Union Theological Seminary Academics


Integrative and Field-Based Education FAQ

Do I take classes while I am working at a field placement?

Yes. In the second year of your M.Div. program, you will enroll in FE 103-104. This course includes a weekly two-hour seminar with a 12-15 hour a week field placement, in addition to your other courses. If you are fulfilling the field education requirement through the full-time option, you will enroll in FE 300/301, which includes a full-time placement, along with a course taken as an independent study; you will not be enrolled in other courses.

Can I create my own field placement?

Yes. In consultation with the Senior Director of Integrative and Field-Based Education, you have the option of creating a field placement that best suits your vocational and personal interests. Please consult the Integrative and Field-Based Education Handbook for the process and requirements for this option.

Do I get paid for my field placement?

Yes. There is a required minimum stipend, $3,300, with which the field placement must compensate students for work done at the site. Often the field placement will pay the student more than the minimum, but never less.

I’m thinking of transferring to Union. I have done a field placement at another seminary. Can I transfer these credits to my Union program?

Typically, no. However, we consider each transfer request individually, seeking to assess how comparable the experience has been. We consider such factors as vocational goals, previous ministerial experience, and type of field placement.

My denomination requires me to have a year-long internship for ordination. How can the Office of Integrative and Field-Based Education help me?

The FE 300/301 course is an option designed specifically for this purpose. This course allows students the opportunity to fulfill the Field Education requirement for the Master of Divinity degree program, and simultaneously fulfill the ordination requirements for many denominations. The Office of IFE will work with you and your denominational representative to place you in a site that meets both Union’s requirements and those of your denomination.

Can I fulfill my Field Education requirement by taking CPE?

No. Generally, the Field Education requirement is not met through this option. In very specific cases, if the educational goals of FE 103/104 have been met, the Senior Director may consider CPE as an option. Approval of the Senior Director is granted on an individual basis.

I can’t choose between two field sites. Can I work at two field placements?

No. Students enrolled in the FE103/104 may only complete one learning agreement for one field placement. A student may work at a second field site for experience only, not academic credit.

Can I take my field education in my senior of M.Div. program?

No. Field education requirement must be met before the final year of M.Div. program. The student is expected to integrate the field education experience and identified learning needs in the third year of her/his M.Div. program.

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