Ministry Formation Lab

Ministry Formation Lab courses are designed to supplement classroom education by providing hands-on learning experiences under the supervision of skilled practitioners.

Ministry Formation Lab Requirements

The specific requirements for ministry formation lab, 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 MF 501 Introduction to Theological Studies and Ministry Leadership Formation 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, and Master of Arts in Global Leadership. It is strongly recommended that MF 501 be taken during a student’s first year at Western. In addition, except for the M.A. BTS program, the remaining programs mentioned previously also require at least two units of ministry formation lab.

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 MF 531, Ministry Formation Lab I. 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 Ministry Formation Lab courses follows the Western Seminary policy as outlined below underneath "Degree Candidacy." 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 ministry formation lab 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 ministry formation courses may also be directed to your program director, or the appropriate contact person on your campus:

Portland:          Stephen Stallard, Candidacy Coordinator
Sacramento:   Stephen Stallard, Candidacy Coordinator
San Jose:         Stephen Stallard, Candidacy Coordinator


Degree Candidacy

Degree candidacy at Western Seminary is the formal assessment of readiness for the Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Ministry and Leadership degrees. A candidate is assessed in terms of personal readiness, spiritual readiness, vocational and ministry readiness, and academic readiness. Assessment will be based on direct evidence (student performance) and indirect evidence (student perceptions and mentor perceptions) gathered from mentor interaction. The Program Learning Outcomes will be the basis for assessment in the areas of conviction, character, and competencies.