Field education is an opportunity for students to develop ministry skills, practice ministerial reflection, discern their call, experience professional collegiality, and undergo personal transformation. Field education offers them a place to practice ministry and a space to reflect on it, to integrate theory and practice, and grow towards competency. In Welcome to Theological Field Education! eleven directors of field education in seminaries and divinity schools across North America pass on their wisdom to both students and their supervisors. Edited by Matthew Floding, director of field education at Western Seminary in Holland, Michigan, this volume covers critical topics such as the art of supervision and formation, the use of case studies and peer reflection groups, self-care and ministerial ethics, and assessment. Formation for ministry is especially challenging at this time in the church's life. First, the explosion of kwledge, pluralism, and consumerism and a host of other complicating factors make huge demands on what a minister must kw to be effective in ministry. Second, with the erosion of thick religious subcultures, the vice minister has fewer sources of practical wisdom to draw upon. The next generation of ministers, if they are to be more fully formed for ministry, depends on skilled mentoring alongside wise supervisors. This book is the tool to help them make the most of their field education experience.
Matthew Floding is Director of Formation for Ministry and Associate Professor of Christian Ministry at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. He has previously served as pastor and college chaplain and is a minister of Word and sacrament in the Reformed Church in America. He has also worked with congregations and theological schools in the U.S. and Canada to enhance field education experiences. He currently serves as chair of the Association for Theological Field Education.