Garrett-Evangelical News

Frequently Asked Questions

Is field education required?

Field education is required for students earning an MDiv, an MA in Christian Education or an MA in Evangelism.

What is the length of the field education requirement?

MDiv students take field education for 2 years. MA students have a one year requirement.

When do students do field education?

MDiv students do field education during their 2nd and 3rd years. MA students with a field education requirement usually do this during the 2nd year.

Is it possible to do field education in the summer?

Students who have completed one year of field education may complete their second requirement during the summer with approval from the Director of Field Education.

What kinds of field sites are available?

We place students in a variety of churches in the city, suburbs and neighboring states. There are a variety of denominations and Korean and Spanish-speaking sites. There are opportunities to work with church agencies, a variety of chaplaincy settings, CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) programs and social justice ministries. Third year students may serve in a summer internship or mission in the US or abroad.

How much time do students spend working at the field site?

Students are required to spend 15 hours working at or on behalf of the site during the entire academic year.  There are 3 weeks of vacation time that are negotiated with the site supervisor. A student completing a second field experience during the summer must make a comparable time commitment.

Are students required to serve at their field sites during school breaks?

Yes. School breaks are not field site breaks. Students are required to serve at the field site from September through May. That includes all school breaks and J-Term.  Students are granted three weeks of vacation time, but it is very strongly recommended that students remain present at the site during Christmas and Easter and any other time important to the life of a particular congregation.

How does a church or agency become a field education site?

A pastor, chaplain or agency director should begin the process by contacting the Director of Field Education.  We ask that a Site Inquiry Form be completed and submitted to the field education office.  (You can access that form under Field Site Information on this website.) We ask that offers of site supervision begin with the Director of Field Education rather than with the student.

Are appointed Licensed Local Pastors required to do field education?

Yes. Appointed clergy may use their appointment as their field site. They will need to identify another pastor to serve as a supervisor/mentor who is willing to meet regularly with the student and complete the required documents and evaluations.

If a student has a paid staff position at a church, is it possible to use that to meet the field education requirement?

If the position offers the student a broad range of learning experiences, a student may use a paid staff position as a field education site with the approval of the Director of Field Education.  The expectation is that the student has been employed at the site for at least one year.

Is it possible to do both years of field education at the same site?

Yes. MDiv students may do two field education requirements at the same site or do the second field experience at a different site. Arrangements for the second field placement will be made with the Director of Field Education.

Is it possible for students to use the home church as a field site?

Generally not.  The main objectives in field education are that the student identify her/his own call to ministry and develop a pastoral identity and leadership style.  These objectives are not easily met when relationships and expectations have already been developed in the context of church membership.  However, we recognize that in some denominations, congregations sponsor their own members for seminary education with the understanding that the student will continue in service to that congregation. We honor the tradition for those denominations.

How do students find a field education site?

During the students' first year in seminary they will be in conversation with the Director of Field Education about their call to ministry and vocational interests and goals.  Out of these conversations, the Director will identify possible field education sites and help set up an interview with the site supervisor.  When a student and a site supervisor agree to work together they will contact the Director of Field Education.

Should students make their own field site arrangements?

No. The field placement process begins in conversation with the Director of Field Education.  Students who have a desire to do their field education at a particular site should speak to the Director before any further action is taken.

Should a pastor or agency director initiate a field site offer to a student?

If a pastor or agency director would like to mentor a particular student, they should contact the Director of Field Education before making any offer to the student.

What is a site committee?

A site committee is a group of 3-5 lay members of a congregation or, in the case of a non-church setting, 3-5 employees or volunteers who meet with the student once a month to provide the student with ongoing support, hospitality and evaluation.  The site committee helps acclimate the student to the site and facilitates communication with its various constituencies.

Who forms the site committee?

The person who will be serving as the student's site supervisor should form this committee before the students begins serving at the site.  The student should not be expected to form this committee.

Who serves on the site committee?

Ideally, the committee should include people who are familiar with the site, actively involved and have a range of relationships within the site. It is helpful if various interest groups are represented.  It is also a good idea to include persons with some experience in supervision. Except when the student is a licensed local pastor, the Pastor/Staff-Parish Relations Committee should not serve as the site committee. The site supervisor should NOT serve on the site committee.

Should students do field education where the pastor is new to the church?

We do not place students in churches with a new pastor. We believe there should be a time for a new pastor and congregation to get to know each other before placing a student in site where this transition is taking place.

May a recent seminary graduate serve as a site supervisor?

Generally we do not place students with recent seminary graduates. We like to see at least 2 or 3 years of experience at the same site, although there may be some exceptions.

Are students paid for their work at field education sites?

All students must receive a stipend of $3,500 for the academic year (or summer) for their field education work.  Students are paid directly by the site. In a few cases where there is an exceptional field education opportunity at a site that cannot afford the stipend, the field education office will negotiate with the site and a student may then receive a stipend through the seminary.  Of course, any student appointed or employed by a church would not receive additional funds.

May students do field education at a church where there is no pastor on site?

No. Since supervision is key to the field education experience, we do not place students in a church setting where there is no supervising pastor.  The only exception would be students who are appointed as licensed local pastors.

What is a Student/Site Contract?

The Student/Site Contract is the seminary's document containing the basic expectations of both the site and the student.  We require that both the student and site supervisor sign the document prior to the student's start date at the site.

What is a Learning & Serving Covenant?

The Learning & Serving Covenant is completed soon after the student begins working at the site.  The student and site supervisor work together to determine the student's learning goals and objectives for the year as well as scheduling and time commitments. This covenant forms the basis for the student's evaluation at the end of the year.

UMC Logo Garrett-Evangelical, a seminary related to
The United Methodist Church, welcomes
students from a wide range of faith traditions.