Office of Contextual Education

Contextual Education is an integral part of the degree programs offered at PLTS.  Our office oversees the field education requirements for various degree programs, including: Ministry in Context, Clinical Pastoral Education, Internship, and the Evangelism and Justice concentration.

Leslie Veen
Director of Contextual Education
(510) 559-2749

Ministry in Context

Ministry in Context is a field education component of the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree program that provides students the occasion to explore and discover the joys, challenges, and opportunities for ministry and leadership in congregations and in social ministry agencies. Ministry in Context is concurrent with classroom work and allows the student to apply and contextualize what they are learning and discovering in the classroom. This concurrent nature also deepens the learning in the classroom as the student brings new questions and insights from the contextual sites to the classroom.

More about Ministry in Context field education

Clinical Pastoral Education

Clinical Pastoral Education is a program of supervised, experience-based learning in pastoral care certified by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE). CPE brings theological students and ministers from different denominations and faiths into supervised clinical settings in which students provide care for persons in crisis. Through feedback from peers and teachers in the group setting, students develop new awareness of themselves as persons and of the needs of those to whom they minister.

More about Clinical Pastoral Education program


Candidates for ELCA ordination are required to complete a 12 month, full-time internship in a congregation or a combination agency-congregation site, under the supervision of an experienced pastor. The purpose of internship is to facilitate the development of vocational skills and pastoral formation. Supervising pastors work with students in the various areas of pastoral ministry and reflect with them about their learning and growth in regular supervisory sessions.

More about congregation internship

Evangelism and Justice Concentration

This concentration is meant for students who have an interest in focusing more deeply on how to share faith stories effectively in the changing dynamics of the 21st century as well as exploring new ways of doing and being church that are welcoming of and in service with those who traditionally have been marginalized. This will happen through a combination of classroom work, salon discussions, training sessions with ELCA staff, and networking with those engaged in such ministries within the larger church.

More about the concentration