Contextual Education is a very important part of theological education and preparation for ordination in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The goal for internship is to find opportunities for seminarians to gain practical experience in their preparation for church leadership. The contextual education experience is designed to help students in the following areas:

  • To better understand the connection between the classroom and the field
  • Help in the discernment of call/vocation
  • Help in spiritual formation
  • Help with discernment of gifts, strengths and limitations
  • Help in development of professional skills for ministry

The congregation of St. Paul’s – Red Hill has served as an internship site in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for over fifteen years.

The following individuals have served St. Paul’s since 1995.

1995-1996 David Lindvet
1996-1997 Matthew Crane
1997-1998 Stephen Bohannon
1998-1999 Justin Johnson
1999-2000 Louise Kaplan
2001-2004 Henrik Sonntag
2004-2005 Wayne Boldyga
2005-2006 Joe McGarry
2006-2007 Andy Evenson
2007-2008 Mindy Roll
2008-2009 Christoph Schmidt
2009-2010 Jack Ambuka
2010-2111 Intern not available
2011-2012 Ryan Ferwerda
2012-2013 Chris McKinstry
2013-2014 Phillip Waselik
2014-15 Leah Woehr – Grande

Note 1:  Henrik Sonntag was a seminarian from East Germany.  He was 18 when the Berlin Wall came down.  Subsequently he entered seminary in Germany and came to St. Paul’s as part of a three year international immersion program to be ordain in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Note 2.  Jack Ambuka as born and raised in Kenya (East-Africa).Jack relocated to the United States in 2006.

Note 3:  Leah Woehr-Grande came to St. Paul’s as second year student at the Lutheran Seminary in Philadelphia.

Archived Biographies

Ryan Ferwerda and his wife Betsy came to St. Paul’s – Red Hill by way of the Lutheran Seminary in Philadelphia and the Eastern North Dakota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Growing up in Saint Paul, Minnesota Ryan began his education in a Lutheran grade school and Lutheran high school. His education continued at North Dakota State University in Fargo, North Dakota starting in 2004. While attending North Dakota State Ryan received his degree in University Studies which allowed him to study subjects such as Religion and Children & Family Science. Ryan graduated from North Dakota State in December 2008 and he and his wife moved to Philadelphia the following fall.

Ryan served his internship year at St. Paul’s – Red Hill from September 2011 – August 2012.

Biographies of some of our previous pastoral interns.

Christopher McKinstry grew up in Syracuse, NY and attended Calvary Chapel, a small non-denominational church in Syracuse.

As a youth he was baptized and learned about the Scriptures. He left Syracuse in August 2003 to attend Houghton College in Houghton, NY. His undergraduate studies included: religion and the Bible as well as theology and psychology.

Christopher was drawn to books on Lutheran Theology and subsequently entered the candidacy process through the Upstate New York Synod which leads to ordination in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Christopher served his internship year at St. Paul’s – Red Hill from September 2010 – August 2011.

Jack Ambuka

Jack Ambuka was born and raised in Kenya (East-Africa). He was active in the Anglican church of Kenya and during his university studies discerned a call to parish ministry.

Jack relocated to the United States in 2006 and subsequently entered the candidacy process through the Southeastern PA Synod which leads to ordination in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Although his home village in Kenya has no electricity, running water or cable television he has become a fan of Facebook.

Jack served his internship year at St. Paul’s – Red Hill from September 2009 – August 2010.

Henrik and Jean Sonntag

Henrik Sonntag was born in East Germany and was 18 when the Berlin Wall came down. Although he was baptized as an infant, Henrik grew up without having any significant exposure to the church as a young boy. His faith journey expanded when he was asked to play music at a church. He enjoyed performing, and found the loving community of the church compelling. He found himself interested in the Youth activities, including Bible studies and worship. His faith grew over the years as he studied theology. Upon graduating from Leipzig University he thought a calling in the ministry would be the next step in his faith development.

In the summer of 2001 Henrik registered with the candidacy committee of the Southeastern PA Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.  In September 2001 he arrived in Red Hill from Germany and began his internship at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church – Red Hill in preparation for ordination.

Henrik served St. Paul’s as an intern and pastoral assistant from September 2001 to May 2004.  In May 2004 he married Dr. Jean Bai during a service of Holy Communion at St. Paul’s-Red Hill.  Scripture readings and vows were shared in English, German and Korean.
The following seminarians have served St. Paul’s since 1995.

1995-1996 David Lindvet
1996-1997 Matthew Crane
1997-1998 Stephen Bohannon
1998-1999 Justin Johnson
1999-2002 Louise Kaplan
2001-2002 Henrik Sonntag
2002-2003 Henrik Sonntag
2003-2004 Henrik Sonntag
2004-2005 Wayne Boldyga
2005-2006 Joe McGarry
2006-2007 Andy Evenson
2007-2008 Mindy Roll
2008-2009 Christoph Schmidt
2009-2010 Jack Ambuka
2010-2111 Intern not available
2011-2012 Ryan Ferwerda
2012-2013 Chris McKinstry
2013-2014 Phillip Waselik
2nd year Seminarian
2014-15 Leah Woehr – Grande

Note 1:  Henrik Sonntag was a seminarian from East Germany.  He was 18 when the Berlin Wall came down.  Subsequently he entered seminary in Germany and came to St. Paul’s as part of a three year international immersion program to be ordain in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Note 2:  Leah Woehr-Grande is a second year student at the Lutheran Seminary in Philadelphia.