Field Education | Trinity College Theological School, Melbourne

Field Education

Supervised Field Education (STFE) provides a framework for reflection, action and learning in ministry.

Theology Website Banner Images3


The STFE program offers Theology students an opportunity to participate in a ministry placement within a variety of contexts, including parish, agency and school, with a trained supervisor.

In addition to the placement component, the program includes participation in theological reflection in a peer group context, orientation and review seminars and individual meetings with the STFE Coordinator, the Revd Cecilia Francis.

 

The focus of an STFE placement and its supervisory process is to:

  • develop skills for ministry that are appropriately adapted to the placement context
  • a capacity to reflect theologically on their ministry experience  
  • integration of theological studies and ministry practice.  

The STFE learning process includes:

  • establishment of learning goals appropriate to each student’s style and stage of learning and ministry context
  • encouraging a capacity for self-directed learning  
  • reflecting critically on spiritual and personal development, as well as ministerial identity.

STFE can be undertaken for academic credit at two levels. It is a requirement for all ordination candidates.

In their two years in the program, students undertake three placements:

MAJOR PLACEMENT: USUALLY IN A PARISH

One major placement which runs for the two year period of participation in the program, mapping onto semester time (March-October, inclusive). It is usually in a parish setting, and involves students across the wide range of the public witness of the parish: the outreach, worship, learning, nurture, groups and committees, partnerships and prayer life of the community as it engages with the peoples of the local area in which it is set. A significant feature of this placement is the student’s involvement in leadership of a missionally focused activity.

MINOR PLACEMENT: IN A DIFFERENT CONTEXT

One minor placement in year one of participation in the program. This usually takes place in the time between November and February and is a shorter immersion experience that involves the student in a parish setting different—in social location, and in church-style (what used to be called “churchmanship”)—from that of the major placement.

MINOR PLACEMENT: USUALLY IN A PIONEER MINISTRY

One minor placement that may take place in the time between November and February, or at another time, and that is strongly focused on pioneer ministry, in which the student is involved with the church’s task of creating church for persons with no experience of inherited church.

TCTS is developing the possibility of students reversing the weight of the first and third of these, so that their major placement is in a pioneer ministry, with two minor placements in parish settings across their two years in the program. Please note that candidates for ordained ministry are also required to undertake a further placement in Clinical Pastoral Education. In most cases, this is done outside rather than alongside the two years in which major and minor placements are engaged.