Romance, Courtship, Engagement, Marriage, and Family
The DITP is an intense course of study and training. It requires the full attention of interns. For this reason, it is generally advised that single interns should refrain from starting new romantic relationships during the course of training. At the same time, we do not want to be unnecessarily restrictive. It is a matter of personal choice if an intern wishes to begin or pursue an existing relationship. All such interaction, of course, should be honoring to the Lord and not a distraction to one's participation in the DITP.
Should a romantic interest develop, it is usually best to commit the matter to the Lord in prayer and observe the person from a distance for a time. Interacting in group activities is a good way to get to know a person without making the individual feel uncomfortable or becoming too involved too quickly. Please keep in mind also that the DITP is short program, just nine months. Waiting for the training to conclude before pursuing new romantic interests is recommended.
It is generally best not to consider participation in the DITP shortly after getting married. The first few months of marriage are a time of transition. A good start builds a solid foundation for the future. The DITP requires undistracted attention (1 Corinthians 7:32-35). The training requires long hours of study, instruction, and service. This can put considerable strain on a new marriage. These factors should be prayerfully considered. They do not, however, rule out the possibility of someone married less than a year participating in the program.
It is important that married interns learn to balance their time and meet all their responsibilities. These include those to their spouses and children. Whenever possible, it is recommended that married interns complete their homework assignments immediately after the day’s classes conclude and before going home. In this way they can spend quality time with their families when at home. Interns should avoid spending all of their available time studying or outside the home doing ministry. They should set aside regular time to be with their family. As they study the Scriptures and become more like Christ, they should become better spouses and parents.
Interns are not allowed to hold jobs during their training. The full-time nature of the internship leaves little time for outside pursuits or secular employment. It is advisable that interns make full use of the opportunity before them and fully dedicate themselves to the training.
Minor exceptions will be made in cases where interns are involved in professions requiring minimal work to maintain one’s license, insurance, or status. Interns should request permission to work in writing prior to the start of the internship, and await written confirmation from the instructors before assuming it is acceptable. Should such work prove to be detrimental to the intern’s work, it may be called into question for further review.
Interns from overseas are restricted by law from working in the United States.
Conduct and Dress Code
Interns should be aware that at all times they are representing the Lord before the saints and the community. Interns should “in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show [themselves to be] an example of those who believe” (1 Timothy 2:12).
Interns should be neat and well groomed at all times. During classroom instruction, interns should wear collared shirts and long pants. At Sunday services, men should wear dress shirts, slacks, and dress shoes. Coats and neckties are optional.
Homework and Ministry Responsibilities
Interns should demonstrate diligence in the faithful completion of all homework assignments. Homework should be completed before coming to class. Interns should be prompt in their attendance. Coming late to class or other assignments is not acceptable.
Physical Fitness Training and Testing
Interns participate in physical fitness training twice a week. This involves various sports such as soccer, basketball, and running. Interns should have a physical examination by a doctor prior to the start of the program to ensure they are able to participate in these activities.
Sickness and Other Absences
Interns should notify the onsite director of necessary absences because of sickness and other causes. Please call the night before, or, if necessary, in the morning prior to class.
Interns and their families should become a full member of the hosting assembly and serve under the direction of the elders.
Each intern will be assigned to an instructor or elder for personal discipleship. This is an opportunity for the intern to receive input on problems he is encountering, help with becoming integrated into the assembly, and assistance with his classes and ministry responsibilities. Interns should take the initiative in speaking with their discipler if they are having a problem of any sort.
Communication and Initiative
Interns should take the initiative to keep their elders, instructors, and disciplers informed of their status and needs. If there is something they would like to learn more about, or some area in which they want more involvement, they should speak to one of the above. Generally speaking, interns who take the initiative receive greater input in their lives.
Interns will be given two formal reviews. The first will occur at approximately the half-way point, and is a verbal review. The second is at the end of the program, and is a written review covering the intern’s personal conduct, academic performance, practical ministry, and spiritual walk. In each of these areas interns will be given commendation and counsel as needed.