UDSI Information

The Urban Doxology Songwriting Internship (UDSI) is an intensive eight-week leadership development program offered in partnership by Arrabon and East End Fellowship. Interns participate in a learning experience of the following subjects: 1) biblical theology and exposition 2) worship studies with a focus on multicultural worship 3) race, class and culture 4) songwriting and 5) community engagement.

Interns will spend the remainder of their time writing songs, rehearsing music, and planning worship for a congregation in the urban context.

Interns are expected to be active participants in the East End Fellowship and Church Hill community of Richmond, VA. They’ll engage in neighborhood events and build meaningful relationships with EEF families and community members.

Eligibility and Qualifications

We are looking for enthusiastic applicants who will make the most of this unique opportunity! Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 25. Hiring decisions are based on the applicant’s demonstrated interest and self-discipline, ability to live in Church Hill for eight weeks, past work/internship experience, extracurricular activities, and video or audio submission. Skill in at least one instrument (including voice) and demonstration of an aptitude for songwriting is crucial. Interns with the ability to sing are strongly encouraged to apply. Only serious and dedicated applicants should apply.

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participation expectations

Interns are expected to:

  • Reside in Church Hill for the duration of the 8-week internship. Interns will be provided housing with “host families”. Host families are usually members of the East End Fellowship worshiping community.

  • Engage in cultivating relationships with their host families, fellow interns, and the East End Fellowship worshiping community.

  • Write music in a structured environment.

  • Complete all tasks as assigned by Program Director.

  • A car is not required, but interns are encouraged to bring a car if they are able.

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study program requirements

Interns are expected to:

  • Fully participate in the study program. This involves reading assignments, thoughtful participation in discussions, submitting response papers, and blogging.

  • Attend all lectures, writing sessions, rehearsals and meetings, daily and on time.

  • Read at least 150 pages of text per week, often more. Reading materials will be provided, and there will be some pre-arrival reading material required as well.

  • Complete daily/weekly homework assignments.

  • Bring a laptop, iPad or other device with recording capabilities that can be used for note-taking and has the ability to access the internet.


application requirements

Prospective interns are required to:

  • Fill out a general application form that helps us get to know you, your motivations for applying, and your readiness for this internship.

  • Submit audio and video selections of your songwriting and/or performing abilities.

  • Get an authority figure to fill out a reference form for you.

  • Complete the songwriting exercise. This assignment gives you a taste of the kind of work you will be doing this summer and helps us see what you bring to the table in reference to commissioned songwriting.

frequently asked questions

1. Is it paid?

Yes, $1500. You will be paid in three installments of $500 over the course of the summer.

2. Can I have a job in addition to the internship?

Interns are strongly discouraged from working outside jobs. We’ve found it’s difficult for interns to be fully present when working an outside job in addition to the internship.

3. What if I’ve never written a song before?

That’s fine! We still encourage you to apply. We’ll develop those songwriting skills throughout the course of the program.

4. Do I have to live with a host family?

Yes, living with a host family is an integral part of your community engagement. They are nice people and will love you well!

5. What should I expect during a week of the songwriting internship?

Interns arrive at the East End offices at 8:30am Monday-Thursday. During the day, there is a mixture of classes, spiritual development, and larger chunks of songwriting time. There is an hour break for lunch each day. There is some freedom of workplace during the day, but focused work is expected until 5:00pm each day. Friday has a different pace, with the afternoon set aside for worship rehearsal. Saturdays are a free day that we encourage interns to think of as a Sabbath - focusing on activities that are restorative for the following week. Finally, Sundays are a time to practice worship leading skills. Each week, you will lead worship at East End Fellowship in the afternoons for our 4pm service. In July, you will also lead worship at a variety of other churches in the Richmond area in the mornings. Some evenings will also include activities like hosted meals from families in the community. Participating in UDSI requires a high level of commitment, but it is well worth your time and effort!

6. Why is an urban songwriting internship a good investment of my time?

Check out this article to read about how the internship is impacting lives.

7. What is the application deadline?

April 13, 2020! We look forward to reviewing your applications and will notify you of your status about a week after the application deadline.

8. What are the start and end dates of the internship?

The first day is Sunday, May 31st and the final day is Monday, July 27th!

9. I have more questions. Who should I talk to?

Our Internship Director is Elena Aronson. You can email her at elena@arrabon.com with any questions that come up as you apply or prepare for the internship.