GROW internships & fellowships

We’re on the side of the disenfranchised, overlooked, and underserved. We stand for justice, opportunity, and dignity. We believe in big ideas, fervent prayers, and giving it all you’ve got. We’re on a mission to invest in the dreams of families in poverty, and we want you to join us as we passionately pursue this calling.

Who is HOPE?

We’re dedicated to empowering men and women to put their God-given skills to work, training and equipping them to save their own funds, start businesses, and provide for their families and communities. We see our clients as individuals created in God’s image, and instead of charity, we offer opportunity that affirms their potential as leaders, advocates, and job creators.

Internship & fellowship program overview

HOPE International is a globally recognized international microenterprise development ministry, with operations in 16 different countries. HOPE focuses on integrating an intentional, effective witness for Jesus Christ while striving for excellence in the financial services we provide to those living in poverty in underserved areas. Our GROW internship and fellowship program is designed for students seeking to develop spiritually and professionally. Interns and fellows at HOPE enjoy the benefits of a challenging and meaningful business experience while working in a spiritually nurturing environment. HOPE’s interns and fellows experience spiritual formation, professional enrichment, and significant involvement.

HOPE is committed to discipleship. All interns and fellows read through several selected books together and dialogue with each other and HOPE staff about what they are learning. HOPE's interns and fellows are challenged daily with the pressing needs of men and women in poverty and discuss what it means to respond to those issues as members of the Body of Christ.

Interns and fellows benefit from mentoring relationships as they work alongside supervisors who invest in challenging and counseling them during the entire process. The coordinator provides support to interns and fellows before, throughout, and following the program.

Lateral learning is central to the program. All interns and fellows are encouraged to build relationships and share experiences with each other and with members of the HOPE team.

Interns and fellows at HOPE will be integrated into a truly professional environment and enjoy the benefits of a traditional business internship and fellowship. Interns and fellows have varied opportunities to develop real business experience. HOPE is a strong and efficient nonprofit, awarded Charity Navigator’s highest four-star rating for 11 consecutive years—an honor bestowed on only the top 1 percent of U.S. nonprofits. Technical training is a key component to HOPE internships and fellowships. Interns and fellows use and develop proficiency in business software and management information systems specific to their roles.

All interns and fellows are valued members of the team. Each intern and fellow is fully incorporated into HOPE's team, always included in staff and departmental meetings and staff devotions.

All interns and fellows are tasked with challenging and meaningful projects and weekly responsibilities which give them a taste of careers in this sector.

HOPE interns and fellows are given the freedom and responsibility to further HOPE's work with those living in poverty in underserved areas.

Testimonials


Interning at HOPE is such a rewarding experience! There are so many opportunities for both professional and spiritual growth. Interns are trusted with meaningful work, and I was continuously impressed by the way staff was so welcoming and generous with their time. As a design intern, I was given much more responsibility than I imagined from an internship, including designing a major piece of our fall communications strategy. It was an incredible learning experience, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to serve with HOPE.

Kelly Ryan (2015)


My time as a field communications fellow with HOPE International was one of the most amazing, difficult, and rewarding experiences of my life. I had the opportunity to gain lifelong friendships while serving alongside men and women that have chosen to make an earthly and eternal impact. The fellowship position was a chance to take all the theoretical knowledge I had on marketing from college and put it into practice. God used my time as a sanctifying experience showing me what the Church looks like on a global level as well as how to be a good steward of the things He has blessed us with as citizens of the United States.

Drake Holtry (2014)


The project I was given was far more responsibility than I ever dreamed I would be given during an internship. I love that HOPE believes that people will rise to a challenge if given the opportunity. I can't say enough good things about working at HOPE! The community and work environment here is unlike any I've ever seen before, and it's been a huge blessing to be here.

Sarah Ann Schultz (2014)


A definite high point was the freedom I had to contribute ideas and writing as if I had been a seasoned, trusted staff member. This was also a challenge, but I appreciated how much confidence my manager had in my ability to complete a given task. I can honestly say this has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. I hate risking my believability by sounding so dramatic, but it really is true! The Leadership Summit was a time of needed healing and rejuvenation for me, and the rest of my internship carried the same theme. Over the past year or so, I've been asking the Lord to surround me with people who are passionate about his Kingdom and the pursuit of excellence in their work (specifically the field of Christ-centered economic development). I also asked for opportunities that would require faith while strengthening my walk as a disciple. In so many ways, the HOPE community has served as answers to each of those prayers.

Abigail Ferenczy (2014)


I got more out of my internship at HOPE than I ever expected to. Not only do I feel like I grew professionally, but the summer also served as a catalyst for intense spiritual growth. I'm convinced that I could not have asked for a better internship experience. I was challenged, supported, and given continuous opportunities to learn.

Caroline Jones (2013)


You will learn how business can be a proclamation of God's love and glory. It adds a whole new dimension to the word professionalism when you work for the sake of making the name of Christ known in the world.

Carson Bennett (2012)


The care HOPE puts into discipling interns and even prospective employees sets a wonderful example of office culture done well.

Steph Walker (2012)


Open opportunities

Learn more about career and volunteer opportunities.

Internships

Fellowships

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Caring for each other

At HOPE, culture matters. We sum up the attributes we seek and celebrate in the acronym PASSION. Do you have PASSION?

Prayer

On your knees, please (Psalm 95:6)

Allegiance

We will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15)

Service

We'll wash feet (John 13:14)

Stewardship

To whom much is given … (Luke 12:48)

Innovation

We find solutions (Genesis 1:27)

Optimism

Strength for today, bright hope for tomorrow (Lamentations 3:22-24)

Nurturing

Love one another as I have loved you (John 13:34)

Who we are

Our brand manifesto grounds and inspires us, reminding us in compelling, relatable language who we are and who we hope to be.

We are HOPE International.

We are bankers, pastors, and development workers—concerned with both body and soul.
We are the friend who encourages “Don’t give up!”
We are a push in the right direction.
We are hard work coming to fruition.
We are dignity affirmed.
We are partners in effecting change.
We are the hands and feet of Jesus Christ to a world in need.
We are HOPE International.

What we believe

Rooted in Christ, HOPE adheres to the following statement of faith, adopted from the National Association of Evangelicals.

We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.

We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.

We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful people, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.

We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.

We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.

We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.

HOPE's hiring process

This guide will help you to understand where you are in the process and what to expect next.

  1. PRAYER

    We start each posting with prayer that God would prepare and lead the right person to this position and that we would make a wise choice.

  2. POST & REVIEW

    The job description is posted, and we review all applicant resumes.

  3. SCREEN & INVITE

    We review and screen candidates for skill, culture, and mission fit and then invite them to an initial interview.

  4. SECOND INTERVIEW

    We will then pass along qualified candidates to the hiring manager for a second-round phone interview.

  5. DECISION

    At that point we will make a decision.

Details & eligibility

Key dates

The deadline to apply for the 2019 summer internship term is Jan 21st. The summer term is May 28th - Aug 15th, and candidates are strongly encouraged to attend a training conference in Lancaster, PA, from May 28th - June 3rd.

Summer 2019

Eligibility

Undergraduate students who have completed at least their junior year by the start of the internship, recent graduates, and graduate students are eligible to apply for internships. Recent graduates, graduate students, and business professionals are eligible to apply for fellowships.

Spring, fall, and fellowship applications are considered on a rolling basis.

Interviews

Individuals being considered for a position will have a preliminary interview and then a secondary interview.

Housing

HOPE International assists interns and fellows in securing housing and offers a stipend to offset the expense of rent during the internship/fellowship.

Wages

Interns and fellows are 100 percent responsible for all travel and living (aside from housing) expenses incurred during their time with HOPE, including providing their own health insurance. HOPE provides all interns and fellows with resources and assistance in raising monetary support if necessary.

Early decision

Applicants requiring an earlier decision date should state such in their application. Although HOPE will try to grant these requests, the candidate will be competing against an unknown candidate pool, which lessens the likelihood of a favorable decision.

Training conference

Summer interns and fellows convene in Lancaster for a training conference at the beginning of their term. During this time, they meet with HOPE’s founder, Jeff Rutt; HOPE's president & CEO, Peter Greer; and the rest of the HOPE team. The training conference features various seminars and training tools in combination with HOPE’s annual Leadership Summit.

Work schedule

Full-time interns and fellows working in Lancaster work 32-hour weeks (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with an hour for lunch) and are given Friday off. Because HOPE interns and fellows in Lancaster work a shortened week, there may be opportunities for them to seek weekend employment to help cover expenses. Work schedules vary for interns and fellows based overseas. Internships with HOPE should span a minimum of 10 weeks and can be extended up to a total of nine months per the acceptance of the supervisor. Fellowships are typically 9-12 month positions.

Applicant FAQs

What is the difference between an internship and a fellowship?

Internships are semester-based positions for undergraduate and graduate students of all disciplines. Fellowships are 9-12 month positions for experienced graduate students or business professionals.

What if I’m interested in multiple positions?

We ask interns and fellows to select their top two preferences. Due to the volume of applications, we are typically unable to consider applicants for more than two positions at a time.

What is the support-raising process like for interns and fellows who choose to fundraise?

In the past, some have chosen to raise support for their internships or fellowships. If you choose to do this, HOPE assists you in this process, offering you resources and support to help raise the support you need.

Are there any opportunities for interns and fellows to become staff members?

Yes, quite a few HOPE staff members first came to HOPE through an internship or fellowship. However, a job is not guaranteed as a result of your internship or fellowship.

What does the average day look like for a HOPE intern or fellow?

There’s no typical day! Interns and fellows might travel frequently into the field or work primarily from an office setting. An average day will vary based on the role and where the intern or fellow is located.

Who will be my supervisor?

Expatriate Internships and Fellowships: Interns and fellows will report to a branch manager or another staff member in the field.

Domestic Internships and Fellowships: Interns and fellows will report to a HOPE staff member.

What is HOPE looking for in candidates?

HOPE looks first for candidates who exhibit an active and vibrant relationship with Christ and demonstrate commitment to serving families who have been marginalized. An ideal candidate has led others, whether on campus, in their church, or in the community. An ideal candidate also has excellent written and verbal communication skills as well as international experience, specifically in the developing world. Finally, an ideal candidate is a lifelong learner—someone who gets excited by continually learning new things and is actively pursuing knowledge.

Why do you require that students complete their junior year in order to be eligible?

The GROW Internship and Fellowship Program is a competitive one, and we anticipate a large applicant pool. Interns and fellows who have completed more semesters of college tend to contribute more professionalism, maturity, independence, and confidence in the workplace. Also, they have received more relevant coursework in their major, better preparing them for their specific work here.

Who arranges my travel? Who pays for it?

HOPE facilitates travel arrangements abroad for expatriate interns and fellows, but the cost of travel falls to the intern or fellow.

Expatriate Interns and Fellows: We will coordinate the purchase of all international tickets because we can do so at a discounted rate through our relationship with our travel agency.

What is housing like?

Expatriate Internships and Fellowships: Because we work with our local partners in the field for housing arrangements, housing varies. Interns and fellows are often placed with a host family or provided apartment-style housing near the location where they work. Interns and fellows sometimes live with a roommate, either another HOPE intern or fellow or an expatriate intern or fellow of one of our partners.

Domestic Internships and Fellowships: One option for housing is staying in homes hosted by staff members or supporters of HOPE. Accommodations for interns and fellows will vary according to several factors: time of year, funding, availability of host homes, and transportation needs.

Do you consider non-business majors?

Yes. At HOPE, we believe it’s important to evaluate a candidate as a whole. We want an individual with the heart of a missionary, the mind of a businessperson, and the soul of a development worker. We have had interns and fellows with majors in English, social work, economics, international studies, foreign languages, and many more. That being said, some positions do require more technical background in finance or other fields.

Are HOPE internships or fellowships paid?

HOPE internships and fellowships are unpaid; however, we do cover the cost of housing for our interns and fellows (in most, but not all, cases). Many interns and fellows raise funds to help cover living costs.

General

What does spiritual integration look like on a practical level?

At HOPE, our efforts to love and serve families in poverty are rooted in our allegiance to our Lord and Savior and our desire to see His Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. Believing that true transformation can only come from a relationship with Jesus Christ, HOPE engages in culturally appropriate discipleship in each of the countries in which we work. HOPE is committed to hiring Christian staff and equipping them to be disciple makers in their communities, and we seek to partner with local churches in each of our areas of operation to provide clients with ongoing discipleship and support.

Staff members in the U.S. share in times of prayer and devotions four days a week. Often, individual departments take that a step further. For example, the marketing team protects the first 20 minutes of each day from other meetings, allowing staff the option to start their day with the Lord. The administration team meets weekly for Bible study and prayer. These are just a few examples of how we encourage one another to grow in our relationships with God.

Can I visit the people HOPE serves?

We offer Experience HOPE Trips throughout the year to several countries of operation, and we’d love for you to join us! Learn more at www.hopetrips.org.

Where does HOPE serve?

The HOPE network includes HOPE-managed programs and partners in Burundi, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Malawi, Moldova, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, the Republic of Congo, Romania, Rwanda, Ukraine, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. HOPE also serves in two countries in Asia whose names have been withheld for security.

What is Homes for Hope (H4H)?

Homes for Hope is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that invites members of the building industry to do what they do best—build a home—to help alleviate global poverty. H4H helps builders recruit their trade partners—subcontractors, suppliers, and consultants—to build a Home for Hope on a largely pro bono basis (donated labor, materials, and consulting services). Builders contribute their net revenue, typically between $40,000 and $300,000, to HOPE once the home is sold.

How did the partnership between HOPE and Esperanza begin?

After researching opportunities in the Dominican Republic, HOPE decided to partner with an existing organization, Esperanza International, in May 2005. Though structurally distinct organizations, HOPE and Esperanza are like-minded in our commitment to holistic development with a special emphasis on church partnerships and spiritual growth. Many HOPE supporters experience Christ-centered economic development firsthand through an Experience HOPE Trip to visit Esperanza clients in the Dominican Republic.

How do HOPE’s partners benefit from being a part of the HOPE network?

In many countries, we partner with other organizations to effectively minister to physical and spiritual poverty in underserved areas. We believe that like-minded partnerships can maximize resources, avoid unnecessary duplication, and glorify God. All HOPE-network partners benefit from access to funding, strategic planning, technical assistance, leadership development, capacity building, lateral learning opportunities, spiritual integration guidance and accountability, and prayer support.

Is HOPE tied to a particular church or denomination?

No. We are a non-denominational, Christ-centered nonprofit organization that works in collaboration with many different churches and church denominations.

Business practices

What is a typical loan size for a HOPE-network client?

Loan sizes vary significantly by country. HOPE typically provides loans ranging from $100 to $2,000, enough to help clients develop a small business that can provide their families with food, schooling, and housing. Some HOPE programs also provide larger small-and-medium-enterprise (SME) loans to clients with a strong repayment history who are ready to scale their businesses. These loans range from $5,000 to $30,000 and help men and women create jobs and provide quality goods and services to their communities.

How does HOPE combine discipleship and poverty alleviation?

HOPE’s commitment to discipleship begins with our staff. Believing we cannot give what we do not have, HOPE is committed to hiring women and men with a demonstrated personal relationship with Christ. Opportunities for continued discipleship—such as regular times of prayer, devotions, and spiritual retreats—help our staff grow as disciples. Because most HOPE-network staff members are local to the areas they serve, they are aware of appropriate, culturally effective ways to share the Gospel. Each program or partner develops intentional strategies for deepening relationships with clients and looking for opportunities to meet their needs. As they deepen relationships with clients, HOPE-network staff share the Gospel as the Holy Spirit allows. Programs also develop intentional strategies to encourage clients who are already believers to grow in faith and obedience and to equip them for greater impact in their communities. Throughout this process, HOPE is committed to working in partnership with the local church, believing that ongoing spiritual formation and discipleship is best done in relationship with the local body of Christ.

What are some typical businesses of HOPE-network clients?

Because HOPE invests in the dreams of clients, their business ideas are based on their own creativity, passions, and local know-how. Typical business activities include running small restaurants or grocery stores; growing crops and raising animals; selling produce, clothing, small electronics, or baked goods; and providing services like sewing, haircuts, and car repair.

What are some of HOPE’s greatest challenges as an organization?

One of HOPE’s organizational values is to operate in places underserved by other organizations or institutions. This value comes with inherent complications, whether it be ongoing conflict, a high cost of living, currency devaluation, corruption, or underdeveloped infrastructure. Operations don’t always function as smoothly in these conditions, but we believe these are the places God has called us to serve. Rarely, as this HOPE staff member shares, we face the heartbreaking decision to close operations in a country when the operating environment becomes so challenging it puts other programs at risk.

Where will HOPE expand in the future?

Before we consider expanding, we first want to ensure that HOPE-network programs are centered on Christ and operating with quality. Within countries where we already serve, HOPE seeks to grow in a responsible manner that capitalizes on our knowledge of the working environment and the culture of a given area. When we do consider entering new countries, we look for underserved areas, places where poverty stifles dreams or the love of Christ isn’t known. We search for like-minded church partners or local ministries, which are essential to HOPE’s model. Because of the number of inquiries we receive, we are unfortunately unable to respond to individual requests for partnership.

How do you decide who receives a loan?

The process varies across programs and partners. In group lending programs, HOPE relies on social collateral, in which groups of people cross-guarantee each other’s loans. As a result, clients form groups with those they believe are capable and trustworthy. Loan officers provide training so clients are prepared to manage their loan, and they work with the group to review a variety of factors in the approval process. For those receiving individual loans, loan officers work with that individual to review business plans, amount requested, the current economic market, repayment history for repeat clients, etc. In savings groups, where members save their own money together, the group decides if and when to loan to one another from their pooled savings.

HOPE provides loans to people in poverty regardless of race, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, or marital status. There is no financial benefit or preferential treatment associated with conversion to faith in Christ.

What ministries does HOPE support?

Once HOPE-managed microfinance institutions become operationally self-sufficient, with local income covering local operating costs, they tithe 10 percent of proceeds to support local programs for children and youth. As much as possible, we select children’s programs carried out in collaboration with the local church. This commitment began with the Tomorrow Clubs, a ministry that now reaches over 17,000 children throughout Eastern Europe.

Do people repay their loans from HOPE?

HOPE has a loan repayment rate of 98 percent over the past five years.

Does HOPE only work with Christians?

HOPE serves people living in poverty regardless of their race, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, or marital status. There are no financial benefits or preferential treatment associated with conversion to faith in Christ.

Does HOPE charge interest?

Yes, HOPE-network clients pay interest at a rate that will eventually enable each microfinance institution (MFI) to become self-sufficient—ensuring that we’ll be able to serve clients for the long-term. Interest rates reflect their local context and are competitive and appropriate for HOPE-network areas of operation. When a HOPE program reaches self-sufficiency, it first contributes 10 percent of profits to local children’s ministries, then invests in reaching more clients or innovating with products to serve clients better, including lowering interest rates whenever possible.

Giving

How is HOPE funded?

The main sources of HOPE’s funding are individuals, churches, private or family foundations, and the Homes for Hope program. HOPE does not solicit government funding. See our Form 990 for details.

Still have questions? Read more frequently asked questions.