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Part of our MDiv degree program is gaining applicable experience out in real world situations. Theological Field Education provides an environment to practice your skills of effective transformative leadership beyond the classroom walls of CTS.
As you participate, you’ll be challenged to explore your calling to ministry or service; to grow personally and professionally; and to articulate a theological understanding of your work.
At CTS, MDiv students are required to complete two practical experiences: Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and a Congregational or Community Field Placement. Fulfilling these requirements gives you hands-on service experiences, specifically in the contexts of healthcare and social justice organizations, congregations, and communities.
Because of our vast alumni base and prominence in the community, our students have rich opportunities to explore their calling and career paths.
If you represent a congregation or organization interested in becoming a field site please fill out our Site Placement Form.
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. Online students do not have to come to Chicago to complete CPE. The Director of Theological Field Education will assist students in finding sites where they reside. Refer to the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education website, www.acpe.edu, for more information on locating specific CPE programs.
CONGREGATIONAL & COMMUNITY FIELD PLACEMENTS
Students participate in a part-time, 400-hour supervised site placement at a parish, prison setting, university/college or community-based organization. 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, 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 a supervisor who is an ordained pastor in the congregation’s faith tradition, to gain experience with various aspects of congregational ministry. As an alternative, students may choose to serve in a community-based agency, university/college or prison context. All students completing this year-long experience should work with the Director of Theological Field Education and the Registrar to make arrangements for fulfilling that requirement. Online students do not have to come to Chicago to complete field placement. The Director of Theological Field Education will assist students in finding sites where they reside.
Friends of Field Placement
CTS’s Friends of Field Education program offers another opportunity for alumni/ae to connect with the seminary. The program gathers alums who wish to support out-of-state field education students and assist in providing field placement feedback.
If you are ready to get started, complete our Friends of Field Education Interest Form.
For those of you already involved in our program, please share your experiences with our Friends of Field Education Reporting Form.
For questions or to learn more contact Rev. Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder.