Field Education Placement Procedures
The placement of students in settings where they have an opportunity to learn through active involvement in ministry is the result of cooperation among three parties, each of which has an important role to play. The procedures outlined below as items 1-8 are arranged sequentially followed by a summary of the expectations of each of the three participants in the process.
1. Congregations and agencies prepare and submit descriptions of the positions they are seeking to fill, using the Field Education Position Description Form available from the Field Education Office or through this web site. These completed forms are placed on file in the Field Education Office, and copies of appropriate pages are posted online and on the Field Education bulletin board for students to review. Because positions are posted in early March, this step should be completed before that time.
2. Students indicate their interest in a posted position by signing up for an interview.
3. After students have had sufficient time to indicate their interest, the congregation or agency is contacted by the Field Education Office to arrange for interviews. The interview process is generally handled in either of two ways:
a) The congregation or agency schedules a time to send representatives to the seminary to conduct a series of interviews. The Field Education Office is responsible for reserving a room and informing students of the times and location of the interviews. Students are responsible for selecting in advance the time that fits best into their schedules and informing the Field Education Office of unusual circumstances requiring an interview to be cancelled or rescheduled.
b) The congregation or agency indicates a desire to be contacted directly by the students so that interviews may be scheduled individually, often at the field education site. The Field Education Office will contact students, providing the name and telephone number of the person designated to schedule the interviews.
4. Students complete and return to the Field Education Office a copy of the Student Information Form to be used in the interview process. A copy of this form is placed in the student's file in the Field Education Office and will be provided to the appropriate congregations and/or agencies prior to interviews.
5. Interviews are usually 30 minutes in length when held at the Seminary and follow the same general pattern: introductions, committee reviews the position being offered (including past experiences of students on the site), student describes his or her interest and qualifications for the position, questions from the committee, questions from the student. When held on the field education site, interviews generally run longer to allow an opportunity for the student to tour the facilities.
6. Upon completion of the interviews, the congregation or agency informs the Field Education Office of its decisions, giving a priority listing of the students and indicating when a particular student is not appropriate for the position.
7. The Field Education Office will relay offers of positions to students on a designated day. The student will notify the congregation or agency of his/her decision and negotiate pertinent arrangements. The student must also notify the Field Education Office of his or her decision.
8. Once a student has accepted a position, the congregation or agency is urged to contact the other students interviewed as a courtesy, to inform them that the position has been filled.
Summary of Responsibilities in the Placement Process
Congregations and agencies are responsible for:
- preparing and submitting descriptions of the positions they are seeking to fill;
- negotiating a time and place for interviewing students;
- conducting interviews with interested students;
- informing the Field Education Office of decisions regarding the students interviewed;
- negotiating arrangements with students accepting positions;
- notifying students who will not be offered positions.
Students are responsible for:
- completing and returning a copy of the Student Information Form to the Field Education Office;
- watching the bulletin board and reviewing online postings for opportunities and signing up for interviews;
- negotiating a time when an interview is requested and arriving promptly for the interview;
- accepting or declining an offer of a position within the designated time period;
- informing the Field Education Office when the offer of a position has been accepted or declined.
The Field Education Office is responsible for:
- posting information about the availability of approved field education opportunities;
- providing information to congregations and agencies about students indicating an interest;
- arranging for interviews between congregations or agencies and students;
- notifying students of invitations to serve;
- providing guidance to students, congregations, and agencies at any point in the process;
- enforcing policies and guidelines governing the Field Education program.