Field Ministry Requirement
Field Ministry is a vital part of every M.Div. degree offered at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. This component of each degree is designed to connect the student with a church to allow him to gain hands-on experience under the supervision of an experienced mentor. The purpose of field ministry is for the student to grow in his personal walk with the Lord, in his understanding of the ministry, and in his ability to minister to the church relative to his calling. The student will be challenged to integrate theological training with the practice of ministry.
There are three ways to gain field ministry experience at Southeastern. The first and most common way is for the student to participate in the field ministry class offered on campus relative to his or her degree (e.g., PMN 6590 for pastoral ministry students). These classes include significant field ministry components. Second, some students have opportunities to be involved in ministry settings that will not allow them to participate in the on-campus classes. These students may participate in a PMN 7900 Mentored Internship in lieu of the on-campus class. However, the student should be aware that this option requires a faculty sponsor to oversee the mentorship. The student is responsible to find a faculty member who will oversee the field ministry experience. Because of the extra work on the part of the faculty member, the student should see this option as an exception and not the norm. Finally, Southeastern has partnered with some healthy churches in our area (and near our Extension Centers in some cases) to develop Equipping Centers for the purpose of offering a significantly greater field ministry experience. These Equipping Centers normally offer a one or two year internship through which a student can gain field ministry experience. A student must be invited and approved by the individual Equipping Center in order to gain Field Ministry credit in this manner.
In any case, the student will be working with a Field Supervisor who must meet the requirements set by Southeastern and be approved by the professor and/or the Field Ministry Coordinator prior to the beginning of the student’s Field Ministry Mentorship. It is the student’s responsibility to contact and secure a Field Supervisor for his or her field ministry experience. Therefore, this process should normally begin before the start of the semester in which the student wishes to gain Field Ministry credit. While the professor and the Field Ministry Office will attempt to assist the student in securing a Field Supervisor, it is ultimately the student’s responsibility.
The student should obtain a copy of the Field Ministry Handbook in order to determine the best route to obtain field ministry credit. The Handbook can be acquired by contacting the Field Ministry Office at (919) 761-2460 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Graduate International Students
International students who are in “F-status” must take the minimum load that their status requires. For Seminary students, this is nine credit hours. International students should consult with the Director of Financial Aid and International Students before making any changes to their class schedules that might affect their status.