Hamilton: Current Mentored Ministry Students
You are here because you have registered for, or are planning to register for, any Mentored Ministry Course (MM501-702).
Please note that, while we prefer handwritten signatures, we also will accept an email confirmation from your mentor in lieu of a physical signature.
- Pre / Co-Requisites
- How to Register for Mentored Ministry
- Transfer of Credit / Advanced Standing
- A Word about Waivers
- Fees and Remuneration
- Late Work / Extension Policy
- Mentor and Site/Project Approval
- BTI Mentored Ministry
- Breakdown of Hours
- Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)
- Overseas Missions Practicum (OMP)
- Denominational Considerations
- Mentored Ministry Opportunities List
- Dual-Degree Students (i.e. M.Div. & MACO)
- International Students
- Registering for your Field Units
- Number of Field Units You Can Take at a Time
- A Suggested Rotation for MM
- General Petition Form
On Your Mark...
Pre / Co-Requisites
Please know that the pre- or co-requisite for the field units of Mentored Ministry (on-site ministries, not the orientation unit,) is MC501- Spiritual Formation for Ministry. You will need to take this course either prior to, or concurrent with, your first field unit of Mentored Ministry (MM502).
How to Register
Students register for Mentored Ministry at the same time and the same way that they register for all classes. Single field units are 10 hours per week for 12 weeks of the semester, and double field units are 20 hours per week for 12 weeks of the semester. Summer Mentored Ministry must also be 12 weeks long, and can be registered for under Summer Session I. The following are the Mentored Ministry classes for which student must consecutively register:
|MM501- Orientation Unit||
MM 701 (unit 5)- includes bi-weekly faculty-led Reflection Group
|MM502 (unit 2)||
|MM 702 (unit 6) - Capstone Unit|
Transfer of Credit / Advanced Standing
Transfer credit may be granted to students who transfer from other recognized seminaries. Such decisions are made by the Registrar in consultation with the Mentored Ministry office.
Advanced standing credit may be given for entering students with a minimum of seven years full-time, non-administrative, professional ministry experience prior to matriculating at Gordon-Conwell—Hamilton. While the seminary recognizes the value of various kinds of ministry experiences prior to beginning formal theological studies, our Mentored Ministry program positions students for further development and growth in a monitored setting, where previously learned skills and experiences can be bolstered through evaluation and reflection.
Click here to access the Advanced Standing Petition.
A Word about Waivers
Those who have been in full-time, professional ministry for seven years or more prior to matriculation at GCTS - Hamilton may petition to have their Mentored Ministry waived by completing the Advanced Standing Petition. Any and all transfer credit from another campus or seminary is arranged exclusively through the Registration office.
Fees and Remuneration
There is a $185 fee for the Orientation Unit of Mentored Ministry and a $150 fee per field unit. The usual procedures which apply to all courses regarding registration, extension requests, payments and refunds apply also to the Mentored Ministry courses. MM courses count for one credit apiece.
In regard to potential pay received through a Mentored Ministry situation, some churches/projects offer a stipend, some cover travel expenses only, and some offer no payment at all to students. The Mentored Ministry Department encourages all projects to offer remuneration, while simultaneously recognizing that some ministry settings are not in the position to do so. Students should select sites based on opportunities for learning, and not exclusively on financial opportunity or closest proximity to the campus.
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Mentors will suggest a grade for their students at the end of the unit, and, in most cases, this grade will be the one assigned for the unit. However, the Mentored Ministry Department is ultimately responsible for the student's final grade and may adjust it, depending on special circumstances and/or the quality and promptness of the submitted written work. Mentors are instructed to give A's or B's, and lower grades only if there are serious concerns with the student. Ideally, these concerns should be addressed to the student personally by the mentor prior to grading. The MM office is glad to work with mentors and students who have concerns.
Late Work / Extension Policy
All written work must be turned in or postmarked by the due dates published (these dates are posted outside the Mentored Ministry office, as well as available under course documents on CAMS for students registered for a field unit). Deadlines are strictly held and late work penalized per policy. Verbal extensions from the Mentored Ministry Office are maybe granted for any assignment without penalty, but only if the student contacts us before or on the due date.
The policy for late-penalty is a deduction of up to one full grade per day late, not including weekends. If the student contacts the Mentored Ministry office for an extension after the due date and requests an extension for the work, the late-penalty will apply for each weekday that has passed between the due date and the date the student contacts us. All assignments should be submitted to the Mentored Ministry Office.
Mentor and Site / Project Approval
A significant range of ministry experiences are acceptable to the MM Department - from your home church to nearby congregations, para-church ministries, summer projects and overseas. Many kinds of ministry roles are acceptable, except for primarily administrative ones. Remember that each unit must be at least 12 weeks long at a minimum of 10 hours per week.
Please also note that at least two out of four field units must be done at a local church context. For students who feel strongly that their calling lie outside of the local church, they can submit the General Petition Form to fulfill their third and fourth unit at a setting of their choice.
Approved mentors are those who have been in ministry or Christian service full-time for five years or more. Potential mentors will need to complete an Application to Mentor and attend our one-half day New Mentor Orientation. Mentors not within 2-hour driving distance will be sent the relevant information by mail/e-mail.
Boston Theological Institute (BTI)
Gordon-Conwell students may elect to fulfill Mentored Ministry requirements through a field project affiliated with another school of the BTI, especially where denominational credentials are involved. In such cases, the requirements for Gordon-Conwell and/or the sponsoring school will have to be met. Please consult with the GCTS Mentored Ministry Office before making any arrangements with another school. Click here for more information on the BTI.
Breakdown of Hours
We acknowledge that ministry involves both direct people ministry as well as preparation time. Therefore, a minimum of 50% of weekly MM hours must be spent in direct people ministry (including the weekly 1-hour mentoring meeting). This means that a maximum of 50% of weekly hours may be spent in preparation (e.g. Bible studies, sermon, etc.). During the semester that students participate in the bi-weekly faculty-led reflection group (MM701), the1 hour spent there should be counted into the students' weekly hours.
Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)
An accredited Clinical Pastoral Education program is another option for fulfilling some of the Mentored Ministry requirements. CPE programs are located at hospitals and health care institutions around the country and provide students, clergy and lay people with hands-on chaplaincy training.
Locally, Beverly Hospital is home to a well-respected and popular CPE program. For here and for all CPE programs, the rule of thumb is to apply well in advance of the time you wish to take CPE (3-6 months or even earlier).
Some denominations require students to enroll in a CPE program for a semester or a year. At GCTS, CPE may satisfy two Mentored Ministry unit requirements. Students may also opt to have CPE count for an additional one, two, or three electives along with their two MM units.
In place of the Learning Covenant and other written work for Mentored Ministry, a copy of the CPE Acceptance Letter from the hospital's supervising chaplain must be submitted to the MM office as soon as it is received. The Final Evaluation (done by both the supervisor and the student and submitted at the end of CPE) is the only written work required by GCTS for this course.
Click here for more information about the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education and their national directory of CPE centers.
Overseas Missions Practicum (OMP)
Summer missions practicums through the seminary are encouraged, and may also count for up to two units of Mentored Ministry. Students must audit or take WM720 in the spring semester in preparation for their summer OMP experience (this is usually a weekend course). When registering for the summer, MM students should register under summer session I, regardless of what date in the summer they are leaving for the field.
A learning Covenant is due from students BEFORE they leave for their OMP and a Final Evaluation will be due on the posted summer due date. Extensions are available for those returning to campus after the posted due date (contact the MM office). Finally, students may also opt to have their OMP experience count for another elective course, WM721.
Click here to learn more about OMP.
For the most recent Mentored Ministry OMP Manual, click here (PDF).
First, it could make a HUGE difference in the kind of networking you will need in order to get a ministry job after graduation, particularly if you're planning on or are even only open to the possibility of getting ordained. Frankly, we have found that students who are denominationally affiliated have a much easier time. As we often say, unless God has clearly told you to go non-denominational, you should seek to choose an appropriate denomination.
Secondly, it's very helpful to unite and resource with other Christians who share your theological and methodological convictions, and/or emphases. Rather than figuring out later that you may not feel comfortable with a given ministry situation, it's important that you begin the process now of looking for the best possible fit for you. And know this - even if/when you do select a denomination (or association of churches), it does not mean that you are locked there. There is often reciprocity between denominations and non-denominational churches, i.e. quite a few are willing to hire people from outside their denominational group.
Third, even though you may firmly believe that God is not calling you to ordained ministry or even a job in a church, there may come a time where it could happen. You owe it to yourself to at least know your convictions and preferences "just in case." Plus, if you do choose a denomination, the inquiry or candidate process can take a long time (one to two-plus years is not uncommon) so the earlier you start, the better!
So, how can you start the process of checking out denominations? We can help! Click here to look at our Denominational Chart. We've taken the top represented denominations in the GCTS student body and put them in a chart for you, categorized by what we find matters most to our students in the selection process (church polity, theology, women in leadership, baptism, etc.). We have also included the contact information for these denominations' national and regional representatives. Finally, we also have several copies of The Handbook to Denominations in the United States available on loan from our office.
Mentored Ministry Opportunities List
There are many churches and/or ministries in the local area and region that are looking for students to work with them for Mentored Ministry in a wide variety of roles. We post these for students to look at on our Mentored Ministry Opportunities List. All of these postings have approved mentors in place and are as up-to-date as we can keep them. Feel free to contact any of them to discuss MM possibilities. Remember that churches which are further away can often offer some of best situations and opportunities for students, so do not let distance be your final determinant.
Students are also free to set up Mentored Ministry situations for themselves. In other words, opportunities are by no means limited to the list above. In fact, the Mentored Ministry Office has a Recommended Mentored Ministry Sites List (started in Fall 2013) which students may visit the office to view. It is a list of churches and/or ministries where there are approved mentors in place who have signed onto the new (2013) Mentoring Commitment. This is not a comprehensive list of all approved mentors and ministries in the area, but it does list those who have been able to sign on to the aforementioned Mentoring Commitment. Students may be confident that these mentors and the churches or ministries they serve are prepared to give students the best ministry experience, support and training possible.
Once you have selected or discovered a ministry situation that you like, make sure that your prospective mentor is approved and on-file with the Mentored Ministry Department. (Minimum requirements for mentors are five years of full-time ministry experience and subsequent one-time attendance at our New Mentor Orientation.) If your prospective mentor has mentored GCTS students before, it's likely that they are already approved, so check with the MM Office to find out if they're on the list - and/or even on our Recommended Sites List. If they are not, please use the Application to Mentor to have them apply. The MM Office will work with them to arrange for their subsequent training and orientation.
Dual-Degree Students (M.Div & MACO)
Beginning in the Fall semester of 2013, dual-degree (M.Div./MACO) students are required to do four Mentored Ministry Units: MM501 - the Orientation Unit, and MM502 and MM601 as field units. The capstone unit, MM 702, will also be required. It is strongly recommended that MM501 be taken in the first semester a student matriculates on campus (usually the Fall). The Orientation Unit (MM501) consists of seven, one-hour lunch time sessions over the course of the semester. The capstone unit should be taken during a/the final semester in school. It consists of bi-weekly 1-hour classes, and is intended to guide and prepare students to apply for appropriate ministry (and other) positions. The two field units may be taken during two later semesters of the student's choice, and will require participation in one of the bi-weekly faculty-led reflection groups.
These two field units MUST be done in a church setting (unless you have petitioned and received special permission from the MM Office). In addition, note that Compass and OMP will not be able to count for MM field units for dual-degree students without special permission.
Dual degree Counseling Practicums and Internships are handled exclusively by the Counseling Department.
Attempting dual degrees is a challenging undertaking that will take you at least four years to accomplish — but it can certainly be worth it. The combined M.Div. and MACO degrees can be particularly helpful for qualifying students for ministry positions which have a strong pastoral care focus, or for clinical counseling positions where there is a strong focus on spiritual care.
We are glad that you are here! We love our brothers and sisters from around the world. You're welcome to worship and minister with any church of your choice. This could be of your culture and ethnicity, but there are also many good international or multicultural churches in the Boston area. Also, you could choose to experience your own cross-cultural ministry in a traditional Anglo, New England church! (The Mentored Ministry Office has a list of churches who are eager to have international seminarians worship and serve with them.)
There are also many different ways you can look for churches and Mentored Ministry situations for yourself here. You could network through your church denomination, through your family, by visiting recommendations from friends you meet on campus, or by taking suggestions from Student Life Services and/or the Mentored Ministry Office.
Most students, internationals included, hope to find a Mentored Ministry situation that will pay some sort of a salary or a stipend. As an F-1 visa holder, you know that you are limited to on-campus jobs to receive pay. However, under Curricular Practical Training you may receive pay for Mentored Ministry work. Click here to learn more about CPT: Curricular Practical Training and Academic Scholarships.
This first Mentored Ministry unit is traditionally taken the first semester a student is on campus. Most (except for students who took 1 or 2 units via Semlink) register for it as MM501 or EM/MM501. All incoming students are strongly urged to take the orientation unit during their first semester. The Orientation Unit must be taken prior to (or at least simultaneously with) their first field unit (for most, this will be MM502).
Please note that this class meets for one hour, seven times during the semester - a very easy course to complete.
- Click here to look at the most recent MM501 Orientation Unit syllabus.
- Click here to view the semester's meeting schedule.
Beginning in Spring 2016, the final MM702 unit of Mentored Ministry will be run as a “Capstone Unit.” This is a classroom experience, organized much like the 7-class-session Orientation unit. Students matriculated beginning this Fall 2015 will be required to participate in this class when the time comes, while it will be optional for the rest.
The Capstone Unit will cover sessions on: Reviewing your Call, Vocational Discernment, Preparing for the Job Search, and Starting Well in your Ministry (and/or work). Along with covering these categories, the course will also help each student develop a full job/ministry Portfolio by the end of the unit, ready to be used in job search. (Students may also choose to do both a field unit and informally audit the class sessions.)
Students normally take one or two units at a time. However, beyond the single and double unit options there are three other possible variations:
Three Units at a Time – If students are working in a ministry for 30 hours a week or longer for a given 12-week period (particularly in the summer), they may petition to take three units at once. Students must use the General Petition Form to request this and turn it in to the Mentored Ministry Office. If approved, the MM Office will inform Registration of this permission and they will allow you to register for the three.
“The Three Unit Deal” – Over the course of two semesters, students working 15 hours per week in their ministry may have this count for three units, one unit in the first semester (to confirm that they are averaging 15 hours per week) and then two in the second. There are no half-units. You must inform the Mentored Ministry Department of your desire to do this either by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (978-646-4119), and we will help you with the logistics.
Off-Schedule Mentored Ministry – Not infrequently, students work in ministries which either begin earlier (and thus end earlier) or later (and thus end later) than the regular semester timeline. If these differences are significant, it is important that you inform the Mentored Ministry Office so they can help you set personalized assignment due dates. Particularly for those doing an Off-Schedule MM that runs later than the end of a term, you will need to make sure that you arrange for an Extension with the MM Office.
Suggested Topics for Mentoring Meetings
The following subjects are suggestions for discussion in regular mentoring sessions. Mentors and students may add to this list and adapt the issues to individual needs, however, it is good if each ministry area is addressed in some way as a part of the mentoring process.
Serving through Pastoral Care
Understanding Process and Procedures
Reflecting on Personal Issues
Reaching out in Community Ministry