Office of Contextual Education

  • Office of Contextual Education
    (510) 559-2713
  • Leslie Veen, Director
    (510) 559-2749
  • Amanda Nelson, Administrative Assistant
    (510) 559-2713

The Office of Contextual Education oversees students’ field education requirements for various degree programs. These requirements are generally met by completing courses in four areas of contextual education: Teaching Parish, Clinical Pastoral Education, Cross Cultural Experience, and Internship.

Teaching Parish

The Teaching Parish program is designed to expose students to the broad and complex areas of ordained ministry in a congregation and beyond the congregation, through 6-8 hours weekly of direct observation and hands-on practice.

Through the exposure that Teaching Parish provides and the reflection sessions with the supervising pastor and the Teaching Parish lay committee, students will have the opportunity to reflect on their developing sense of God’s call to the ordained role.

For information on Teaching Parish requirements see the PLTS Student Handbook.

For information on Teaching Parish Program see the PLTS Teaching Parish Manual.

For Teaching Parish forms, click here.

Clinical Pastoral Education

Clinical Pastoral Education is a program of supervised, experience-centered learning in pastoral care certified by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE). The requirement in CPE can be fulfilled under accredited supervisors at hospitals, correctional institutions, or other clinical facilities throughout the U.S., Canada, and abroad.

PLTS participates with other schools of the Graduate Theological Union in facilitating interviews, communications, and conferences for students and CPE supervisors.

For information on CPE requirements see the PLTS Student Handbook.

For more information visit the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education.

Cross-Cultural Experience

Students immerse themselves in various cultural contexts in the U.S., Latin America, Africa, and Asia through participation in the day-to-day and worship lives of diverse congregations, communities, and/or language schools. The cross-cultural experience is designed to encourage student awareness and foster understanding of, and mutuality in, pastoral ministry in a multicultural, multiracial and multi-ethnic society.

For information on Cross Cultural requirements see the PLTS Student Handbook.


The purpose of the 12-month internship in the parish setting is to facilitate vocational skills development and assist in personal and pastoral formation. Supervising pastors work with students in various areas of pastoral ministry and reflect with them about their learning and growth in regular supervisory sessions.

For information on Internship requirements see the PLTS Student Handbook.

For Internship forms, click here.

For the Lay Committee Internship Handbook, click here.