The typical MDiv student undertakes a field education assignment for each of four semesters (normally the first two years of a full-time program). For most students the first two semesters of field education will be experienced via a “rotational model,” in which students visit a number of different congregations to compare and contrast ministry styles. In some cases, however, a student, in consultation with Dr. Charles Leonard, Field Education Coordinator, may be permitted to engage in “first-year” field education via placement at a designated site.
Concurrent with the first two semesters of field education, whether rotational or at a site, is participation in a field education ministry reflection group, which meets weekly on campus and provides opportunities for reflection and discernment. Registration for field education includes assignment to a reflection group, and successful completion of the field education unit requires satisfactory participation in the reflection group.
The second year of field education for all students involves placement at a designated site. This practicum consists of working a limited number of hours each week (during the academic year) in a congregation or agency under the guidance of an approved supervisor. Students participate in worship planning, leadership, spiritual formation, visitations, and Christian education activities. In consultation with the Field Education Coordinator, students are assigned sites most appropriate to their discerned calls.
In general, it is advisable that students begin either first-year or second-year field education in the Fall Semester. Students seeking to begin field education in a Spring Semester are required to consult first with Dr. Charles Leonard as to the appropriateness of such a registration.
No student will be permitted to engage in field education without having completed the required criminal and child abuse background checks. Any contextual education experience for which a student is registered will be voided if clearance has not been certified by October 15 of the Fall Semester. For information concerning these background checks, contact Enrollment Services.