Contextual Formation

CONTEXTUAL FORMATION is an intentional process for all MDiv and MAML students involving three distinct but related components:

 1. Ministerial Fieldwork 
2. Critical Reflection on Praxes of Ministry – CPE
3. Ministerial Immersion – Internship

Reflecting the priorities of the curriculum, these Contextual Formation components are integrative and experiential with the goal of empowering students to empower the communities they serve for mission and ministry.

Each Contextual Formation component includes contextualized experiences in ministry settings, guided reflection, the integration of learning, direct feedback, and assessment based on the degree program’s stated competencies (cf. Academic Catalog).  All components will be assessed as Successfully Completed (Pass) or Not Successfully Completed (Fail).

1.      MINISTERIAL FIELDWORK

The first component is Ministerial Fieldwork, which is a two-semester requirement of supervised fieldwork normally begun in the first semester of one’s study.  (Normally, all Evangelical Lutheran Church in America students must have a positive Entrance decision from their synodical candidacy committee before they can be assigned.  Normally, all Students from Traditions Other than Lutheran must have an ecclesiastical endorsement in their admission file before they can be assigned.)

MDiv students are assigned to a congregation to engage in many practices of ministry in order to develop pastoral skills and vision related to ministerial Fieldwork.

MAML students are assigned to occupationally appropriate ministry settings (ie. congregation, agency or institution) to develop skills and vision related to their specialized field of ministry.

Students requiring special arrangements, please note the following policy regarding a specific site.

“Policy for when students need a specific site/geography where the Contextual Formation Office does not ordinarily have Ministerial Fieldwork sites: 1. Students must work with their synod/judicatory to get its approval of a particular site.  2. The student may then directly contact the pastor and ask if she/he, as well as the church council, would be willing to be a Ministerial Fieldwork congregation.  3. Students need to talk with the pastor about mileage reimbursements and other learning commitments and refer them to the Contextual Formation webpage where they can find these Ministerial Fieldwork guidelines. 4. After the congregation has agreed to be a part of our program, please have the pastor/church send a completed site application to the Contextual Formation Office on either the Gettysburg campus or the Philadelphia campus.”

For students who are employed in a congregational setting, it is possible for such a setting to serve as their fieldwork site with the permission of the Director of Contextual Formation.

Ministerial Fieldwork Orientation Session, Monday, September 10th
VIDEO LINK – added 09.11.2018

+ Dates and Deadlines, Information, Application, and Learning Covenant

2018-19 CALENDARS – IMPORTANT DUE DATES
Ministerial Fieldwork CALENDAR_Fall 18 start date
Ministerial Fieldwork CALENDAR-Spring 19 start date

Ministerial Fieldwork Information for Students and Supervisors
Ministerial Fieldwork Info Sheet

Ministerial Fieldwork Application Forms
Ministerial Fieldwork SITE application
Ministerial Fieldwork STUDENT application

Ministerial Fieldwork Learning Covenant Template & Formation Agreement
Ministerial Fieldwork Learning Covenant Template
Ministerial Fieldwork Formation Agreement

Ministerial Fieldwork Evaluation Forms
Ministerial Fieldwork Mid-year Appraisal Form
Ministerial Fieldwork Supervisor Final Appraisal Form

For Student/Supervisor Discussion & Assessment – do not return
Ministerial Fieldwork Lay Person Evaluation
Ministerial Fieldwork Teaching Evaluation
Ministerial Fieldwork Preaching Evaluation

  1. CRITICAL REFLECTION ON PRAXES OF MINISTRY 
    (normally CPE)

    CPE Orientation session, Friday, October 5, 2018
    VIDEO LINK – added 10/9/2018

The second component is Critical Reflection on Praxes of Ministry, which normally follows Ministerial Fieldwork and precedes Ministerial Immersion.

This is a peer group-based action-reflection program in which students foster their theological understandings of pastoral ministry as they intentionally integrate their praxes of ministry, systematic theology, and the formation of their personal and ministerial identity.  This requirement is normally fulfilled by participating in a basic unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE).

The Association of Clinical Pastoral Education is an independent entity, separate from the seminary, that provides training for spiritual care professionals.  The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, along with several other major denominations, requires the successful completion of CPE for its ministerial candidates.  CPE sites can be found at many hospitals and clinical institutions around the country, including some sites which also offer “on-line” or “distance” units (such as Johns Hopkins Hospital).  Some sites also offer “extended” units which can be helpful to some part-time students.

Full-time ELCA candidates and others are advised to apply to a CPE site(s) in the fall of their first year for the following summer’s eleven-week program.

The ACPE website has a national directory of sites (www.acpe.edu).  Each fall, the seminary’s Contextual Formation staff provides introductory information, along with a “CPE Day” when supervisors from various regional sites are invited to both campuses to offer “initial interviews” with interested students.

For students from traditions other than Lutheran who are unable to enroll in even an “on-line” CPE unit, the Director of Contextual Formation will work with them to create a peer group-based action-reflection program.  Again, normally a student will complete this Critical Reflection on Praxes of Ministry requirement prior to beginning their Ministerial Immersion experience, though exceptions may be granted by the Director of Contextual Formation.

+  Information, Dates and Deadlines, Application Procedure

General information, the student application, and a listing of sites in each state are available on the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education’s website:  www.acpe.edu

United Lutheran Seminary CPE Application Procedure with Important Dates
CPE Application Procedure 2018-19

  1. MINISTERIAL IMMERSION (Internship)

Following Ministerial Fieldwork and Critical Reflection on Praxes of Ministry, the third component is Ministerial Immersion, also known as internship.  (All ELCA candidates must have a positive Endorsement decision from their synodical candidacy committee before they can be assigned.)

Internship is a grand opportunity for ministerial candidates to experience the full scope of pastoral or diaconal ministry in an assigned setting, under the supervision of an experienced pastor or agency leader, and with the guidance of a selected lay committee.  Opportunities will include worship leadership, regular preaching and/or teaching the faith, relationships across the spectrum of ages, pastoral care and visitation, administration; and, as much as possible, participation in significant life events like baptisms, confirmations, weddings and funerals.

Following are sections with information specific to ELCA MDiv students, MDiv Students from Traditions Other than Lutheran, ELCA MAML students, and MAML Students from Traditions Other than Lutheran.

ELCA MDiv students will immerse themselves in an assigned parish-based setting, under supervision, for twelve months, normally beginning around August 1st of their third year (cf. ELCA Candidacy Manual). Students desiring an exception to this 3rd year pattern must obtain written permission from their synodical candidacy committee.

To facilitate the assignment process, middlers with unrestricted mobility will participate in a spring “Matching Workshop” for supervisors and prospective interns on the Gettysburg campus.

ELCA middlers who are geographically restricted (in the judgment of their synodical candidacy committee) will work with the Director of Contextual Formation to identify a site and establish a workable congregational internship with supervision.  It is important to note that, in this situation, it is likely the congregation will not be able to pay the normal stipend, etc.; and supervision may be provided by an off-site pastor.

+  ELCA MDiv Applications, Dates and Deadlines, Evaluation Forms, AND MANUALS

Ministerial Immersion – Important Deadlines
MI Important Dates 2018-19 academic year

Ministerial Immersion STUDENT Application Form
MI Internship Application Form ELCA students

MI Internship SITE Application Form– available for download at the following link:
https://www.elca.org/Resources/Candidacy#Congregations

MI Internship Cost Sheet, 2018-19 Academic Year
MI Internship Cost Sheet, 2018-19

Ministerial Immersion Agreement Form
MI Internship Agreement Form ELCA students

Ministerial Immersion Evaluation Forms
ELCA Word and Sacrament internship evaluation forms can be downloaded at the following link:
https://www.elca.org/Resources/Candidacy#Internship 

Ministerial Immersion – Intern Travel Vouchers
Travel voucher _Start of Internship
Travel voucher_Completion of Internship

ULS Intern and Supervisor Manual

ULS Lay Committee Manual

+  MDiv Students from Traditions Other than Lutheran

For MDiv Students from Traditions Other than Lutheran, great flexibility will be allowed in providing the student ways to be immersed in the leadership and workings of a congregation.  The student will work with the Director of Contextual Formation to establish an appropriate setting, with the student initiating the contacts with both the prospective supervisor and with the Director.

The primary emphasis of internship will be the student’s growth into the degree program’s stated competencies (cf. Academic Catalog).  Normally an MDiv internship cannot be completed in less than eight months of full-time work; but the duration of internship is dependent upon the student’s ability to fully demonstrate the competencies to the supervisor, lay committee, and oneself.  Written evaluations are conducted every two months, giving the intern a clear picture of her or his progress.

ULS ORIENTATION VIDEO –
For students from traditions other than Lutheran

+ Applications, Dates and Deadlines, Evaluation Forms

Ministerial Immersion – Important Deadlines
MI Important Dates 2018-19 academic year

Ministerial Immersion Student Application Form
MI Internship Application Form_Other Traditions

Ministerial Immersion Student/Site Agreement Form
MI_Internship AGREEMENT form_OTHER TRADITIONS_ revised

Ministerial Immersion Evaluation Forms:
Intern

OTHER TRADITIONS_Intern’s Two-Month Evaluation
OTHER TRADITIONS_Intern’s Four-Month Evaluation
OTHER TRADITIONS_Intern’s Six-Month Evaluation
OTHER TRADITIONS_Intern’s Eight-Month Evaluation
OTHER TRADITIONS_Intern’s Ten-Month Evaluation
OTHER TRADITIONS_Intern’s Twelve-Month Evaluation

Supervisor
OTHER TRADITIONS_Internship Supervisor’s Two-Month Evaluation
OTHER TRADITIONS_Internship Supervisor’s Four-Month Evaluation
OTHER TRADITIONS_Internship Supervisor’s Six-Month Evaluation
OTHER TRADITIONS_Internship Supervisor’s Eight-Month Evaluation
OTHER TRADITIONS_Internship Supervisor’s Ten-Month Evaluation
OTHER TRADITIONS_Internship Supervisor’s Twelve-Month Evaluation

Lay Committee
OTHER TRADITIONS_Internship Committee’s Two-Month Evaluation
OTHER TRADITIONS_Internship Committee’s Four-Month Evaluation
OTHER TRADITIONS_Internship Committee’s Six-Month Evaluation
OTHER TRADITIONS_Internship Committee’s Eight-Month Evaluation
OTHER TRADITIONS_Internship Committee’s Ten-Month Evaluation
OTHER TRADITIONS_Internship Committee’s Twelve-Month Evaluation

+ +  MAML Internships

MAML students will immerse themselves in a ministry setting to allow them to develop and demonstrate competencies for a number of established outcomes.

For ELCA deacon candidates this is accomplished through an assigned internship (cf. ELCA Candidacy Manual) in consultation with the Director of Contextual Formation.  The seminary must depend on the initiative of the candidate to identify a prospective agency/institution/program which could provide a fitting and appropriate internship experience, given the candidate’s specialization in ministry.  The Contextual Formation staff can then explain the seminary’s expectations for supervision with the prospective site, if necessary, and seek its partnership.

Ministers of Word and Service operate at the interface of church and society.  As a result, they must understand the dynamic relationships within and between congregational and societal systems, providing leadership in connecting these systems.  Internship placements will reflect the range of diaconal purpose and still be specific to the candidate’s unique specialization(s).  Each internship assignment will also include a significant engagement in a congregational context.  With all these pieces, there must be flexibility on the part of all the partners in choosing and approving internship sites.

An approved internship will normally consist of a minimum of 1,000 documented contact hours or approximately nine months of full-time work.  Various ministry experiences may be arranged sequentially and/or concurrently to achieve these hours.

+  MAML Application, Dates and Deadlines, Evaluation Forms

Ministerial Immersion – Important Deadlines
MI Important Dates 2018-19 academic year

Ministerial Immersion Application Form
MI Internship Application Form ELCA students

ELCA Word and Service internship learning covenant and evaluation forms can be downloaded at the following link:   http://www.elca.org/Resources/Candidacy#Internship

Candidacy Checklist for Deacon Candidates

For MAML Students from Traditions Other than Lutheran (and for Lutherans who are not candidates for consecration), internship can be accomplished in a variety of ways that involve immersion into the leadership roles of a ministry setting.

Students will discuss their occupational aspirations with the Director of Contextual Formation and then work with the Director to establish an appropriate internship.  Great flexibility will be allowed in providing the student ways to be immersed in the leadership and workings of a congregation and/or a service agency.  The primary emphasis will be the student’s growth into the degree program’s stated competencies (cf. Academic Catalog).

Normally an MAML internship cannot be completed in less than six months of full-time work; but the duration of internship is dependent upon the student’s ability to fully demonstrate the competencies to the supervisor, lay committee, and oneself.  Written evaluations are conducted every two months, giving the intern a clear picture of her or his progress.

For Students From Traditions Other Than Lutheran

Ministerial Immersion Application Form
MI Internship Application Form_Other Traditions

Ministerial Immersion Student/Site Agreement Form
MI_Internship AGREEMENT form_OTHER TRADITIONS- revised

Ministerial Immersion Evaluation Forms:
Intern
MAML_Intern’s Two-Month Evaluation
MAML_Intern’s Four-Month Evaluation
MAML_Intern’s Six-Month Evaluation
MAML_Intern’s Eight-Month Evaluation
MAML_Intern’s Ten-Month Evaluation
MAML_Intern’s Twelve-Month Evaluation

Supervisor
MAML_Internship Supervisor’s Two-Month Evaluation
MAML_Internship Supervisor’s Four-Month Evaluation
MAML_Internship Supervisor’s Six-Month Evaluation
MAML_Internship Supervisor’s Eight-Month Evaluation
MAML_Internship Supervisor’s Ten-Month Evaluation
MAML_Internship Supervisor’s Twelve-Month Evaluation

Lay Committee
MAML_Internship Committee’s Two-Month Evaluation
MAML_Internship Committee’s Four-Month Evaluation
MAML_Internship Committee’s Six-Month Evaluation
MAML_Internship Committee’s Eight-Month Evaluation
MAML_Internship Committee’s Ten-Month Evaluation
MAML_Internship Committee’s Twelve-Month Evaluation

 

CONTEXTUAL FORMATION staff:

The Rev. Dr. Charles Leonard
Associate Professor of Practical Theology and Director of Field Education,
based on the Philadelphia campus
Email:cleonard@uls.edu

The Rev. Gregg Knepp
Director of Contextual Formation, based on the Gettysburg campus
Email: gknepp@uls.edu

Ms. Lyn Jackson
Contextual Formation Assistant, based on the Philadelphia campus
Email: ljackson@uls.edu

Ms. Carla E. Pavlick
Assistant to the Director of Contextual Formation, based on the Gettysburg campus
Email: cpavlick@uls.edu

 

 

 

 

 

8/21/18