All M.Div. candidates are required to participate in integrative
seminars in their first and final years. For newly-entering students
the core course, Introduction to Ministry, focuses on developing ministers
as reflective practitioners in ministry. It includes peer group reflection,
spiritual growth, and vocation, as well as observation of various traditional
and alternative ministries.
seminars for seniors further the opportunity for reflection on the relationship
of academic work to the internship experience, vocational direction and
choices, and the application of theology in context. The principal assignment
is the composition of a Philosophy of Ministry paper, presented to a
Integrative Studies in Culture
SFTS is committed to including exposure to the many cultures of
our country and world in the education of candidates for the M.Div. students
are required to take at least one course dealing with the racial/ethnic
experience in the USA. A list of such courses, prepared in consultation
with the Racial/Ethnic Advisor, is available from the Registrar. Internship
in an appropriate setting may be substituted for the course requirement.
Students also are expected to participate in a structured multicultural
experience during their preparation for ministry. Fulfillment of this
- Experiential engagement with a contemporary culture or community
other than the student's own;
- Background reading on the chosen culture;
- Participation in group reflection;
- A paper synthesizing experience, reading, and reflection.
These criteria may be met by taking a course incorporating a study tour
with theological reflection, supplementing a course or previous experience
with appropriate projects, or serving an appropriate internship. Proposals
for fulfilling the requirement are approved by the Director of Field
Education and Integrative Studies.
SFTS requires all M.Div. candidates, regardless of their previous
experience or their status in an ordination process, to participate in
some form of supervised practice of ministry as part of their degree
program. Through this internship students engage in service learning
in various ministry settings, for terms of varying length, to fit their
denominational requirements and vocational development objectives. The purpose of the internship is to foster growth in the understanding and practice of ministry.
To achieve this growth, students, in consultation with the DFEIS and
their ordaining body, may tailor their internships to complete the M
Div program in either four or three years.
Students who choose a four-year plan do a full-time internship, usually
nine to fifteen months, between the middler and senior years or after
the third year of course work. This plan involves doing an internship
separate from the six semesters of course work. Candidates with less
prior experience in church work may design a four-year plan to become
better prepared in the broad range of ministerial functions.
Students who choose a three-year plan do their internship concurrent
with their course work. This plans involves doing a full-time internship
during the summer after the middler year, supplemented by part-time internship
along with course work either in the spring of the middler year or during
the fall of the senior year.
Internships may be completed at any approved site in the U.S. or overseas
and may include work at more than one placement, for example, participation
in a Clinical Pastoral Education program as well as service at a church.
Non-parish sites may be approved to fit individuals vocational
goals. Students are encouraged to include some form of multi-cultural
immersion experience in their plans for the intern year.
Interns, whether or not they register for courses other than internship,
are considered full-time students.
Before embarking on an internship students must meet the following conditions:
- Completion of at least 36 units including 24 units of core courses.
- Acceptance under care of presbytery (or as an inquirer) or the equivalent
ordaining body in the students denomination.
- Completion of a preliminary placement interview with the Director
of Field Education.
- Acceptance by an approved field placement site.
Students lacking any of the requirements under points 1 and 2 above
must petition for permission to begin an internship.