The Field Education Program at St. Patrick's Seminary & University offers students the opportunity to exercise and develop their academic, social and ministerial skills in diverse pastoral settings. Primary among the available placements is the parish, but experience in hospital, campus, prison, urban and ethnic ministries is also provided and encouraged.
A wide variety of specialized social service placements is also used:
- Supervisory Workshops To enhance the quality of field education experience, the Field Education Department regularly provides an orientation and training workshop, which is required for new field education supervisors in order to assure that they can engage in this work effectively and professionally.
- Field Work Under the supervision of trained personnel, students are introduced to pastoral ministry by spending a required number of hours each week in pastoral work. During their course of studies, students are required to take eighteen hours in Field Education one credit per semester. Twelve of these are for the successful completion of the M.Div. Degree, the other units are necessary for formational purposes. Six of these are Pastoral Year credits and the others are obtained during the course of regular semesters. Students are expected to gain a reasonable competence in the following areas: Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) and sacramental preparation, religious education, ministry to the sick, liturgical celebration, team ministry and collegial parish leadership, and, if possible, other important ministries, such as involvement with social justice.
- Pastoral Year
- Pastoral Ministry Courses In addition to on-site supervision in the field, students are required to take two pastoral ministry courses at the Seminary, which seek to sharpen pastoral skills: 1) Pastoral Leadership: Ministry and Skills and 2) Parish Administration and Finances.
- Clinical Pastoral Education While St. Patrick's Seminary & University does not require CPE units as part of its Field Education requirements, Clinical Pastoral Education is highly recommended for every student. The student's own diocese should arrange this during one of the summers. The Field Education Department is able to make known to a diocese/student available CPE programs.
As an extension of the Field Education program, St. Patrick's Seminary & University will grant two credits of Field Education to a student who successfully completes a full quarter of CPE at an accredited CPE program.