Selection of Supervised Ministry Sites
Supervised Ministry Sites are “Approved Sites” or “Partner Sites.” A file of these sites is kept in the academic life office.
“Approved sites” are approved by the faculty on a one-year provisional basis. This approval is sought at the initiation of the student or the site. The process of becoming an approved site begins with a conversation between the potential site supervisor and the Supervised Ministry faculty. After information is gathered about the site, including site supervisor resume and references, the full faculty approves the site, the supervisor, and the site committee.
Supervised Ministry Site Selection Process
Each candidate for the Master of Divinity degree is required to engage in a full academic year (Fall and Spring terms) of Supervised Ministry. Supervised Ministry is normally taken during the second year of study in the M. Div. program and involves twelve hours per week of practical, guided experience in a teaching site.
The site selection process of discernment for Supervised Ministry begins in February and includes the following:
- February: Students attend the mandatory Site Fair, where students gain information about the Supervised Ministry program, hear about possible sites for Supervised Ministry, and meet potential supervisors. Students may read the descriptions current Sites kept on file by Supervised Ministry faculty and staff.
- Students in an ordination process shall consult with their denominations committee to gain clarity about denominational guidelines or field-based requirements.
- Students may consult with the designated Supervised Ministry faculty or their faculty adviser for additional information to assist with site dicernment process.
- March: Students have two main tasks in March: 1. Complete the Background Check process and turn in the Release Form. 2. Network, by going to site and meeting with potential supervisors.
- April 15: Site Supervisor’s Covenant is due.
- May 15: Learning Covenants and Time Log must be turned in to the Supervised Ministry faculty. The Supervised Ministry faculty shall send a formal confirmation of the site to the supervisor.
The teaching site provides the field-based learning opportunity for one student and agrees to offer the student a wide exposure to the practice of ministry so that he/she may exercise leadership, initiative, and creativity in ministry.
The teaching site specifically affords each student the possibility to accomplish a wide range of learning goals in the many areas of personal and professional growth, as they are appropriate to the selected site. Sites should be selected with the students’ learning goals in mind.
Each student should have some exposure to the following arts and activities of ministry: pastoral care, calling, hospital visitation, teaching, meeting leadership, baptisms, communion, weddings, wedding rehearsals, and funerals. When these ministries are not easily available within a congregation or agency, the Supervised Ministry program may augment the students’ experiences by pairing the student for a particular experience with a supervisor and student from another site.
A committee of representatives of the congregation or agency, usually called a “site committee,” works with the student on a regular basis to help the student learn from his or her experience. This committee represents a different place in the social structure of the institution than the supervisor and, therefore, broadens the point of view for interpreting the student’s ministry.
Students spend three hours a week in class for twenty-six weeks. Students will have some limited preparation for class. Churches and agencies should expect students to spend approximately twelve hours per week throughout the academic year in Supervised Ministry (usually September through mid-May, excluding official school holidays and other designated times when class is not in session). The total of class and field placement time is 312 hours per year. Students are encouraged to establish their relationship with the site in the summer preceding the class and to begin to accumulate hours. If students work during summer or the January term, the hours may be calculated in the total hours. Students will keep a log of hours and how they were spent. This twelve-hour time period includes preparation time for duties in the church or agency, as well as time actually spent in the site.
Students may not do Supervised Ministry in their “home congregation.” A home congregation is defined as a congregation that is recommending a student for ordination or guiding a student in the ordination process.
Churches and agencies should consult with the Supervised Ministry faculty whenever concerns arise within the Supervised Ministry site. Early consultation can be very helpful in resolving issues between the student and teaching site.