THEOLOGICAL FIELD EDUCATION

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1 THEOLOGICAL FIELD EDUCATION Lay Advisory Committee Handbook Knox College 59 St. George Street Toronto, Ontario M5S 2E6

2 Contact us: Pam McCarroll Director of Theological Field Education Knox College Allyson MacLeod Coordinator of Theological Field Education Knox College All forms found within this Handbook are available online under Theological Field Education at the following link: 2

3 Dear Committee Member Thank you for your willingness to be a part of the Lay Advisory Committee (LAC) for the student placed at your church as part of the Theological Field Education (TFE) programme at Knox College. Your role in the programme is an important one. You are assisting the student in their training for ministry and you are assisting Knox in its task of equipping persons for service in the church and world. Ultimately, you are a partner in theological education, working to make the church stronger through the development of leadership for today and for the future. This handbook is created to assist you in your work as a committee. In the document you will find the reason why TFE exists in theological education, an overview of the competency standards we look for in the programme, information on the Lay Advisory Committee and a sample of some of the forms developed for evaluation in this programme. It is important that we work together in this important task. Together with your minister who is serving as the student s Field Supervisor, we all have differing, but equally vital, tasks to fulfill. Open and clear communication between all involved is important. If issues arise please communicate them to the supervisor. If the matter requires the involvement of the College, we will be happy to discuss issues as they arise. If you have further questions or comments about the role of the LAC please do not hesitate to contact us. Again, thank you for your willingness to serve in this partnership. Sincerely, Rev. Dr. Pam McCarroll Director of Theological Field Education Rev. Allyson MacLeod Coordinator of Theological Field Education 3

4 Table of Contents 1. Identity, Mission and Values of Knox College What is Theological Field Education at Knox College Competency Based Learning Outcomes.8 4. The Lay Advisory Committee: a) Specific Emphases of the LAC.10 b) The Purpose of the LAC...10 c) The Composition of the Committee..11 d) The Function of the Committee Forms of Evaluation: a) The Learning Covenant.14 b) The Worship Evaluation Form..16 c) The Preaching Evaluation Form 18 d) The Teaching Evaluation Form.20 e) LAC Mid Term Evaluation Form..22 f) LAC Final Evaluation Form..23 4

5 IDENTITY, MISSION AND VALUES of KNOX COLLEGE Identity Statement: Knox College is a theological school of The Presbyterian Church in Canada, a federated College of the University of Toronto, and a founding member of The Toronto School of Theology. As a seminary of the Reformed tradition, it has ecumenical relationships with the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, World Council of Churches, The Canadian Council of Churches, as well as partnerships with various seminaries in the global community. Knox holds its accreditation through the Association of Theological Schools. Mission Statement: Knox College educates women and men for faithful and creative Christian ministries and scholarship through its teaching, research and global partnerships. Values: In light of our identity and statement of mission, trusting in God, sustained by the Spirit, with Jesus Christ as our helper, Knox College will: 1. demonstrate the following practices in the exercise of its vocation: Leadership that serves Relationships of trust and respect Learning as reflective practice Honoring a prophetic voice Offering hospitality 2. through its Faculty, prepare ordained and lay congregational and pastoral leaders who will improve the quality of religious and public life through their work in communities of faith, both within Canada and globally. be an effective resource by making its research available to The Presbyterian Church in Canada and the broader public of Canadian society. individually, and through membership in the Toronto School of Theology continue a strong commitment to critical reflection and scholarly research on the Christian ministry, faith, history and tradition 3. value excellence in its academic programs and centres, and focus its resources accordingly. 4. be an active partner within the Toronto School of Theology and the University of Toronto, providing a Reformed voice for ecumenical and Christian theological education. 5. promote effective partnerships with The Presbyterian Church in Canada, Canadian public life, and global partners as integral to the strengthening of its mission. 6. live deeply into the challenges and opportunities of what it means to be a multicultural community of faith. 7. through its residence, offer hospitality to students who are Presbyterian and those who are part of the diversity of the University of Toronto. 8. commit itself to ongoing and comprehensive evaluation of all aspects of its work and witness. 5

6 What is Theological Field Education (TFE) at Knox College? TFE is a required component of training for the M.Div. and MRE at Knox College. Field education is a relatively new component of ministry training. Education for ministry in seminaries traditionally consisted of training in the classical disciplines of Scripture, Biblical languages, church history and theological thought. In the 1940 s a few seminaries in the United States began to include field work as part of ministry training. By the mid 1950 s many schools began to make field ministry under the supervision of a senior minister a requirement. Similarly in educational ministries during the 1950 s such practical training became more common. However, it was not until the late 1960 s that the Association of Theological Education (ATS) convinced all its member schools that this needed to be a vital part of theological training. At Knox TFE is based upon our Identity, Mission and Values. In this document reference to ministry includes professional ministries of education and Word and Sacrament. TFE generally occurs when the student has completed at least 8 credits and no more than 20 credits of their program. The Purpose of Field Education at Knox Integration Integration is the fundamental purpose and goal of TFE. TFE provides the opportunity for students to integrate more deeply who they are (identity), with their sense of call (vocation), with what they do in ministry practice and the Christian life. It enables students to integrate what they are learning in all aspects of their degree programme with the practice of ministry. As well, TFE requires intentionality in practicing self awareness and theological reflection in all aspects life and ministry. Supervision as Education The sage wisdom and deep experience of the Field Education Supervisor is vital to the programme. Learning from the experience of others is a key aspect of the TFE programme. Supervisors function as mentors for students enabling students to learn through observation. As well, Supervisors are invited on their own educational journey as they reflect on the practice of ministry through the eyes of another. Achieving Growth/Developing Competencies It is anticipated that learning in the context of practice will bring growth in the life and actions of the student. In all that the minister does there is a giving to God, to the church and world the best we can offer as human beings. This does not mean perfection but rather the integration of who we are as persons with the important task to which we are called. The programme seeks to measure growth in the outcomes and competency of the student in the practices of ministry. Developing Ministry Identity and Self Awareness Integration means a growing and maturing development of identity. For the minister this is bringing together a personal and ministry identity which is demonstrated in authenticity and integrity in the practice of ministry. Through supervision, the integration seminar and 6

7 weekly journaling the student is invited to reflect on her/his experience as a window to self-awareness and through a theological and spiritual lens. Spiritual Formation It is from the development of the inner life that ministry can flow with authenticity. In the TFE program, students are challenged to balance the busyness of ministry with the discipline of spiritual nurture. More than any other element, the spiritual life of the minister makes all the difference in the practice of ministry both for the self and for communities within which one ministers. TFE provides a real opportunity to practice what you preach. Theological Reflection on/in Ministry The task of ministry is a theological one. Although reflection on ministry from other disciplines such as historical, sociological, and cultural is important, the work of ministry is to bring a God consciousness, a theological dimension, to life s circumstances. This occurs as the student reflects on ministry and their involvement in ministry. In developing skills to reflect theologically on experience the TFE programme seeks to build the student s capacity to lead others in discerning the presence and call of God in day-to-day life. Ultimately the goal of theological reflection is conversion conversion to a deeper relationship with God through more acute awareness of God s presence and call. 7

8 Competency Based Learning: Curricular and Professional Outcomes All candidates for the M. Div. and MRE degrees are expected to demonstrate fitness for ministry. During the TFE students will be given the opportunity to develop and demonstrate the following ministry competencies as elaborated in the Knox College Theological and Practical Curricular Outcomes as well as the Outcomes for Professional and Critical Competency. (Please see Knox College website for the full document.) These outcomes are the primary focus for evaluation and assessment in the TFE program. 1. TFE Outcomes Master of Divinity (M.Div.) A. Religious Heritage i. provide leadership in worship congruent with the religious tradition of the denomination within which one is a student ii. prepare and preach sermons that communicate clearly and integrate scripture, religious heritage and life iii. understand the mission and sacramental life of the community of faith and participate in the service and leadership of that mission and sacramental life iv. demonstrate respect for and understand the denominational and congregational heritage within which one works v. demonstrate competence in the various theological disciplines B. Cultural Context i. articulate an understanding of local culture of the congregation, the denomination and the context within which these operate ii. demonstrate respect for and participate in the congregational cultures in a way that integrates life and faith iii. ability and willingness to learn and understand one s culture, and the culture of people different from oneself C. Personal Spiritual Formation i. articulate and use one s own identity and self-understanding in ministry ii. demonstrate piety congruent with the catholic Christian and denominational tradition iii. articulate a call to ministry iv. ability to give and take constructive criticism and, as necessary, act on that criticism v. ability and willingness to identify pastoral boundaries that raise ethical and pastoral questions and to formulate appropriate responses to such boundary issues. vi. ability to accurately self assess and act to improve D. Capacity for Ministry i. show care for others and act in a compassionate manner towards others, including people of different backgrounds, ages, and perspectives ii. give leadership and take initiative iii. work well within the diversity of the church iv. deal with conflict in a constructive manner v. work under supervision, set goals with clear evaluative dimensions, and use the supervisor and lay advisory groups to learn and grow in ministry competencies 8

9 vi. vii. viii. ability and willingness to demonstrate interpersonal and team skills sufficient to take on a variety of roles (including leadership) in a ministerial context ability and willingness to listen, care and guide others of diverse backgrounds in various ministry situations ability and willingness to adapt to change and manage conflict arising from change in socially constructive and professional ways 2. TFE Outcomes Master of Religious Education (MRE) A. Religious Heritage i. understanding of issues of Christian Education in contemporary church and society ii. knowledge of educational theories in contemporary Christian Education iii. awareness of major developmental theories, including faith growth iv. awareness of age appropriate teaching methods and learning styles v. knowledge of theories in selection of curriculum for Christian Education vi. competence in the various theological disciplines B. Cultural Context i. awareness of one s own educational cultural context ii. awareness of educational theories in relation to one s cultural context iii. demonstrate ability to apply human developmental theories to one s cultural context iv. apply teaching and learning methods in one s placement context v. demonstrate various approaches for Bible study for in different cultural contexts C. Personal Spiritual Formation i. apply educational theories to one s own educational design ii. articulate an educator image that reflects theology, pedagogy and self awareness iii. demonstrate integration of human developmental theories to self understanding iv. demonstrate spiritual growth as a teacher v. ability to give and take constructive criticism and, if necessary, act on that criticism vi. ability and willingness to identify pastoral boundaries that raise ethical and pastoral questions and to formulate appropriate responses to such boundary issues vii. ability to accurately self assess and act to improve D. Competence in Ministry i. demonstrate teaching skills appropriate to each age level and faith stage ii. demonstrate leadership skills in various congregational groups iii. demonstrate appropriate group process and discussion skills iv. show self-confidence as a teacher in teaching adults, children, youth v. ability to design a lesson to teach the Bible vi. ability and willingness to demonstrate interpersonal and team skills sufficient to take on a variety of roles (including leadership) in an education ministry context vii. ability and willingness to listen, care and guide others of diverse backgrounds in various ministry situations viii. ability and willingness to adapt to change and manage conflict arising from change in socially constructive and professional ways 9

10 A. Specific Emphases of the LAC Lay Advisory Committee (LAC) i. Trust: It is vital that the committee build trust with the student. Without trust, evaluation will be taken as criticism and normal feedback as personal attack. The student needs to know and trust the committee. During the year, get to know the student so that a relationship of trust can evolve. Remember that both words and attitudes will convey or fail to convey trust. ii. iii. iv. Love: Assist the student in learning to love all whom he/she is called to serve. It is often easy to speak critically of people, especially those who may think or act differently. Bring to the fore the positive values and contribution of others. This does not mean to mask the negative but rather to begin with accentuating the positive in others. Clarify Ideas: The committee can assist the student in clarifying ideas. This relates to both the clarifying thought and word. Most students are inundated with many ideas and growing concepts. If the thought is unclear or the communication of the student not understandable raise questions until the message can be understood. Resolve conflicts: There will always be areas of conflict both in concept and in action. It has been said that where there is no conflict nothing is happening. Assist the student in recognizing, accepting and working to resolve conflict. It is usually not the conflict that is the problem but how it is handled and resolved. Help the student face it with reality. v. Advocacy: There may be times when the student will need support as he/she fits in and provides ministry within the congregation/centre. The LAC who works closely with the student will be able to assist the larger congregation/centre in better understanding the role and work of the student. Speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head of the Church, that is Christ. Eph 2:15 B The Purpose of the LAC The Lay Advisory Committee is a small group of people (4-8 in number) within the church/centre intended to provide encouragement, support and evaluation of the student's progress. i. The primary purpose of the LAC is to give every student the unique contributions that the lay perspective on ministry can provide and thus contribute to the student s growth and development in preparation for a church related vocation. The breadth of perspective provided by the committee will enable the student to better see him/herself from the perspective of the broader church body. 10

11 ii. iii. iv. The committee will serve as a mirror giving the student a reflection of how their ministry is received and interpreted by the breadth of the church s members and adherents. The Committee will assist the student in meeting his/her learning goals as laid down in the Learning Covenant (p ) and presented to the Committee at the first meeting. Although it is the Supervisor who is responsible for assuring that the Covenant is fulfilled, the committee may form a commitment or a covenant to assist in specific ways to facilitate the task. The LAC works best when each member brings his or her personal observations to the attention of the student. To bring the response of others (the They s in the congregations) allows for little ongoing formative discussion. v. The LAC will assist the student in better understanding the context of the ministry. In most cases members will be familiar with both the workings of the church and the community it services. This interpretation of context is vital to the work of the student. vi. For a M.Div. placement, committee members will fill out and discuss with the student the Preaching, Teaching and Worship Evaluation Forms (pp 68-73) and ensure a copy is provided to the student and to the TFE Director. For a MRE placement committee, members will fill out and discuss with the student the Teaching Evaluation Form and ensure that a copy is provided to the student and the TFE Director. Ministry experiences in the placement may include participation in worship services, preaching, pastoral visitation, involvement with small groups, Sunday School, youth groups, Bible Study, Session, Presbytery, Annual Congregational Meeting, Board/Finance Meeting, Stewardship programme, funerals, baptism, communion, wedding, social justice ministries, ministry in the community, counseling, etc. The LAC is asked to give feedback and support after observing participation in preaching and worship (MDIV) and teaching (MRE) as well as other aspects of ministry experience as relevant. B. Composition of the LAC For both M.Div. and MRE placements, it is recommended that the committee reflect the breadth of the placement context and its leadership. Care should be taken that the committee represents the membership in such areas as age, gender, ethnicity and programming. Given that the committee serves as a mirror, reflecting for the student the interpretation of their ministry from a variety of perspectives, in a congregational context the following representation is important: o An elder o A person involved in Christian Education o A senior o A young person o A parent o A person from the music ministry of the church 11

12 The Supervisor should not be a member of this committee. This is specifically the contribution of those who participate in the student s ministry through the life of the church. The Supervisor however may be used as a key resource to the committee. S/he may be called upon if there are issues which need further clarification or interpretation. C. The Functioning of the LAC Each committee will function differently depending on the relationship they have to the student and the nature of community. However, the following guidelines may assist in the work of the committee. Remember, these are guidelines and may well be modified to reflect the uniqueness of each situation: i. The committee should appoint a Chair who is responsible for official communication with the student. This gives the student a point of contact through which he/she can communicate directly to the committee. ii. iii. iv. The committee should meet with the student monthly. Circumstances may require more meetings. This is left to the discretion of the committee. At the first meeting, time should be taken to introduce all members of the committee as well as the student. A little about everyone s background should be shared as the initial step in building a group of mutual understanding and trust. At the first meeting, following the completion of the Learning Covenant, the student should present to the group a list of the learning goals established in the covenant and provide insight into how these will be met. v. The student should, at this meeting, make known ways by which the committee can assist in the fulfilling of these goals. vi. vii. viii. At subsequent meetings a review of learning goals should occur and the student and/or committee should speak of ways by which these are or might be accomplished. It is important to affirm the student in areas that demonstrate advancement and the accomplishment of goals. It is equally important at these meetings to point out to the student where improvement may be necessary. To observe a problem or weak area and to avoid raising it is of no value to the student. If an area is of major consequence it is important to communicate with the Supervisor, seeking advice, prior to raising it with the student. On some occasions the decision may be made to deal with the issue solely at the supervisory level. Meetings following the student s leadership in worship, preaching or teaching should center on an evaluation of these events. When the committee evaluates leadership in these areas it is most helpful to communicate to the student the following: 12

13 Body language Platform/pulpit/teaching manner Projection of voice How easy it is to understand the person speaking Ability to connect with the audience (in general) Ability to connect with specific groups of people as represented by the diversity of the committee Ability to communicate clearly Ability to make the Bible understood by others Ability to relate to the everyday life experiences of the listener Constructive and concrete ways in which the student can improve Ability to identify the teachable moments that arise in the life of a congregation Ability to make the selection of hymns, songs, responses, prayers, scripture readings and sermon a coherent whole (MDIV) Ability to apply utilize pedagogical tools to meet the needs of a variety of learners (MRE) Ability to modify a lesson to accommodate differing learning styles (MRE) ix. The last meeting of each term should include a brief review of what has transpired during the term and summarize progress that has been made. Goals for the forthcoming study period should be discussed and established. x. Every meeting should demonstrate a concern for the student s spiritual welfare. Meetings should include a time of prayer for the student, the current placement/ministry and the overall well-being of the person and his/her family (where applicable). 13

14 TFE LEARNING COVENANT (2 pages total) 1. Student Name: 2. Supervisor s Name: Address: Phone: 3. Chair of Lay Advisory Committee s Name: Address: Phone: 4. Date Completed and Mutually Approved: 5. Description of a plan for learning during the practicum including: a. Reason for choosing this placement. b. General learning expectations. 6. Description of ministry goals the student would like to develop and personal growth the student would like to achieve. 7. Description of specific process for development of competencies and growth (see #6). a. Particular tasks that will help meet these goals. b. The method of evaluation of these tasks/goals. 14

15 8. A description of the resources available in the practicum site and how these will be used. 9. A description of the mutual understanding of the student and supervisor as to how the student will prepare for supervision and how the supervisory process will be conducted 10. A description of the specific tasks required of the student in the practicum site. a. A description of how the 10 hours per week would be used. i. Start and Termination Dates: ii. iii. Regular Supervision Day/ Time: Vacation Arrangements Sundays Away: iv. Assigned tasks: Number of Hours: b. Average Weekly Schedule: 11. A brief statement of pastoral identity arising out of the initial discussions with the supervisor (i.e. a metaphor, Scripture text, statement of mission). Signatures Student: Supervisor: Date: The Learning Covenant AND the TFE Summary Sheet for Field Placement must be submitted by the student to the TFE Director by the Monday October 6, Early Termination: Please note that this agreement should not be terminated by either party without a joint conference involving the TFE Director, the Student and the Supervisor. Both Supervisor and Student are free to consult the TFE Director about concerns in the placement at any time. 15

16 Lay Advisory Committee (LAC) Worship Evaluation Form (2 pages total) Student s Name Date 1. In what part(s) did the student lead in the service? (Led/designed all, specific portions, conducted communion, etc.) 2. Comment on the student s: a. Appearance: (relaxed, nervous, etc) b. Voice: (pitch, speed, projection) c. Body language: d. Connection with audience: e. Over all presence: 3. If the student was responsible for the design of the service how would you evaluate his/her ability to make the selection of hymns, songs, responses, prayers, scripture readings and sermon one coherent whole 16

17 4. Was the language and its use conducive to experiencing the presence of God in worship? (reverent, relevant, recognizing the presence of God, etc) 5. How would you evaluate the student s overall contribution to the leading of worship? 6. What concrete and constructive recommendations would you make to the student concerning their leadership in worship? Reviewed with Student Date Student s Signature 17

18 Lay Advisory Committee (LAC) Preaching Evaluation Form (2 pages total) Student s Name Date Sermon Title Scripture Text(s) 1. Student s Appearance: Dress was appropriate [ ] Inappropriate [ ] Comment Student appeared relaxed [ ] Tense [ ] Nervous [ ] Comment What mannerisms or body language did you observe in the student? Were they appropriate to the sermon? 2. Sermon Delivery: Please comment on the following: (a) Ability to connect with audience: (b) Ability to communicate clearly: (c) Use of notes: (d) Eye contact: (e) Voice: (volume, pitch, speed) 18

19 3. What was the main point of the sermon? 4. Evaluate the following areas as they relate to the sermon: (1= needs work and 5= demonstrates excellence). Held Interest Clarity of the Subject Easy to Follow Good Use of Illustrations Made Biblical Text Understandable Related to Everyday Experiences of the Hearer Overall Impressions 5. How would you evaluate the student s ability to preach? 6. What concrete and constructive recommendations would you make to the student relating to their preaching? Reviewed with Student Date: Student s Signature This document is intended only for use in Knox College s Theological Field Education program and should not be used for any other purpose without written permission from the student. 19

20 Lay Advisory Committee (LAC) Teaching Evaluation Form MRE Students (2 pages total) Student s Name Date Lesson focus Scripture/Theological Theme emphasis 1. Student s Appearance: Dress was appropriate [ ] Inappropriate [ ] Comment Student appeared relaxed [ ] Tense [ ] Nervous [ ] Comment What mannerisms or body language did you observe in the student? 2. Delivery: Please comment on the following: (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) (g) Ability to connect with group: Ability to communicate clearly: Physically accessible: Eye contact: Voice: (volume, pitch, speed) Pacing of the lesson Engaging of diverse experiences 3. What was the main point of the lesson? 20

21 4. Evaluate the following areas as they relate to the lesson: (1= needs work and 5= demonstrates excellence). Held Interest Clarity of the Subject Easy to Follow Involved the Group in their own Learning Process Made Biblical Text/Theological Theme Understandable Utilized Diverse Teaching Tools to Engage Different Learning Styles Relevance to the Developmental Level of the Learners Overall Impressions 5. How would you evaluate the student s ability to teach? 6. What concrete and constructive recommendations would you make to the student relating to their teaching? Reviewed with Student Date Student s Signature This document is intended only for use in Knox College s Theological Field Education program and should not be used for any other purpose without written permission from the student. 21

22 LAC Mid-Term Evaluation Date: Supervisor: Student: Placement Site: For all questions, please use back of sheet if necessary. In a paragraph please indicate the growth that you have experienced in the student over the TFE placement thus far. Please identify gifts for ministry that you have identified in the student during the placement. Please identify areas of growth and challenge for the student during the placement? Do you have recommendations for continued growth in these areas? Can you identify areas of focus for the second half of the placement? Other comments: Signatures: Student Date LAC Chair Date This document is intended only for use in Knox College s Theological Field Education program and should not be used for any other purpose without written permission from the student. 22

23 LAC Final Evaluation Date: Supervisor: Student: Placement Site: For all questions, please use back of sheet if necessary. In a paragraph please indicate the growth that you have experienced in the student over the TFE placement. Please identify gifts for ministry that you have identified in the student during the placement. What recommendations do you have for continued growth in these areas? Please identify areas of growth and challenge for the student during the placement? What recommendations do you have for the student for continued growth in this area? Other comments: Signatures: Student Date LAC Chair Date This document is intended only for use in Knox College s Theological Field Education program and should not be used for any other purpose without written permission from the student. 23

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