Preparing for the Call Union is a place for those who understand ministry in the broadest of terms. Recognizing the many different ways individuals can bring their call to social justice to life, the seminary accommodates a wide variety of paths for students to fulfill their field education requirement.
While many students choose traditional sites, like serving in churches, hospitals, and hospice programs, Union students have also worked on Rikers Island teaching horticulture to the incarcerated, and one even took an entire year to bike around the world in support of the Millennium Development Goals.
Whatever a student’s path, Union’s field education program transfigures mere “work in the field” into an integrative education that brings together knowledge, skill, moral integrity, religious tradition, and religious commitment. These elements combine to create an engaged ministerial practice that gives students a foundation for success in pursuing their call, whatever they may discover it to be.
Field education is a requirement of the M.Div. program taken during the student’s second year.
Questions? Please contact Su Yon Pak ’99, the Senior Director and Associate Professor of Integrative and Field-Based Education, at 212-280-1340 or via email at email@example.com.
The IFE Office recruits field placements across a broad spectrum of ministries. There are over 100 field sites open to Union’s M.Div. students. Because of the varied interests and goals of the prospective student interns, the field site list covers a wide range of placements which may include: churches and faith communities of various denominations and affiliations; social service agencies; community-based non-profits; clinical settings, such as hospitals, hospices, and independent living facilities; prisons and incarceration programs; public and private academic institutions; special projects and task forces; denominational agencies and judicatories; and many other kinds of entities. If a student is unable to meet her/his vocational needs with our existing partner sites, she/he may seek out and propose a field site for Senior Director’s approval.
HYBRID FIELD EDUCATION – CLINICAL PASTORAL EDUCATION PROGRAM
In the fall of 2014, Union launched a hybrid Field Education – Clinical Pastoral Education (FE-CPE) program in collaboration with the Jewish Theological Seminary’s Center for Pastoral Education. We will be offering this program again in the upcoming academic year. Eight students who will enroll in Field Education will be selected to do the FE-CPE program. At the successful completion of the program, they will receive both 6 Field education credits and one unit of CPE. Students in the FE-CPE program will do their clinical hours in their field sites. This program will broaden the context of CPE (usually in healthcare settings) into the community. The supervisor is Rev. A. Meigs Ross, M.Div. ’83, BCC, LCSW, formerly the Manager of Pastoral Care and Education at New-York Presbyterian Hospital and a psychotherapist in private practice. Rev. Ross works closely with Dr. Su Yon Pak to shape the curriculum.
This program allows students to have at least one-unit of CPE without doing a summer intensive. It is our hope that after this program, students will continue on to do a summer intensive unit in a healthcare setting. If you have any questions about the program, work-load, etc., feel free to contact Rev. Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis with priority given to applications submitted prior to November 30.
The Rev. A. Meigs Ross, LCSW, is an Episcopal priest a psychotherapist in private practice and a CPE (clinical pastoral education) supervisor. She is currently the CPE supervisor for the Hybrid Field Education-CPE program at UTS and supervises CPE supervisory education students in NYC. Additionally, Meigs is the director of the Certificate Program in Spirituality and Social Work at New York University. She is a licensed Systems-Centered Practitioner with SCTRI and a clergy coach working with individuals and groups. She has also served as the Manager of Pastoral Care and Education at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell, the Director of Clinical Pastoral Education at the HealthCare Chaplaincy in New York and as the Director of Pastoral Care and Education at both St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in New York City. Rev. Ross receiv ed a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary and an MSW from New York University.
STUDENTS CAN CLICK HERE TO ACCESS THE DATABASE FOR FIELD EDUCATION SITES.
STUDENTS CAN CLICK HERE TO ACCESS FIELD EDUCATION DOCUMENTS.
ADDITIONAL FIELD EDUCATION SITE RESOURCES
In addition to accessing field site resources from Union’s Field Education Database, our field education interns have been invited to work with field sites from Columbia Community Service. To see our partner sites CLICK here. If you are interested in moving forward with any of these field sites, they will need to complete the Request for Intern form for the Field Education Office along with your Contract and Learning Agreement.
Field Education FAQ
Do I take classes while I am working at a field placement?
Yes. In the second year of your M.Div. program, you will enroll in FE 103-104. This course includes a weekly two-hour seminar with a 12-15 hour a week field placement, in addition to your other courses. If you are fulfilling the field education requirement through the full-time option, you will enroll in FE 300/301, which includes a full-time placement, along with a course taken as an independent study; you will not be enrolled in other courses.
Can I create my own field placement?
Yes. In consultation with the Senior Director of Integrative and Field-Based Education, you have the option of creating a field placement that best suits your vocational and personal interests. Please consult the Integrative and Field-Based Education Handbook for the process and requirements for this option.
Do I get paid for my field placement?
Yes. There is a required minimum stipend, $3,600, with which the field placement must compensate students for work done at the site. Often the field placement will pay the student more than the minimum, but never less.
I’m thinking of transferring to Union. I have done a field placement at another seminary. Can I transfer these credits to my Union program?
Typically, no. However, we consider each transfer request individually, seeking to assess how comparable the experience has been. We consider such factors as vocational goals, previous ministerial experience, and type of field placement.
My denomination requires me to have a year-long internship for ordination. How can the Office of Integrative and Field-Based Education help me?
The FE 300/301 course is an option designed specifically for this purpose. This course allows students the opportunity to fulfill the Field Education requirement for the Master of Divinity degree program, and simultaneously fulfill the ordination requirements for many denominations. The Office of IFE will work with you and your denominational representative to place you in a site that meets both Union’s requirements and those of your denomination.
Can I fulfill my Field Education requirement by taking CPE?
No. Generally, the Field Education requirement is not met through this option. In very specific cases, if the educational goals of FE 103/104 have been met, the Senior Director may consider CPE as an option. Approval of the Senior Director is granted on an individual basis.
I can’t choose between two field sites. Can I work at two field placements?
No. Students enrolled in the FE103/104 may only complete one learning agreement for one field placement. A student may work at a second field site for experience only, not academic credit.
Can I take my field education in my senior of M.Div. program?
No. Field education requirement must be met before the final year of M.Div. program. The student is expected to integrate the field education experience and identified learning needs in the third year of her/his M.Div. program.