The Field Education Office works to develop specific programs of field training to fit the unique interests and needs of students. An initial interview with the Director is a key component in the placement process. This time is designed for students to begin naming their goals and expectations for field education and becoming aware of the need for thoughtful scheduling of field education experiences. Students are encouraged to visit sites to explore whether they will meet their needs. Students submit a Biographical Sketch Form
which is made available to congregations and agencies in which the student is interested. Conversation between supervisor and student begins this way. Congregational Placements:
Interviews for congregational placements are held on a Friday night in late April. Congregations that are approved field education sites send an interview team to the Seminary for interviews with as many as five students. In like manner, students may select five sites with which they wish to interview. Upon completion of these interviews, the Field Education Office makes assignments for placement. The office seeks to match the abilities of students and the needs of a given field, to honor the preferences of both fields and students, to provide a satisfactory placement for the maximum number of students and fields, and to give a degree of preference to those students who have not completed field education requirements.
Placements can be made outside of the interview process, but Field Education units can be earned only in placements that are approved by the Field Education Office. Agency Placements:
Agencies that have a history of working with students submit a description of the agency, a vitae of the supervisor, and a position description. These are available to new and returning students. The Director of Field Education will arrange on-site interviews with these agencies. Students who are interested in a specific agency or area of ministry are encouraged to talk to the Director who will seek to arrange interviews in agencies that meet the student's learning goals and the seminary's criteria for supervision.
In both congregational and agency placements, the Seminary cannot guarantee placement, since the final decision rests with the employing institution. The Seminary does, however, provide a wide range of interview opportunities for each student and ensures that each church and agency participating in the program follows Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) guidelines.