The goal of field education is to offer opportunities for formative experiences in ministry outside the classroom. Possible field education sites include: churches, hospital chaplaincies, retirement homes, university campuses, social service agencies, and local urban shelters. Through field education, you will learn about yourself and will be shaped by experiences in practice of ministry, encounters with the people with whom you serve, and the wisdom of a skilled supervisor.
Our Field Education Coordinator, Rev. Elizabeth G. Nissley, provides support to students, the teaching church or institution, and the approved On-Site Supervisor. During Field Education, you are led to examine your life skills in pastoral care, preaching, church administration, and social ministries. You also take time regularly for self-reflection.
Here at LTS, we take field education very seriously. We partner with a variety of church denominations and institutions to prepare students for their future ministries. Field education is required for all Master of Divinity students during the 200-level in the Ministerial Formation Program.
It is the responsibility of each student to choose a site and supervisor that will meet the guidelines set by LTS. Possible field education sites for students include: churches, hospital chaplaincies, retirement homes, university campuses, social service agencies, and local urban shelters. A student can serve at the same site for two years or select two different sites during the two years of field education.
Students design their own learning covenants based upon their vocational plans, the pastoral skills they need to learn, and the pastoral experience they need; the objective is to help students meet their denominational requirements for ordination and become transformational ministers.
In their field education, students learn about themselves. They are shaped by the experiences in their practices of ministry, encounters with the people with whom they serve, and the wisdom of a skilled supervisor who will accompany them in this discernment process. In addition to providing students with the opportunity to engage in supervised ministries, students are also expected to reflect theologically upon their ministerial experiences.
In order for this teaching model to work effectively, our Field Education Coordinator provides support to the student, the teaching church or institution, the approved On-Site Supervisor, and, upon request, the lay committee. With the help of the On-Site Supervisor and Field Education Coordinator, students in ministry formation are led to examine their life skills in pastoral care, preaching, church administration, and social ministries. They also take time regularly for self-reflection.
Seeking to fulfill our mission to serve God by educating and strengthening transformational leaders for congregations, other settings of ministry, and society, our field education requirement provides the necessary elements for transformational experience to occur in the areas of:
- Vocational discernment
- Confirming the call to leadership
- Exploration of ministerial options
- Development of pastoral skills
- Deeper self-awareness and sense of pastoral identity
Ministry Seminars actively integrate faith, theological studies, spiritual practices, relationships, and ministry by exploring the challenges of shaping lives of faith, ministry, and leadership. Each student enrolled in the Master of Divinity program is required to register for Ministry Seminars 100, 200, and 300.
In the early part of ministry seminars, you begin the discipline of processing and integrating the various aspects of the Master of Divinity program. Practice, reflection, writing, presentations, and group discussions are the main methods. You are introduced to spiritual practices from different courses. As you continue in your ministry seminars, you continue integrating the various aspects of the Master of Divinity program through spiritual practices, reflection, writing, presentations, and discussion. In addition, you will research and explore the explicit and implicit expectations for ministry within your denominational context to become more fully equipped to discern the mission of your denomination and your willingness and ability to commit yourself to that mission. Towards the conclusion of the ministry seminars, you reflect theologically on your field education experiences. Utilizing both your experience and the accounts of other ministers, you carefully consider what it means to make a commitment to a life of ministry.Files: 3
The Comprehensive Vocation Review is a key requirement for students in the Master of Divinity program. The review is an opportunity for you to receive feedback concerning your participation in the Seminary program and your readiness and suitability for your chosen vocation. The team also will make recommendations concerning your final stages in Seminary and preparations for ministry. The review session will be conducted by the student, faculty member, ministerial guide, judicatory representative or mentor in one’s desired field, the FE supervisor, and one student peer. The session typically lasts 1.5 – 2 hours.
Goals of the CVR:
- To assess a student's progress in the program and ability to continue;
- To provide care and support for the student;
- To assess a student’s readiness for his or her vocation;
- To review, and modify when necessary, the formation goals of the student;
- To counsel a student about his or her FE placement plan;
- To advise, when needed, a modification of study plans given the particularities of the student;
- To communicate, when applicable, with judicatory representatives about the progress of a candidate for ministry.
The International Cross-Cultural Requirement is to engage in the appreciation of others and to embrace God’s love for all peoples. It is imperative that leaders for the church remain open and sensitive to other people’s and peoples’ realities, and become self-critically aware of their own heritage to theological, cultural, ethnic, racial, gender, and socioeconomic biases and other historical conditioning. It is also imperative that church leaders be cognizant and appreciative of the church elsewhere on earth, in the diversity of its expression.
Educational Goals of the Cross-Cultural Seminar:
- Social and economic otherness (e.g., poverty, wealth);
- National and cultural otherness (e.g., another country with a primary language different from one’s own);
- Racial and ethnic otherness (e.g., situations where Euro-American culture is not dominant);
- Ideological otherness (e.g., different theological and political convictions);
- Ecclesiastical otherness (e.g., different pieties, liturgies, polities, mission emphases).
Such experience and reflection are to include what such otherness means for oneself personally and vocationally, and also for the church, its nature, vocation and ministry.
The International Cross-Cultural Seminar is a two-week encounter in a Latin American, Middle Eastern, African, Asian, or Eastern European setting, intended to generate an appreciation of social, political, economic, and ecclesial otherness within MDiv students.
The Cross-Cultural Seminar begins the semester before the trip with preparatory meetings. After the trip there is a retreat for reflection, a debriefing, and a presentation to the Seminary community. The Seminary Dean selects the destinations.
Students are required to expose themselves to and reflect upon social and economic otherness; national and cultural otherness; racial and ethnic otherness; ideological otherness; ecclesiastical otherness. Such experience and reflection include what otherness means personally and vocationally, and also for the church, its nature, vocation, and ministry.
- Israel/Palestine – 2019, 2014, 2010
- Mexico – 2018, 2015
- Kenya – 2017
- Haiti/Dominican Republic - 2016
- Egypt – 2013, 2009
- Caribbean - 2012
- India – 2011, 2008, 2004
- Thailand - 2011
- South Africa -2008, 2002
- Central America - 2007
- Turkey & Lebanon - 2006
- Ghana - 2005
- Cuba - 2003
The International Cross-Cultural Seminar is open to students at the 200-level of the MDiv program (after the 2nd year for those in the weekday program and after 3 years for weekend students). Travel expenses (hotel, meals, and transportation) are included in the MDiv tuition.
Exceptions and alternatives to the International Cross-Cultural Seminar can be found in the Student Handbook.