Field Education Policy
Field education is an education by experience. Through direct participation of ministry in church/organization, students put to practice and experience what they learned in class. This experience is meant to inspire and motivate students to combine theological knowledge with field work experience to reach a balanced approach to ministry so that they can effectively contribute to the Kingdom, spread the gospel, build the church, bring glory to God, and bless others.
1. To experience the role of a pastor or ministry leader in the process of field work.
2. To discover ministry needs and thus seek deeper theological understanding and research in the ministry area in the process of field work
3. To provide opportunity for the learner to discover his/her ministry gifts and weaknesses with the hope that it will enable the learner to continue serving the Lord with faith and perseverance
4. To help the learner explore and ascertain future ministry direction
5. To give the learner the opportunity to understand principles of effective ministry and learn to become a good and faithful servant
1. Field education is an integral part of the Seminary’s overall training. All master level students (M.Div., Th. M., M.A.C.S.) and doctoral students have to participate in field education. Students with poor field education evaluation shall not graduate.
2. Master of Divinity students must complete two semester’s field education work, short-term mission practice, and summer pastoral practice (students may sign up for field education in the second year of Seminary study). Students pursuing Master of Arts in Christian Studies must complete short-term mission practice.
3. All full-time students shall not begin field education work in the church or para-church organization on their own in the first year at the Seminary. Master level students, under the arrangement and supervision of the Field Education office, shall observe churches or organizations of different models and turn in combined field work report.
4. Master level students may register at the Academics office for field education the second year at the Seminary. Students may make their own arrangement or request the help of Field Education counselor in choosing the church or organization for field work. All field work assignments need to be registered and reported to the Field Education office (F1 students also need to report field work and fill out a form at the International Students office.) Field work may officially begin once all the above is complete. Churches and para-church organizations approved by the Field Education office of the Seminary are considered suitable places for field education.
5. As a principle, field work at churches should be conducted during weekends; field work at para-church organizations should be conducted based on circumstances. Field work should not exceed twenty hours per week lest students’ studies are affected.
6. Field education compensation given to seminary students by the church or organization where the students practice shall be as follows: local students’ compensation (US citizen or student with permanent residence status) shall be reported by using 1099 for tax purpose, international students (F1 students) shall be reported by using W2 and not 1099 to avoid affecting their immigration status and job application in the future (please refer to International Students Field Education Guidelines).
7. Each semester, students must submit “Field Education Term Paper” and “Field Education Summary Evaluation” to the Field Education supervisor for evaluation, guidance, and counseling.
8. Students with Bachelor of Theology degree and five years of pastoral experience, after student’s petition and verification, may be exempt from field education (2 credits).
9. “Field Education Individual Instruction” is designed for students who desire to research and explore deeper into one or two church ministries. No more than two credits in field education can be counted toward Master of Divinity graduation credits, and no more than one credit in field education can be counted toward Master of Arts in Christian Studies graduation credits.
10. Master of Theology students, after entering the Seminary and during study at the Seminary, must practice teaching at church, organization, or school as field work. They need to actually teach at the church the course they researched at the Seminary. All those with teaching experience may apply for exemption from field work (please refer to Master of Theology Handbook).
11. Doctor of Ministry program is designed for current full-time ministers or related Christian ministry professionals. Doctor of Ministry students, after entering the Seminary and during study at the Seminary, must serve at a church or at an organization. All those with ministry service experiences may apply for exemption from field work (please refer to Doctor of Ministry Handbook).
12. Master of Theology and Doctor of Ministry students must register for “Research Practice” (field work area must be related to dissertation topic).
1. All local students and F1 international students must apply and register for two semesters’ field education work after one full year’s study at the Seminary.
2. All students who have studied in the US for a full year (including F1 students), whether they come to the Seminary by transfer or have graduated from the Seminary, after being officially admitted to the master level program, may apply and register for two semesters’ field education in the first semester at the Seminary.
1. Fill out the Field Education Application form
2. Obtain Offering Letter from participating church/organization