Supervised Ministry Experience I (MIN 793A)


SME provides each student with an opportunity for learning by experience in a congregation, agency, or school under a qualified supervisor. A three-semester program SME is individually tailored for each student to provide a supervised ministry experience in as many dimensions of Christian ministry as possible, using supervisors, lay mentoring teams, theological reflection groups, case studies, experience-in-ministry reports, supervisory conferences, and a variety of evaluative and assessment tools, including the ATS-provided Profiles of Ministry Entrance and Exit instruments.

What is the purpose of SME?

Supervised Ministry Experience (SME) consists of four semesters (preferably consecutively) of field education in a local church, agency or school, under the supervision of a qualified mentor. The goal of SME is to develop readiness for ministry and continuing personal growth with the help of a pastor and/or supervisor, as well as lay committees and student peer groups. Personal reflections on ministry and a variety of evaluation instruments, such as the Profiles of Ministry, are utilized. Students write individually-tailored learning covenants at the beginning of each semester.

All Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Christian Ministry and Intercultural Mission students are required to take SME. SME is optional for other students.

Mentoring/Connecting students who plan to enroll in SME 1 are encouraged to follow these procedures for securing a placement and supervisor.

  1. Obtain a copy of the SME Procedures, SME Timeline, and SME Calendar during Orientation Week in the Fall Semester.
  2. Complete the Profile of Ministry Entrance Inventory (Stage 1) during the Fall semester. All M.Div. and M.A. Christian Ministry students will be contacted by the SME Director's office during the months of October and November.
  3. Participate in the Group Interpretation of the Profile of Ministry Entrance Inventory. If you completed PoM Stage I, you will be notified of the place of the group interpretation.
  4. Attend the Personal Interpretation session with the SME Director to interpret your Profile of Ministry Entrance Inventory during the Spring semester and discuss your choice of placement site and supervisor. For Mentoring II: SME appoints are scheduled by the SME Director's office during the months of February and March.
  5. Complete the following Required Readings before interviews with any prospective supervisors: “Choosing a Ministry Placement and Field Supervisor” and “Vocational Discernment” Experiencing Ministry Supervision by W.T. Pyle and M.A. Seale, 19-48.
  6. Call the placement site and/or supervisor to arrange for an Interview with your prospective supervisor or pastor during the months of March and April. If necessary, contact the SME Director to discuss the interview and to finalize the choice of a supervisor and placement site.
  7. Complete the SME Proposal Form, providing a brief ministry description and obtaining your supervisor's signature. SME Proposal forms may be obtained from the SME Director's office. Return the completed SME Proposal Form to the SME Director's office no later than two weeks prior to your first semester of Mentoring II: SME.
Code Units Letter Grades Pass/Fail Option Frequency Prerequisites
MIN 793A 1.5 Yes Yes Twice Annually Mentoring/Connecting (MIN 705)