Union Theological Seminary Academics


Part-Time Internship, Advanced Level: FE 203/204

This course is designed as an independent study consisting of a field site, readings, and critical reflection regarding a specific experience in ministry. The overall goals of this course are: to provide a critical, reflective framework within which to explore a particular form of ministry; to grow in greater competency; and to engage in related theological reflection. FE 203-204 is open to students who wish to earn elective credit in Field Education. This course may also meet requirements for Field Education in the core curriculum for students with advanced experience in ministry, but only with the permission of the Senior Director of Integrative and Field-Based Education.

Field Site Requirements

Placement: Field Placements are comprised of supervised positions in approved churches or agencies. Work at the placement must be for at least 12-15 hours per week during the school semester. Job description and supervisory arrangements are outlined in a contract designed, agreed upon, and signed by the student and supervisor.

Supervision: The intern's supervisor should be on the staff of the congregation or agency and be able and willing to provide one hour per week of theological reflection and supervision with the intern. These supervisory sessions should focus on: a) theological reflection on the intern's ministry/work performed at the site, b) the intern’s responsibilities and assignments, c) support and nurture for the intern's sense of ministry and emerging sense of call.

Learning Agreement: The learning agreement between the student and the field site must be submitted to the Office of Integrative and Field-Based Education before the beginning of the semester.

Academic Requirements

Ministry Proposal: This proposal should be submitted to the IFE Staff within two weeks of the beginning of the semester. It should be 2-4 pages in length and should include the following information: a) focus of the ministry engaged at the site, b) learning goals for the semester, c) methods of achieving these goals, d) a bibliography of related readings, with a minimum of four books and three articles.

Meeting with the IFE Staff: The student is expected to meet once per month with the Senior Director for a minimum of three meetings during the semester. The purpose of these meetings is to discuss learning issues and concerns related to the site, as well as to engage in readings and theological reflection.

Online Discussion: Since this course is an independent study, there is no weekly seminar group reflection. However, some group reflection has proven to be valuable for students in this course setting. Therefore, each week, the Senior Director will post on the course website a general question for discussion to all of the students enrolled in the course.

This will elicit a group discussion and response from the perspective of each person’s individual ministry context. Each student is expected to participate in this online discussion process.

Project: This project, of the student’s own design with assistance from the IFE Staff, should address professional questions and theological concerns arising from the field placement experience. It should address the focus of ministry and learning goals developed during the semester, as well as the bibliography of readings. It should be 12-15 pages in length.

Evaluations: The student’s self-evaluation and supervisor's evaluation of the student are required at the end of each semester.

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