Mentored Field Ministry
Mentored Field Ministry (MFM) is designed to supplement classroom education by providing hands-on learning experiences under the supervision of skilled practitioners. The entire MFM sequence occurs over five semesters. Flexibility (within certain parameters) is built into each mentored experience to help accommodate your unique needs and circumstances.
Mentored Field Ministry Requirements
The specific requirements for mentored field ministry, while sharing a common core, vary somewhat from program to program. Details regarding the timing and nature of the experience should therefore be explored with your program director as soon as possible following the beginning of your seminary studies.
The course MFM 500 Discovering and Developing Your Ministry Potential is a required course in the following programs: Master of Divinity, Master of Arts (Biblical and Theological Studies), and Master of Arts in Ministry and Leadership. It is strongly recommended that MFM 500 be taken during a student’s first year at Western. In addition, with the exception of the M.A. BTS program, the remaining programs mentioned previously also require at least four units of mentored field ministry. These units should be taken over four terms (one unit per term).
MFM 500 is a pre-requisite course that must be taken before the mentored field ministry sequence can begin. Students in some programs then begin a “stair-step” sequence in which one mentored ministry unit follows another to provide a cumulative learning track; other programs reflect more flexibility as to when the experience(s) should optimally be taken.
The quality of your experience will largely be influenced by the quality of the ministry mentor whom you select. Thus, take care to find an individual who is a mature, respected, and effective model of the type of ministry to which you believe God is leading you. If you’ve identified a particular person as a potential mentor, be sure to introduce yourself early in your studies and see if the interest is mutual. If it is, become a contributing part of that ministry. Expectations of ministry mentors for most programs are explained in the Mentoring Agreement document. Do your best not to come to a person as a total stranger late in your program and ask that they serve as your mentor! Instead, aim to be the kind of seminarian that you’d appreciate in your ministry.
Grading for the Mentored Field Ministry follows the Western Seminary policy as outlined in the academic catalog. This grade is determined by your faculty mentor in consultation with your other mentors.
Students should work closely with their academic advisor in the planning of the mentored ministry courses. Your advisor will direct you as to what background materials are applicable to your specific program and how those materials can be secured.
Questions regarding the mentored field ministry experience may also be directed to your program director, or the appropriate contact person on your campus:
Portland: Terry Burns, Director of Mentoring
Sacramento: Wes Ehrhart, Director of Student Services
San Jose: Steve Korch, Director of Pastoral Training