Ministry in Context
Ministry in Context (MIC) is a field education component of the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) and Master of Arts in Spirituality and Social Change (M.A.) degree programs that provides students the occasion to explore and discover the joys, challenges, and opportunities for ministry and leadership in the congregation 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.
What does the student do?
Ministry in Context takes place over three semesters of the M.Div. program. For those in residence for the first year it will begin during the spring semester of the first year, and fall and spring semesters of the second year. For the MA progtram, MIC is two semesters, beginning spring semester the first year.
In a congregation, the student is expected to spend six hours per week participating, leading, and observing in the ministries of the congregation. Some examples of what a student might do range from preaching, worship leadership, pastoral care, community organizing, and meeting facilitation. In an agency, the student is expected to spend six hours per week engaged in activities such as: project based work, direct client services, staff develpment, shadowing staff, and observing board meetings.
Each semester the student is expected to facilitate monthly meetings with their Ministry in Context Lay Committee (congregation only), meet at least twice a month with the supervisor, and complete the Student Ministry in Context Reflection at the end of each semester.
What is expected of the supervisors of Ministry in Context students?
The pastor of the congregation or the designated person of the social ministry agency where the student is placed act as the student’s supervisor and are expected to meet with the student at least twice a month. These meetings provide time to reflect on how the work is going, highlighting both areas of strength as well as areas for growth. In a congregation: a Lay Committee of at least three members of the congregation is also established, and is expected to meet with the student at least once per month to reflect with the student on areas of strength as well as areas for growth. Both the supervisors and the Lay Committee, if applicable, are expected to complete reflection forms at the end of each semester.
To be considered as a Ministry in Context site, please contact the Office of Contextual Education.
Lay Committee Training Video