Field Education

Field Education

As an M.Div. student, Field Education will be an important component of your M.Div. degree program. You must complete one internship or one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education to meet your minimum field education requirement. However, you may wish to pursue a more robust field education plan, combining multiple field education experiences. The Field Education program at SFTS is coordinated through the Office of the Dean. Two plans are available for completing your field education requirement.

Designing Your Field Education Plan


Below are the steps to follow to design your unique field education plan:

  1. Complete at least 24 units of course work including Orientation to Theological Education, at least two semesters of Interdisciplinary Lectures, and any coursework that will be especially relevant for your desired field education setting, such as preaching, worship, or pastoral care.
  2. Make an appointment with the Director of Field Education for an initial conference.
  3. If you are seeking ordination, consult with your ordaining body on their internship and/or CPE requirements.
  4. Successfully complete the GTU Sexual Harassment Prevention Quiz and provide confirmation to the Office of Vocations.
  5. After consulting with the Director of Field Education, make an appointment with potential supervisors to discuss possible placement.
  6. Once a site looks like a good fit, check back in with the Director of Field Education to verify that that site will meet the requirements for SFTS.
  7. Reach agreement with supervisor at a particular site. This will include clarifying position description, finalizing Learning Service Agreement and signing any financial agreement if the internship site offers any stipend. (Be sure to get approval of the site from your ordaining body before agreeing to the position.)
  8. Make sure your final Learning Service Agreement (LSA) includes:
    • Completed learning service agreement with SFTS habits & skills incorporated
    • Position description
    • Shepherding committee names
    • Signature of supervisor
  9. Verify that you have registered for the internship with the Registrar. You cannot be registered until the Director of Field Education has reviewed and signed your Learning Service Agreement.
  10. Turn in your completed Learning Service Agreement to the Office of Vocations.

Internship Site Guidelines

Any accredited Clinical Pastoral Education program, including the SFTS curriculum-based CPE program, is eligible to be considered an approved field education site for an SFTS intern. If you are considering a church, nonprofit, or other alternative ministry setting, you will want to look for the following qualities:

  • A mission in line with your long-term vocational and career goals.
A stable setting where you are confident you’ll be able to complete your requirement (in most cases, 9 months of part-time internship).
  • 
Access to a supportive, well-rounded mentor who will serve as your supervisor. This supervisor must be an ordained minister as laid out in the Field Education Handbook.
  • Offers a variety of ministry experiences, such as preaching and worship leadership, pastoral care, teaching and group facilitation, administrative duties, volunteer organizing, program promotion and outreach.
  • Some component of public leadership that can be evaluated by members in the community served (i.e. preaching, teaching, organizing and chairing public meetings)
.
  • Time for reflection with both the supervisor and a Shepherding Committee (persons to whom the intern can turn for advice and counsel throughout the internship).

Those in the ordination process with a denomination would be wise to gain approval of a site from the governing body overseeing the process before agreeing to an internship there. Failure to do so will not disqualify the site as a possibility for the SFTS program but may result in extra work for the student.

Forms

Below are the required forms that must be completed by the student throughout the duration of their internship for completion of the Field Education requirement.

Supervised Practice of Ministry Agreement
An agreement for the church/seminarian-intern/Field Ed office.

Learning Service Agreement
Similar to a position description – it includes seminary requests for learning in such areas as the “practical affairs of a congregation,” as well as explicit identification of the habit and skill addressed in each learning objective. (A sample of a completed Learning Service Agreement is included as a FYI.)

Worksheet for Requirements
Provides a listing for dates associated with major internship requirements such as theological reflection papers, preaching dates and evaluations.

Sermon Evaluation
The form that a supervisor, shepherding committee member, or other laity should use to evaluate the intern’s preaching assignments.

First Internship Evaluation
An evaluation of the first month of internship process.

Mid Internship Evaluation
Intern and supervisor – an evaluation of internship agreements and accomplishments in the ministry setting.

Final Internship Evaluation
Intern and supervisor – a closure or exit evaluation of the intern’s ministry experiences and growth.

Post-Internship Assessment
A self evaluation assessment of the internship completed by the intern.

Assessment of Intern Supervisor
The intern’s evaluation of the supervisory experience during the internship.

Additional Materials

To arrange an appointment with the Director of Field Education, Rev. Dr. Deana Reed, or learn more about internship requirements, please contact:

Petey Thornton, Executive Assistant to the Dean
pthornton@sfts.edu | 415-451-2860 | 800-447-8820, x860 | fax 415-451-2854