Field Education

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.

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.

Students can CLICK HERE to access the database for Field Education Sites.

Students can CLICK HERE to access field education documents.

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.

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