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Field Education Seminar (PT535)
The seminar is normally taken during the senior year because it provides opportunity for reflection on and evaluation of the required 400 hours of Field Education experience. Each student is required to submit a paper to be presented orally in a session of the seminar. Each student will have one seminar-hour for the presentation. The paper is to reflect discussion about the internship in the areas indicated below. The paper should be read and should usually be accompanied by extemporaneous elaboration that enhances the content being presented. This presentation should be done in thirty minutes. The remaining time of the one-hour seminar will afford seminar members and opportunity to respond to the presenter by addressing questions to the presenter or adding helpful observations. The nature of the assignment often calls for allusions to people and situations that may be readily identified. Therefore, no papers will be distributed to anyone not in the seminar. In addition, the presenter should collect his papers at the end of the seminar. The destroying of the papers will ensure confidentiality for the author. Visitors, including prospective students may not attend the seminar. Warning Regarding Strict Confidentiality: Anyone who discusses or circulates seminar papers, his or someone else's, outside the circle of those registered for the course will not receive credit for the seminar and may be subject to disciplinary action.
In the first session of the seminar each term a schedule will be established for presentation of the papers. These may be distributed personally, placed in campus mailboxes or transmitted electronically (preferable). Students are expected to read the papers prior to attendance at the seminars.
Because of the interactive nature of the seminar, students are expected to attend each session. The requirements for class attendance spelled out in the seminary catalogue apply to this seminar, which is required for graduation but for which no credit hours are granted.
Although no texts are required for this course, a relevant book in the Reformed tradition is mentioned for helpful reading and future reference: From Generation to Generation: The Renewal of the Church According to Its Own Theology and Practice, John H. Leith.
The Matters to be Covered in the Paper
This is a reflective paper, rather than a research paper. Materials from the student's journal and general notes may be used. In writing the seminar paper, the student should include the following:
- An outline of the student's education background, present church affiliation and status - candidate, licentiate, ordained. Any significant employment history and the history of the student's church ministry opportunities prior to the field education internship. One page or less.
- Curriculum Vitae: data commonly included on a resume - ministry experience on which the report is based: dates, titles(s), responsibilities, accomplishments. About 1/2 page.
- Theology of Ministry: a statement of the values, attitudes and goals of the student brought to the ministry experience. The student should make explicit what was understood as ministry in terms of service to Christ and His people, in the church, in homes and in the world. Was the student aware of this theology in the practice of ministry? About 1 and 1/2 pages.
- Ministry Situation: a comprehensive, compassionate and truthful description of the setting and the people ministered to during the internship. Pseudonyms may be used as needed so as to maintain some measure of anonymity. However, candor is helpful in this section (as in others that follow). About 2 pages.
- Strengths and weaknesses: The student needs to be candid in self-evaluation. Strengths should not be looked on as boasts, nor weaknesses as self-deprecation. The confidential nature of the seminar should encourage honesty. About 3 pages.
- Relationship: A frank analysis of difficult relationships and conflict resolution. About 2 pages.
- Other Relationships: A frank analysis and assessment of problems or strained relationships you observed in others. About 1 (or 1/2) page.
- Seminary Preparation: How did your seminary experience, prior to and/or concurrent with the internship, prepare you, facilitate or enhance your service and/or hinder the preparation for this field education experience? One page (or less).
- What might have been in your seminary preparation to have made this field education experience more effective. One page or less.
- Describe the relationship with the field education supervisor. How could this relationship have been developed into greater helpfulness?
- Learning: a summary of the fundamental lessons you learned about the Lord and ministry, about yourself and about others during the field education experience. How does this accord with the student's theology of ministry? Indicate some of the "unexpected" happenings, answers to prayer and "impossible" situations. About 2 pages.
- What did the intern observe the Lord Himself do during this experience? What does the student expect this observation will do for the future ministry?
- Comment on the effect of the seminary experience and the field education internship on the student's walk with the Lord (devotional use of the Bible, prayer life, witnessing, etc.).
- Comment on the effect of the seminary experience and the internship on the marriage and family life of the student.
- Comment on the matter of maintaining proper relaxation and physical exercise.
The catalog calls for a PASS or FAIL grade. This is not an arbitrary grade. It is based on faithful attendance at the weekly seminar, participation in the discussions, observance of Strict Confidentiality and satisfactory completion of assigned work.