Academics
With world-renowned teachers and alumni, CTS is the global leader in transformational religious studies. We offer several Masters and Doctoral degrees, including Masters in Divinity, Sacred Theology and Religious Leadership.
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Field Education

An essential part of the CTS experience is fieldwork -- honest, actual service in real world environments and situations. Theological Field Education is the practical application of theology in context. As students participate, they are challenged to explore their particular calling to ministry and service; to grow personally and professionally; to clarify their commitment to religious vocation; and to articulate a theological understanding of their work.K Miller Kids

Most importantly, Theological Field Education is an opportunity to experience theology in both theory and in context. It provides an environment to practice the many skills of effective transformative leadership.

Theological Field Education places you in a learning/serving relationship with your supervisor and congregation/community. Your placement year will be filled with action – practical, hands-on experience as you take on the tasks of religious service and leadership, whatever they may be.   And your supervisor, peers, and perhaps other members of the community will join with you in reflection – offering guidance and companionship as you grow in knowledge, faith and vocation.

For M.Div. students, Theological Field Education includes two site placement requirements – Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and a Congregational or Community Field Placement. Fulfilling these requirements gives students hands-on ministry experiences connecting theory to practice, specifically in the contexts of healthcare and social justice organizations, congregations, and communities.

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Hands-on experience.  Where the rubber meets the road.

The Word made flesh…

 

Theological Field Education is a name for teaching and learning that brings to the fore the practical dimensions of doing and living theology – in real places, with real people, in a diversity of contexts. At Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS), we understand our entire curriculum as contextual education because we acknowledge that all theology is contextual.  The entire Master of Divinity curriculum, classroom instruction and site placements, nurture the student’s exploration of the Christian tradition, integration of thought and feeling, and embodiment of ministry as a way of life within contemporary communities of faith and action. As students participate in Theological Field Education, they are challenged to explore their particular calling to practices of ministry and service; to grow personally and professionally; to clarify their commitment to Christian vocation; to refine skills and illuminate gifts; and to articulate a theological position on ministry.Crowder 93014

Most importantly, Theological Field Education is an opportunity to experience the intersections of theology in theory and theology in context, and to practice the many skills of effective entry, accompaniment, and return that characterize transformative leadership. To this process, each student brings his or her particular personal history and resources, understanding of ministry, awareness of cultural and theological traditions, and encounter with the faith community.

Theological Field Education places you in a learning/serving relationship with your supervisor and congregation/community, using an action-reflection model of learning together.  Your placement year will be filled with action – practical, hands-on experience as you take on the tasks of ministry, wherever you may be serving.   And your supervisor, peers, and perhaps other members of the congregation/community will join with you in reflection – offering guidance and companionship as you reflect on your experiences and grow in knowledge, faith and vocation.

If you represent a congregation or organization interested in becoming a field site please continue reading here.

Theological Field Education Requirements

For M.Div. students, Theological Field Education at CTS includes fulfilling two site placement requirements – Clinical Pastoral Education ( FE 470: Clinical Pastoral Education or FE 475: ACTS Urban CPE in the CTS Course Listings) and a Parish or Community Field Placement (FE 471:Concurrent Field Placement in the CTS Course Listings).  Fulfilling these requirements gives students hands-on ministry experiences that further enhance their abilities to connect theological theory to theological practice, specifically in the contexts of healthcare organizations, churches, and communities.

Clinical Pastoral Education

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is a nationwide program that places students in highly supervised group settings, where they can fruitfully explore and engage their own practices and ministries with persons in situations of extreme need.  CPE usually takes place in health care settings (hospitals/medical centers, nursing homes, hospice) but students may also experience CPE in street ministries and other ministries to the homeless, ministries with at-risk youth, community organizing agencies, and more.  All students completing the M.Div. degree must complete at least one unit of CPE.

Parish and/or Community Field Placements

The other required unit of supervised, experiential learning, is satisfied through participation in a Parish and/or Community Field Placement – a part-time, supervised site placement at a parish or a faith-related service/advocacy organization, concurrent with other coursework and related requirements.  While some students who come to CTS discern a call to specialized ministry in non-parish settings, we encourage students who will be seeking ordination, or who are discerning whether or not to seek ordination, to locate placements in parish ministry that will fulfill denominational requirements and expose them to a range of pastoral and organizational experiences.  Students who serve in a parish will work closely with supervisor who is an ordained pastor in the congregation’s faith tradition, to gain experience with various aspects of congregational ministry.  As an alternative, you may choose to serve in a service or advocacy agency that has connection to and works together with faith communities; some of these placements may involve parish experience alongside community service/advocacy.  Students who must complete a full-time, year-long internship for ordination with your denomination may work with the Director of Theological Field Education and the Registrar to make arrangements for fulfilling that requirement.dr-umar-faruq-abd-allah-2

Field Placement Site Supervisors are important members of our CTS learning community; they are experienced clergy and religious leaders who have a great commitment to the ministries they serve and to transforming society to greater justice and mercy.  They are guides for your journey, practical theologians, and teachers – our partners in theological education.  You will meet with your supervisor on a weekly basis, for theological reflection on your service in ministry, your learning process and your vocational and spiritual formation.  Your Theological Field Education supervision experiences will hopefully provide a dynamic and interactive relationship between two persons who seek to grow together in faithfulness, thought, and action.

So…what do I have to do?

M.Div. students typically undertake their field education during their second or third year at CTS; timing will vary according to your particular scheduling needs, as full-time or part-time students.  The Director of Theological Education and the Registrar will work closely with you as you complete your requirements for field education and the M.Div. degree.

The following chart explains the various components, prerequisites, and written requirements of both CPE and Parish/Community Field Placements at CTS.  You will find more detailed information in the Handbook, which is available for downloading below.

 

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)

Parish/Community Field Placements

 
 

Components

 
 
 

  • 400 supervised hours at a site accredited by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. (ACPE).
  • Apply to as many sites as you wish, according to the application procedures of the ACPE; the Director of Theological Field Education is available to consult with you about potential CPE sites.
  • Register for FE 470, Clinical Pastoral Education

For more information and for application forms, visit the ACPE website at www.acpe.edu


  • 400 supervised hours at a site selected by the student in consultation with the Director of Theological Field Education
  • Register for FE 471, Concurrent Field Placement

    AND

  • Register for LM 400: Leadership & Ministry in Context (Fall and Spring semesters) – to be taken concurrently with field placement during academic year, or directly following summer field placement
 

Prerequisites

 
  • Completion of one full semester of coursework (4 courses)

    INCLUDING

  • LM 331: Introduction to Pastoral Care (or LM 332: Introduction to Pastoral Theology, online)
 
  • Completion of one full year of Coursework (8 courses)

    INCLUDING

  • TEC 307: Systematic Theology (pre-requisite for LM 400: Leadership & Ministry in Context) and LM 331: Introduction to Pastoral Care (or LM 332: Introduction to Pastoral Theology, online)
 
 
 
Required Written Materials and Evaluations
 

All are completed at the CPE site.

  • Verbatim reports and other clinical reflections
  • Mid-point self evaluation
  • Final Evaluation (self & supervisor)

When you complete your program, please provide a copy of your final evaluations to the Director of Theological Field Education, and a copy of your certificate to the Registrar.

All are completed as part of CM 400: The Practice of Christian Ministry

  • Learning Covenant
  • Mid-Year Evaluation (after 200 hours), self and supervisor
  • Final Evaluation (after 400 hours), self and supervisor
  • Other assignments as determined by the course syllabus

 

Forms & Resources

Field Education Forms

M.Div Handbook [pdf]
Theological Field Education Checklist [doc]
MDiv Learning Covenant form [doc] 
MARL Learning Covenant form [doc]
Some suggestions for creating professional development goals [pdf]
Mid-Year Field Placement Evaluations, Student [pdf]
Mid-Year Field Placement Evaluations, Supervisors [pdf]
Final Field Placement Evaluations, Student [pdf]
Final Field Placement Evaluations, Supervisors [pdf]
Student Information Form [doc]
Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) application [pdf]
Field Placement Site Description Form [doc]
Timeline - Field Education [pdf]
Timeline - Clinical Pastoral Education [pdf]

Important Links

Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc.
Urban CPE
Denominational Resources

Some of Our Former and Current Field Placement Sites

Please visit our database of Field Education Sites to search for a site near you that meets your interests.

MDiv
All Saints Episcopal Church (Western Springs, IL)-- http://www.allsaintsws.org/
Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago-- http://www.ciogc.org/
The Abolition Institute (Chicago)--- http://www.stoppingslavery.org/
MetroSquash (Chicago)-- http://www.metrosquash.org/
Second UCC/First Presbyterian (Rockford, IL)--- http://www.secondfirst.org/
UCC Campus Ministry (Champaign, IL)--- http://community-ucc.org/
Heart to Heart Hospice (Dallas, TX)--- http://www.hearttohearthospice.com/
Felicity Foundation—Islamic Studies (Ann Arbor, MI)--- http://www.felicityum.org/
Magic City Acceptance Project (Birmingham, AL)--- http://www.magiccityacceptanceproject.org/#about
Community Church (Vero Beach, FL)--- http://www.ccovb.org/
Second Presbyterian/The Journey (Charleston, SC)-- http://www.secondpresbyterianchurch.org/ConnectandGrow/College.php
Heartside Ministries (Grand Rapids, MI)-- http://heartside.org/
 
MARL
Caribbean Umbrella Body for Restorative Behavior (CURB), Trinidad & Tobago; Adrian Alexander, supervisor

Past and Present Field Sites 

2009-2010

Community Church of Wilmette, Wilmette, IL

Epiphany United Church of Christ, Chicago, IL

First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn, Glen Ellyn, IL

First Congregational Church of LaGrange , LaGrange, IL

Greater Institutional AME Church, Chicago, IL

The Night Ministry, Chicago, IL

Palos United Methodist Church, Palos Heights, IL

Pilgrim Faith United Church of Christ, Oak Lawn, IL

St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Chicago, IL

St. Peter's United Church of Christ , Carmel, IN

Training Support Center, Naval Station Great Lakes, Great Lakes, IL

Union Community Church, United Church of Christ, Valparaiso, IN

Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ , Chicago, IL

2010-2011

Advocate Health Care, Oak Brook, IL   

Chicago Community Mennonite Church, Chicago, IL

Church of the Atonement, Chicago, IL

College Church of the Nazarene, Bourbonnais, IL     

Community Church of Wilmette, Wilmette, IL

Edgebrook United Church of Christ, Chicago, IL       

First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn, Glen Ellyn, IL      

Haymarket Center, Chicago, IL

Institute for Positive Living, Chicago, IL

ISAAC/ Interfaith Strategy for Advocacy and Action in the Community, Kalamazoo, MI                 

Lyonsville Congregational Church, Indian Head, IL

The Night Ministry, Youth Outreach Team, Chicago, IL              

St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Monee, IL 

Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Chicago, IL      

S.O.U.L./ Southsiders Organizing for Unity and Liberation, Chicago, IL    

Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago, IL             

Union Church of Hinsdale, Chicago, IL                   

Urban Village Church, Chicago, IL                                                  

Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ, Chicago, IL

2011-2012

Abundance United Church of Christ, Warsaw, IN

Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, IL

Bethany United Church of Christ, Chicago, IL

Children’s Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL

Church of the Three Crosses, Chicago, IL

Community Church of Barrington, Barrington, IL

Ebenezer United Church of Christ, Sheboygan, WI

Faith in Place, Chicago, IL

First Congregational United Church of Christ, Kalamazoo, MI

First Congregational Church, Wilmette, IL

Glenview Community Church, Glenview, IL    

Good News Community Church, Chicago, IL

Grailville, Loveland, OH 

Hanmee Presbyterian Church, Itasca, IL                                  

Institute for Positive Living, Chicago, IL

Madison Christian Community, Madison, WI

Michigan Mission Center, Community of Christ , Charlotte, MI

St. John United Church of Christ, Arlington Heights, IL        

St. John United Church of Christ, New Buffalo, MI   

St. Luke’s Lutheran Church of Logan Square, Chicago, IL

St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Downers Grove, IL                                            

St. Peter United Church of Christ, Lake Zurich, IL                                   

Stroger Hospital, Chicago, IL

Tri-Jo Parish, Shiocton, WI

Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago, IL             

United Church of Christ Campus Ministry, Champaign, IL

University of Illinois-Chicago Dept. of Pastoral Care, Chicago, IL    

Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ, Chicago, IL

2012-2013

A Church4Me, Metropolitan Community Church, Chicago, IL

ANEW Church, Chicago, IL

Bethany United Church of Christ

Campaign for Better Health Care, Chicago, IL

Center for Religion and Psychotherapy of Chicago, IL

Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL

Chicago Police Department Chaplains Unit, Chicago, IL

The Center for Faith and Community Health Transformation, Chicago, IL

The Community Church of Barrington, Barrington, IL

Congregational United Church of Christ, St. Charles, IL

Cornerstone Church, Elgin, IL

Church of the Three Crosses, Chicago, IL

Epiphany United Church of Christ, Chicago, IL

Faith United Protestant Church, Park Forest, IL

First Congregational Church, Glen Ellyn, IL

First Congregational United Church of Christ, Naperville, IL

First Congregational Church, Waukegan, IL

First Congregational Church of Wilmette, Wilmette, IL

Friendship Presbyterian Church, Chicago, IL

Good News Community Church, IL

Holy Covenant United Methodist Church, Chicago, IL

Heartland Alliance, Youth and Residential Services, Chicago, IL

Hyde Park and Kenwood Interfaith Council, Chicago, IL

Lyonsville Congregational United Church of Christ, Indian Head Park, IL

Primera Iglesia, Chicago, IL

Ravenswood United Church of Christ, Chicago, IL

St. John’s Episcopal Church, Chicago, IL

St. Luke's Lutheran Church of Logan Square, Chicago, IL

St. Michael’s United Church of Christ, West Chicago, IL

St. Paul's United Church of Christ, Downer’s Grove, IL

Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Chicago, IL

State of Formation (Internet Forum)

Stroger Hospital, Chicago, IL

Tapestry Fellowship at Independence Park, Chicago, IL

Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago, IL

Unity Temple, Oak Park, IL

University Church, Chicago, IL

United Church of Christ Campus Ministry, United Church Foundation, Champaign, IL

VITAS Hospice, Chicago, IL

Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ, Chicago, IL

2013-2014

Advocate United Church of Christ, Chicago Heights, IL

Canaan African Methodist Episcopal Church, Maywood, IL

Congregational United Church of Christ, Arlington Heights, IL

Epiphany United Church of Christ, Chicago, IL

First Congregational United Church of Christ, Cedar Rapids, IA

First Congregational United Church of Christ, Grand Ledge, MI  

First Congregational United Church of Christ, Naperville, IL

First United Church, Oak Park, IL

First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple, Chicago, IL

Bethany Methodist Hospital, Chicago, IL

Fox Valley Christian Action, Elgin, IL

Gilead Ministry, Jackson Park Hospital, Chicago, IL

The Night Ministry, Youth Outreach Team, Chicago, IL

Vida/SIDA, Chicago, IL

Caribbean Umbrella for Restorative Behavior (CURB), Trinidad & Tobago 

2014-15 

Advocate United Church of Christ, Chicago, IL

The Baldwin Delaney Institute, Chicago, IL

Colonial United Church of Christ, Prairie Village, KS

Ebenezer United Church of Christ, Sheboygan, WI

Egan Office For Urban Education & Community Partnerships (DePaul), Chicago, IL

First Congregational Church, Glen Ellyn, IL

First Congregational Church, Naperville, IL

Hope United Church of Christ, Hiawatha, IA

Immanuel United Church of Christ, West Bend, WI

Kamp Kaleo, Burwell, NE

Lincoln Memorial Congregation United Church of Christ, Chicago, IL

Las Vegas United Church of Christ, Las Vegas, NV

Northwestern University Christian Ministries, Evanston, IL

Park Manor Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Chicago, IL

Pillar of Love/St. John UCC, Chicago, IL

St. Paul's United Church of Christ, Downer’s Grove, IL

Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Chicago, IL

Shalom Comunidad de Paz, Chicago, IL

6th Avenue United Church of Christ, Denver, CO

Trinity UCC-Gary, IN

University Church, Chicago, IL

University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, TX

Urban Village Church, Chicago, IL

Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice, Madison, WI 

2015-16 Options 

Abolition Institute, Chicago, IL

Bethel UCC, Elmhurst, IL

CARE Chicago, Chicago, IL

Center for Progressive Renewal, Atlanta, GA

Chicago Art Institute, Chicago, IL

Christian Century Magazine, Chicago, IL

Community Church, Vero Beach, FL

CORE Center, Chicago, IL

Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC), Chicago, IL

Community Renewal Society, Chicago, IL

Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, IL

Felicity Foundation (University of Michigan), Ann Arbor, MI

First CC, Oak Park, IL

GAN Project, Chicago, IL

Glenview UCC, Glenview, IL

Good News CC, Chicago, IL

Growing Home, Chicago, IL

Heart to Heart Hospice, Dallas, TX

Heartside Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI

Holy Covenant MCC, Brookfield, IL

Ingalls Hopsital, Chicago Heights, IL

Inner-City Muslim Action Network, Chicago, IL 

Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, Chicago, IL

Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI

Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship, Seattle, WA

McFarland UCC, McFarland, WI

MetroSquash, Chicago, IL

MCC of Greater Dallas

Moral Injury Project, DePaul University, Chicago, IL

Niagara Foundation, Chicago, IL

PACT, Miami, FL

PICO, Oakland, CA

Pilgrim UCC, St. Josephs/Benton Harbor, MI

Plymouth UCC, Milwaukee, WI

Poetry Pals, Chicago, IL

RTW Veterans Center, Chicago, IL

Rainbow PUSH, Chicago

St. Johns-Harmony UCC,  Hampshire, IL

Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Chicago, IL

Second UCC/First Presbyterian, Rockford, IL

United Protestant Church, Grayslake, IL

Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Chicago, IL

Zion UCC, Baroda, MI