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Field Education Orientation
All new M.Div. students will receive introductory information about Field Education at the new student orientation at the beginning of each fall. Students will receive the Field Education Guidelines and have opportunity to speak personally with the Field Education Director about his or her situation and interests. Students that miss new student orientation will receive a copy of the guidelines by mail or e-mail and be expected to take initiative in contacting the Field Education Director.
Locating a Ministry Internship and Mentor
The initiative for securing an appropriate ministry site is the responsibility of the student. This search should be carried out in consultation with the Field Education Director. Students should network with seminary faculty, friends, denominational contacts and others to assist them in locating a ministry site. Once a preliminary agreement has been negotiated between a church and mentor and an RTS student, the Field Education Director’s final approval of the ministry site and mentor is required. Students should have a potential mentor complete a Mentor Information form.
Field Education Registration
At the beginning of the second year (or completion of 30 hours) the student must register for Field Education by filling out the Field Education Registration Form (click on Paperwork at the top). If the student begins seminary with a church and mentor intact, he or she can immediately register for Field Education and begin accumulating hours early in the Master of Divinity program. The registration includes information on the ministry site, nature of the student’s work, information about the pastor/mentor, the manner of supervision and the time frame of the internship. This registration should be turned in to the Field Education Office which begins a field education file for the student.
Approved pastors/mentors are required to listen to a training session designed by Dr. Don Fortson, former RTS/Charlotte Field Education Director. This training session is a one-hour presentation on Mentoring Seminary Students (found on the Mentors page). It provides an overview of field education procedures, insights on the mentoring process and instruction on supervision of ministry students.
Within the first month of beginning the internship, students must submit a learning covenant outlining his/her objectives for the internship. Learning covenants will include the necessary integration of intellectual development, ministry skill objectives, personal growth and spiritual maturity. See the Internship Learning Covenant Worksheet.
A student will meet with the pastor/mentor in supervisory sessions for not less than 12 contact hours during the internship. Students will come prepared each session with report on their ministry projects and questions that have arisen from the ministry context. Students will keep a record of these conferences in Reflection Notes which will be turned in with evaluations at the conclusion of the internship. Mentors are expected to give candid feedback to students in areas of progress and further growth both personally and professionally.
At the conclusion of the internship, evaluation forms will be completed by the student and mentor (found on the Paperwork page). Each student fills out the STUDENT REPORT which reviews the internship in the light of the original learning covenant; the report also evaluates the mentor and ministry site which gives the seminary feedback on the value of this site for future students. Mentors are asked to write a brief EVALUATION OF THE STUDENT to be returned to the Field Education Office. Students are responsible to see that these reports are turned in to the Field Education Office.
PT535 Field Education Seminar
After students have finished the 400 hour internship requirement they are ready to take the Field Education Seminar. The Seminar is a time for peer review with classmates as well as interaction with a seminar professor. Each student writes a Field Education Paper (found on the Seminar page) that candidly reviews his/her experience during the internship. The paper is shared in strict confidence in the seminar allowing complete freedom of dialog with peers and the professor. Attendance at all sessions of the Field Education Seminar is required. Students register for the seminar at regular registration for all classes. Grading for the seminar is pass/fail.