Check out this the Field Education Panel from New Student Orientation 2016 here:

Contact Field Education

Holbrook 45/125

Patricia St. Onge
Instructor in the Practice of Ministry
Interim Director, Community Engaged Learning

Grace Gilliam
Associate Director, Community Engaged Learning

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Through PSR’s field education, students learn and serve as pastors, hospital and hospice chaplains, artists, social justice advocates, educators, entrepreneurs, and organizers. We take seriously the variety of cultures, religious traditions, experiences, and gifts of seminarians and the distinctive ministry sites that provide opportunities to learn and serve. The Office of Field Education works with seminarians as they choose and engage in learning sites that relate to their vocational goals and denominational expectations.

Field Education bridges and deepens the theological education of Pacific School of Religion with the reflective practice of ministry in congregations and community settings. Our program includes on-site mentoring and theological reflection with other students and with congregations and agencies. Support and guidance for learning is also provided through regular meetings with mentors and members of teaching parish and agency committees.

Students in Concurrent Field Education participate in a seminar group throughout the academic year. Students learn to reflect theologically on issues of race, ethnicity, culture, gender, and gender identity as well as congregational, ethical, and pastoral issues. Each year, a group session is devoted to educating about the power dynamics that inform clergy ethics as they relate to dating, sexual conduct, friendship, and other issues. Students are required to become familiar with their denominational guidelines and are encouraged to pursue additional courses in the area.

Field education is a requirement of the MDiv program. Students in other programs may enroll in field education with the approval of Community Engaged Learning staff.

Field Education Requirements

Field Education Requirements and Electives

  • All M.Div. students are required to earn 6 semester units in Field Education. Candidates for other degrees may enroll for Field Education, dependent upon available placements and approval of the Director of Community Engaged Learning.
  • The maximum number of Field Education credits that can apply towards graduation is 12 semester units.
  • All M.Div. students are expected to meet with the CEL Director during their first semester for a Field Education intake interview.
  • All placements must be pre-approved by the Director.
  • Students must submit a completed Field Education Placement Confirmation Form the semester prior to beginning Field Education.
  • Field Education requirements must be met prior to the student’s final year in seminary.

Options for fulfilling Field Education requirement

  1. Concurrent Field Education FE 1005-1006 (3 credits each semester, total of 6 credits). This option requires that the student spend 15 hours per week in an approved field placement and attend an accompanying course on campus for the entire academic year (September to May).
  2. Internship FE 1011-1014 (3 credits each semester, total of 6 credits). This option requires that the student work full time in an approved placement for the entire academic year.
  3. Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) FE 2000 (3 credits each semester, total of 6 credits). With approval of the CEL Director, a student can meet their MDiv Concurrent FIeld Education requirement by completing one unit of Extended CPE (CPE must include 9 consecutive months, September thru May, to meet this requirement.)

Elective Field Education Options

  1. Advanced Concurrent Field Study FE 2210-2211 (variable credit). Advanced Field Education provides additional opportunities for supervised work with academic credit. Students may extend a placement beyond the requisite two semesters, or may have a second placement.
  2. Special Field Study Ministry FE 1003-1004 (variable credit). Special Field Study provides an opportunity for supervised work that does not fit into other Field Education categories. Consult with Field Education staff for further information and details.
  3. Summer Internship. Students may earn credit for summer internships. An internship must be at least 10 weeks duration, full time, with approved supervision. Students must register for all summer placements before their summer experience. No retroactive credit will be given.
  4. Clinical Pastoral Education FE 2000 (variable credit). Clinical Pastoral Education is professional clinical education for ministry, offered by hospitals and other institutions. CPE is not required by PSR for the MDiv degree, but is required by some denominations and conferences as part of preparation for ordination. PSR gives up to 6 credits for CPE units with prior approval of the CEL Director.

Field Education Criteria for Placements

Field education integrates academic study, spiritual discipline, and the practice of ministry. It is the portion of the MDiv curriculum that involves students in supervised work in ministry in PSR-approved ministry settings.

Field Education differs from field work, unsupervised church employment, and other employment because it requires:

  1. Involvement in significant learning opportunities for the full range of the work of ministry;
  2. Development of a learning/serving covenant at the beginning of each semester as the first step in the self-directed, self-reflective learning process;
  3. Weekly one-hour reflection sessions with an on-site mentor;
  4. Written evaluations by the mentor and the seminarian that are submitted to the Field Education Office at the end of each semester;
  5. Regular feedback from a constituency group (Teaching Parish Committee or Teaching Agency Committee) concerning the seminarian’s growth and level of competency;
  6. And, for students in Concurrent Field Education, participation in a weekly seminar throughout the academic year in which there is disciplined reflection on the practice of ministry.

Mentors within the local area are expected to participate in scheduled meetings with Field Education staff. During the first year of mentoring, there are five meetings. In subsequent years, there are three.

As PSR places students in field education sites, it assumes that each site has in force a safe congregation/ safe agency policy that includes protection of children and vulnerable adults and establishes clear guidelines to protect all persons from sexual and other forms of harassment. The responsibility for implementing and enforcing such a policy belongs to the site where the student’s field education is being carried out, and PSR relies upon the site’s policies and personnel to do so.

Field education placements may be part time (concurrent) or full time (internship) during the academic year. As an elective option, students may receive academic credit for full-time summer placements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What kinds of places offer field education?
A: PSR students have done field education in a wide variety of settings depending on their vocational goals. As a multidenominational seminary, we have relationships with many area churches, both urban and suburban. Students interested in chaplaincy have fulfilled their field education through placements in area hospitals or hospice agencies and prisons. Students have worked in arts organizations and in social service and social justice organizations.

Q: How do I find the right place for me?
A: Students meet with Field Education staff during their first semester about opportunities that match individual goals. Each spring, the Field Education office hosts events to bring to campus representatives of churches and agencies who would like to have a student work with them. Students are urged to take advantage of those opportunities to explore options. By March, listings of possible placements become available. At that point, students need to visit and interview at places of interest.

Q: What happens at an interview? Is it like a job interview?
A: Although often less formal than a job interview, the interviews are an opportunity to discuss your goals for your learning and hear what the placement hopes to offer. The goal is to find a good match.

Q: What if I am not selected?
A: We communicate with churches and agencies offering placements that it is important to work on a similar timeframe. All interviews are to be conducted after March 1, and when a decision has been made, students who have interviewed are to be contacted promptly. It is the student’s responsibility to pursue another option. The Field Education staff will work with students until placements are secured.

Q: May I wait until the next year?
A: Field Education must be fulfilled prior to the final year of the MDiv program so that students have opportunities to integrate the learning of the field education experience into classroom learning and have time to pursue further study in areas that have been identified as needed for their ministry.

Prerequisites for Concurrent Field Education / Social Change Field Work

Concurrent Field Education
for M.Div. Students:

First Semester of Program – Schedule an Intake Interview with the Director or Associate Director of Field Education at this link:

The process for Field Education placement begins with your intake interview. By learning about your vocational and developmental goals, we can invite placements relevant to your needs and aspirations. Schedule early as appointments book fast!

March of Spring semester prior to beginning FE – Approved Field Education placements are made available to students. These will be published to the PSR website under the Field Education Placement Opportunities tab. Students should contact the sites of interest to them, scheduling interviews with their potential mentors.

Schedule early and with various sites in order to better ensure a placement that fits your vocational needs.

April – Students submit a completed Field Education Placement Confirmation Form.

Students needing assistance beyond the stipend offered by the Placement Site (if under $400/mo.) can submit the Supplemental Stipend Request Form by the end of the month.

Stipend requests will not be reviewed until the Office of Field Education has received the Placement Confirmation Form signed by mentor and student. Supplemental Stipends are not guaranteed; they will be determined by the number of students in need and the amounts offered by the Placement Sites.

Register for FE-1005 Concurrent Field Education during Early Registration for the fall semester.

The Concurrent Field Ed class meets on Wednesday mornings, 9:10 am-12:00 pm. Depending on need, an evening section may be offered. Students needing an evening class should submit a request giving reasons why they cannot attend the Wednesday morning class.

The Field Education Manual and the Learning-Serving Covenant will be made available prior to or during the first class. 


Social Change Field Work
for MAST / CSSC / CMF Students:

First Semester of Program – In concert with your advisor, complete your SCFW Proposal using using this criteria. Once completed, schedule a meeting to review your proposal with the Adjunct Faculty for SCFW at this link:

Fall semester prior to SCFW – Register for Social Change Field Work during Early Registration for the spring semester. Completed proposals are due to the Office of Field Education before the end of the fall semester.

  • CSSC students should register for FERS-3001 Capstone
  • MAST students should register for FERS-3002

*Students planning SCFW as an elective should register for FERS-3000. For MAST students, FERS-3002 is not the same as your final SAIL course, although the project topic may be the same.

Information for prospective Field Education host congregations and agencies

Pacific School of Religion is grateful for the partnership of congregations and agencies in preparing seminarians for ministry and community leadership. We recognize and appreciate the commitment made to seminarians in providing mentoring and an opportunity to be learners. A guideline to the criteria and FAQ for placement sites can be downloaded here.

Congregations and agencies interested in offering a placement and able to provide the requisite mentoring should submit the Notice of Opportunity form to the Field Education office. Please include a brief description of the ministry setting and the needs and learning opportunities. The Field Education office notifies students of available placements. Students are responsible for contacting and interviewing with placements suitable to their vocational goals.

Field Education staff are available for assistance and guidance in the placement process, but the final decision and acceptance is the responsibility of the congregation or agency and the student. Both parties need to be explicit about their expectations. These expectations need to be communicated clearly to members of the congregation or constituents of the agency and to appropriate denominational or organizational personnel and committees.

Congregations and agencies should be aware of the financial needs of seminarians, since many have left paying jobs to make time for field education. The Field Education office may be consulted about financial remuneration; however, all financial arrangements are negotiated between the congregation or agency and the student.

The timeline for offering placements may vary depending on whether it is a full-time or part-time placement. Concurrent (part-time) field education opportunities are announced to students in early March for placements starting in September. Students are expected to notify the Field Education office of their placements by late-April.

If your congregation or agency is interested in offering a placement, download and complete this form and submit it to the Field Education office via snail mail or email.

Approved 2018-2019 Field Education Placement Sites will be available here the first week of March, 2018



Congregational Church of Belmont, UCC

| Congregations, Field Education Placement opportunities | No Comments
Congregational Church of Belmont is an Open and Affirming congregation founded in 1954 and O and A since 1988. A small (100 members) church with a thriving program for children…

Arlington Community Church, UCC, Kensington, CA

| Congregations, Field Education Placement opportunities | No Comments
Arlington Community Church United Church of Christ is a small congregation, worshipping about 40 each Sunday, ranging from 1-year old to 98-years old. We have a strong financial base (a…

Skyline Community Church, UCC, Oakland

| Congregations, Field Education Placement opportunities | No Comments
If, in your field education experience, you are seeking: a church that is guided by the teachings of Jesus in an open-minded and progressive way; a way to work for…

Many Journeys Metropolitan Community Church, San Mateo, CA

| Congregations, Field Education Placement opportunities | No Comments
Metropolitan Community Churches have a historic primary (but not exclusive) ministry to LGBTQQI2Spirited… peoples. Our denomination housed the early authors and proponents of scriptural interpretations that take the ‘bash out…

Agencies / Organizations

Interfaith Power & Light, San Francisco, CA

| Agencies, Field Education Placement opportunities | No Comments
Interfaith Power & Light is focused on climate advocacy and organizing. We work with 700 member congregations in California -- 20,000 nationwide. The student will be a part of our…

Internships at Tikkun, Berkeley, CA

| Agencies, Field Education Placement opportunities, Volunteer | No Comments
Tikkun is a progressive interfaith and secular-humanist magazine, addressing social theory, culture, psychology, philosophy, and strategies to heal and repair our world. The spiritual progressive ideas of Tikkun are amplified through the consciousness-raising efforts of…

Berkeley Food and Housing Project Chaplain Outreach, Berkeley, CA

| Agencies, Chaplaincy, Field Education Placement opportunities | No Comments
Berkeley Food and Housing Project (BFHP) seeks Field Education students engaged in Social Justice Ministry that affirms and fosters human life, dignity and rights, promotes justice and peace, and serves…

Youth Spirit Artworks

| Agencies, Field Education Placement opportunities | No Comments
Youth Spirit Artworks seeks a student for a placement with our organization in 2018/19, engaged in our interfaith ministry empowering and transforming young lives through art, jobs, and jobs training.…

Mills College Spiritual and Religious Life, Oakland, CA

| Agencies, Field Education, Field Education Placement opportunities | No Comments
Mills College is a historically women's college which has a transgender inclusive policy and offers graduate programs for men and women. Our campus is situated in a beautiful, serene setting…

Gubbio Project, San Francisco, CA

| Agencies, Field Education Placement opportunities | No Comments
Inspired by Francis of Assisi's solidarity with and love for the poor and outcast, The Gubbio Project provides sanctuary for up to 300 homeless and displaced brothers and sisters every…

Clinical Pastoral Education and Chaplaincy Placement Opportunities

Clinical Pastoral Education is professional clinical education for ministry, offered by hospitals and other institutions. CPE is not required by PSR for the MDiv degree, but is required by some denominations and conferences as part of preparation for ordination. PSR gives up to 6 credits for CPE units with prior approval of Field Education Director.

Each October, the GTU hosts CPE DAY, an opportunity to hear and ask questions of CPE Supervisors from many hospital, hospice, and agency sites in the Pacific Region. Be sure to check our e-newsletter Vocare, under Field Education/Field Work, for announcements about the future date for this event.

For a comprehensive list of ACPE-approved CPE sites in the Pacific Region, download the 2015-2016 Comparison of Pacific Region ACPE Training Centers. (updated each year after CPE DAY.)

For a Complete Listing of All Jobs in Ministry, Please Click Here.

if you have a church or non-profit job you would like us to post,
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For a Complete Listing of All Jobs in Ministry, Please Click Here.

Student Preaching and Teaching Calendar

All current PSR students—especially those enrolled in Field Ed—are invited to share with us times that they are scheduled to lead/teach/preach. Students, submit your upcoming teaching/preaching appearances here so that the PSR community might support you with presence and/or prayer.

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Students, submit your upcoming teaching/preaching appearances here


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