At Saint Paul we learn in the classroom and through experiences in ministry. Contextual Education is one place where we bring together academic study and experience in ministry, theory and practice, and action and reflection.
Contextual Education courses include small group settings where students reflect together on experiences in ministry. Led by experienced practitioners of ministry, students in these groups share questions, insights and wisdom. Students ask how theological convictions about God, Christ and humanity inform the practice of ministry, and how the practice of ministry informs convictions about God, Christ and humanity.
Preparing for Local Ministries (PLUM) is a two-semester sequence of courses (CTX 301-302) that functions as the introduction to Contextual Education in the Master of Divinity (MDiv) and Master of Arts in Christian Ministry (MACM) curriculum. PLUM provides an opportunity that is unique in the Saint Paul curriculum: students are together in the same group and with the same experienced practitioner of ministry for two consecutive semesters.
- Required for MDiv & MACM students
- Small group reflection on ministry and seminary
- Led by an experienced practitioner of ministry
- Two semesters with the same group and leader
- Site visits to congregations and social ministries
- In-depth case studies
- Ministry setting required: 4 hours per week, paid or volunteer, beginning October 1
- Assistance in identifying a ministry setting available through the Contextual Ed office
All students enrolled in a Plum group or Ministry Collaboration Group serve in an approved ministry setting for a minimum of four hours per week. The ministry setting may be paid or volunteer.
- Information on open part-time positions is available in the Contextual Education Office in SPST: Resurrection or the Associate Dean’s office in SPST: OCU. These typically include pastoral, youth, children, and Christian education positions. The Contextual Education office sends notices out via e-mail when new positions arrive. For information on current opportunities e-mail David Firman (SPST: Resurrection) firstname.lastname@example.org or Rick Burns (SPST: OCU) email@example.com.
- Employment or appointment as a part-time pastor of a congregation is a qualified ministry setting.
- Information about volunteer agencies and programs willing to work with Saint Paul students is available from David Firman or Rick Burns. These locations can provide excellent learning experiences.
- Students may also propose innovative opportunities for approval as ministry settings. Approval of ministry settings is based on meeting the educational needs of Contextual Education courses and the standards of Saint Paul School of Theology. Decisions are made by the Contextual Education Office.