between an internship and an apprenticeship. Below is a chart I included in a previous post to help show the difference.

Length2-3 years1-2 terms
When?Integral part of the education process from beginning to endAfter or near end of education
What?Integrates Classroom training with Hands-on experienceUsually only hands-on experience
ContentComprehensive education and competency based work experienceAssisting with work tasks
CostFree EducationSome churches charge for internships

Let's look at each of these in a little more detail.

Apprenticeships Are Longer

Internship are usually 1 term in length and if it doesn't lead to a job the intern may do another one. Worship Leader Apprenticeships are 2-3 years of full time study plus hands on experience. Apprenticeships are much more intensive than internships.

Apprenticeships Integrate Hands-On Learning Throughout

Internships are often done after a student has completed their course work or near the end of their studies. Worship Leader Apprenticeships incorporate hands-on worship ministry throughout the 2 year learning process. As an apprentice, you can immediately apply what you learn in the classroom to what you do in the worship ministry on Sunday.

Apprenticeships Combine Hands-On Learning With Classroom Instruction

Internships are typically focused only on work experience. Often this work experience is primarily assisting the real leaders. Worship Leader Apprenticeships combine intensive college-level courses in Bible, worship and music with practical competency based experience in a local church worship ministry. Each apprentice is required to master a list of skills so that they are fully prepared to lead a worship program. Here is a list of some of the skills you will practice in your Worship Leader Apprenticeship:


  • Backup Singer
  • Lead Singer
  • Soloist
  • Choir

Song Writing/Arranging

  • Writing a Chord Chart
  • Making a Leadsheet
  • Writing TAB for guitar
  • (optional) Writing parts for traditional instruments


  • Service Planning
  • Scheduling of Musicians
  • Service and Music Transitions
  • Public Prayer
  • Creative Elements
  • Song Selection
  • Worship Set Flow
  • Rehearsal Leadership
  • Maintaining the Music Library
  • Budget Preparation
  • Auditions
  • Working with a choir/ensemble


  • Familiarity with sound production
  • Familiarity with lighting design
  • Familiarity with video production

Apprenticeships Are Comprehensive

Internships tend to focus on just the hands-on part of a job, but rarely include knowledge and skill practice. Worship Leader Apprenticeships add in-depth courses to your experience so that you are fully prepared as a worship leader. Here are the courses you will take:

Bible Core

  • Worship Theology
  • Spiritual Foundations
  • Old Testament Survey
  • New Testament Survey
  • Theology I
  • Bible Study Methods


  • Worship Band Techniques
  • Worship Administration
  • Worship Practicum

General Music

  • Music Theory I & II
  • Ear Training I & II


  • Applied Study (Private Lessons) I & II
  • Voice Class
  • Guitar or Piano Class
  • Ensembles
  • Choral Conducting

Life Skills

  • Communication
  • Math
  • Fine Arts
  • Technology
  • Logic
  • Career Training

Apprenticeships Are Free

Internships are often for no or minimal pay. In fact, some larger churches now charge for you to take an internship with them. Worship Leader Apprenticeships pay for themselves because the host church and generous donors cover the cost of your courses. You earn your scholarship by serving every Sunday in a local church worship ministry. So you are able to receive two years of worship education plus work experience without any debt! The only potential cost to you is housing and food if you do not live close enough to commute.

Interested? Apply Now!

Since there are so few spots available, I encourage you to apply now! Click the button below to learn more about our Worship Leader Apprenticeship Program and sign up to be one of our apprentices.

Jerry Wyrick

Dr. Jerry Wyrick
Worship Arts Conservatory

Posted in WAC.