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Surpervised Ministry

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Students in Columbia's professional degree programs (MDiv, MAPT, DMin, and DEdMin) are required to enroll in Supervised Ministry experiences for which they receive academic credit. From congregational-based internships and practicums to a myriad of specialized settings, students have a wide variety of ministry options and contexts from which to learn and hone new skills. Serving an integrative function, Supervised Ministry helps students explore relationships between theology and life experience, between private convictions and public actions. Its goal is pastoral integrity.

To achieve this goal students undertake specific acts of ministry through internships or practicums supervised by an experienced practitioner. Supervisors and students engage in theological and pastoral reflections about their practices of ministry.

All supervised ministry courses emphasize five core elements:

  • Experience in Ministry: Any Supervised Ministry experience must take seriously both the learning needs of students and the ministry needs of the ministry context.

  • Learning Covenant: Students and supervisors negotiate a written learning covenant to identify learning goals, pastoral activities, and plans for supervision.

  • Pastoral Supervision: Students and supervisors are required to engage routinely in theological and pastoral reflection about the student's work. In most contexts a team of laypersons or peers also participates in the reflection process.

  • Evaluation: The supervisor prepares written assessments of the student's ministry.

  • Academic Requirements: Students are required to write self-assessments and/or other assigned materials.

For more information:
Office of Contextual Education
1-888-601-8916 (toll free)