• Field Education at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary lies at the confluence of students, seminary, and ministry sites. It is where students develop ministry skills, practice theological reflection, discern their call, and are mentored into ministry. 
  • It is where congregations and other organizations come alongside a seminarian with welcome, feedback, support, discernment, and an invitation into mutual ministry. 
  • It is where faculty and staff bring theological traditions and theories to bear upon the practices of ministry for the sake of the church and the world.

This work of exploration, integration and collaboration brings the Seminary curriculum and faculty, the seminarians, and the supervisors and their sites together for an intentionally creative, sometimes challenging, and predictably unpredictable time of learning, reflection, and growth. 

The Role of the Field Education in a Student’s Experience

A carefully planned and faithfully executed Field Education experience fulfills the Seminary's mission to “equip people for ministries familiar and yet to unfold and communities present and yet to be gathered.”

The scholarship and intellectual inquiry of the classroom is joined with the prayer and worship, witness, reconciliation, justice, evangelism, and service that students observe and engage in at their site.

Through relationships, tasks, projects, and events, students gain hands-on experiences of participating in God’s ongoing mission in the world. Their understanding of the community of Christ is deepened and enlarged as they work side by side and reflect theologically with supervisors, peers, and others in ministries. They are resourced practically, skillfully, formationally, and theologically for the ministries awaiting them in the complex realities of the world that God loves.

The Role of the Field Education in a Congregation’s Experience

When a congregation, agency, organization, or campus hosts a Field Education experience, the community puts flesh and bones, faces and stories, on their commitment to raising up the next generation of leaders. By offering to be a site of learning, they become a part of the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary community. They serve as a laboratory of sorts for ideas and practices that may still be unfolding but at the same time as a bearer of time-tested wisdom and tradition. By receiving a seminarian, whether someone known or previously unknown to their community, they have a chance to shape an individual’s journey in ministry. They also have occasion to reflect anew on their mission and their common life and work, thus finding themselves renewed and resourced as well.

The Role of the Field Education Office

The staff of the Field Education Office is eager to explore new placement opportunities through which students may best fulfill their vocational and educational needs and through which creative and engaging supervisors and placement sites may offer their gifts in the formation of ministerial excellence for the Church and the world. We will:

  • assess placement opportunities for breadth of experience and opportunities offered;
  • coordinate the placement and evaluation processes;
  • evaluate learning covenants and evaluations in light of established learning goals; and
  • provide resources, guidance, and training for students and supervisors.


Contact Field Education

Barbara Blodgett 
Associate Dean of Academic Programs, Assessment, and Field Education

Holly A. McKelvey
Administrative Assistant for Academic Support