Advance Internship Program

The Internship Program is for men and women who want to evaluate a potential call to vocational or volunteer ministry within the local church or community. This program is designed to prepare and effectively train leaders who will advance the gospel in a variety of contexts. 


Interns are expected to serve 12 hours a week within the church for one full year in a staff-like capacity. They will have significant leadership responsibilities in a specific area of ministry. 

Not only will they receive actual ministry training, they will also benefit from 8 courses through Advance Institute. Provided through Acts 29 and Porterbrook Network, these courses are rich in theology, doctrine, cultural and personal application.

Additionally, each intern will receive a fully paid mission trip or training conference where they will benefit from an equipping environment away from the local church context.

Other important Information

Application (Deacon Assessment)

Nicole Blackwell


Although she was raised in Butler, Nicole attended college in Wisconsin at Northland International University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in English Education. She currently lives in Gibsonia, and in addition to serving as an intern at Advance, she is also working on her Master’s degree and working part time. She enjoys reading, drinking coffee, kayaking, and rollerblading.

As she learns more about the various ministries within Advance, Nicole will focus on those areas that involve teaching and training. She is excited to develop her gift of teaching within the church and for God’s kingdom.

Erin Bender


Erin moved to Pittsburgh 10 years ago from Chicago, but grew up in Minnesota. She has bachelors degree in Psychology and Communication Studies from Evangel University in Missouri. She and her husband Matt live in Allison Park with their three daughters. She enjoys reading and snuggles with her girls, family game nights and hikes, running, knitting, healthy cooking, very dark chocolate, and lingering coffee dates with friends. 

As an intern, Erin is excited to develop skills in Biblical Counseling and deepen her understanding of theology and doctrine. She knows lives are transformed by the truth of God's word and in the safe context of biblical community. She wants to grow in her ability to help others in this way. Erin will be serving Advance in the areas of administration and support of community groups.