Field Education provides an opportunity for Master of Divinity (M.Div.) students to discern their vocational identity through contextual learning. This is achieved as students practice the skills of ministry, spend time discerning God's call upon their life and future vocation, and reflect theologically with an experienced supervisor.
Two units of field education are required for graduation in the M.Div. degree program. Five placement opportunities are available: during the three academic years (part-time for 13-15 hours per week for 30 weeks for a total of 400 hours) and the intervening two summers (full-time for 10 weeks for a total of 400 hours). Three funded placements through the Office of Field Education are allowed.
Students may self-initiate placements under the guidelines of the Office of Field Education or seek a placement coordinated by the Office of Field Education.
Through the generosity of the Rural Church Division of the Duke Endowment, based in Charlotte, N.C., placements in Endowment-eligible churches and agencies in North Carolina provide substantial stipend/tuition assistance. Duke Endowment-eligible placements provide $9,000 per student in stipend/tuition assistance. Other placements assist up to $8,600 per student.
Placement opportunities include:
- Rural United Methodist Church placements throughout North Carolina (see Section VII.A of the Policies and Procedures Manual (PDF) for more details)
- Non-profit ministry settings that include, but are not limited to, camping ministries, prison ministries, HIV/AIDS ministries, housing and homelessness, children’s homes, creation care/ecology placements, end-of-life care, and campus ministry settings
- International opportunities in countries such as Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, El Salvador and Mexico
- Center for Reconciliation placements in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Chicago, Mississippi, and Phoenix
- Local church settings in Baptist, Anglican/Episcopal, Presbyterian, Mennonite, and other denominational traditions
- Clinical Pastoral Education (see Section IX of the Policies and Procedures Manual (PDF) for more details)
- Student Pastorates - Students can meet some or all of their Field Education requirements if they are appointed as a pastor of a local church during their M.Div. education. These appointments are arranged by the appropriate denominational official or body, but students must register with the Office of Field Education and meet all of its requirements for graduation (see Section III.E of the Policies and Procedures Manual (PDF) for more details).