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 and/or EM/MM501-602).

The purpose of the combined Mentored Ministry & Placement Departments is to help students perceive, prepare and pursue their calling in Christ. "A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps" (Proverbs 16:9). Our job is to help you use your mind to plan your way, while continuously looking to Jesus to be your guide.

Your Assignments

Please note that while we prefer handwritten signatures, we also will accept an email confirmation from your mentor in lieu of physical signature.

On Your Mark...

Registration Information

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On Your Mark...

Pre / Co-Requisites
Please know that the pre or co-requisite for students to begin to take field units of Mentored Ministry (on-site ministries, not the orientation unit) is/are the following:

M.Div. 

MC501-Spiritual Formation for Ministry

MAEM 

MC501-Spiritual Formation for Ministry or
EM502-Education Ministry of the Church or
EM604-The Teacher and the Teaching Task

This means that you need to take the pre-requisite either prior to or concurrent with your first field unit of Mentored Ministry.

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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 be registered for under Summer Session 1. The following are the Mentored Ministry classes for which student must consecutively register.

MM(EM/MM) 501
(Orientation Unit - 1)
MM(EM/MM) 601 (unit 3) MM 701 (unit 5)
MM(EM/MM) 502 (unit 2) MM(EM/MM) 602 (unit 4) MM 702 (unit 6)

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 (mmassist@gordonconwell.edu) 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 make sure that you don’t miss any assignment deadlines. Particularly for those who are doing an Off-Schedule MM which runs later than the end of a term, you will need to make sure that you arrange for an Extension with the MM Office.

Special Note for M.A. in Educational Ministries students: Because the MAEM program is shorter, MAEM students are required to do the Orientation Unit and 3 Field Units. For MAEM students the Orientation Unit is listed as EM/MM501 and the Field Units are EM/MM 502, 601, and 602.

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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 evaluation and reflection build upon previously learned skills and experiences.

Click here to access the MM Advanced Standing Petition.

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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.

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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 based on financial opportunity or closest proximity to the campus.

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Grades
Mentors will suggest a grade for their students and in most cases this grade will be the one assigned for the unit. However, the Mentored Ministry Department will be ultimately responsible for the student's final grade and may adjust it depending on special circumstances and/or the quality and promptness of the submission of 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.

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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 on CAMS for students registered for a Mentored Ministry unit) which are based on those set for coursework listed in the seminary catalog. Deadlines are strictly held and late work penalized per policy. Verbal extensions from the Mentored Ministry Office are acceptable for Learning Covenants and Reflection Tools without penalty, but only if the student contacts us before or on the due date.  The same is true for end-of-semester evaluations.

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 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.

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Mentor and Site / Project Approval
A significant range of ministry experiences are acceptable to the MM Department from your home church, to nearby congregations, to parachurch 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.

Approved mentors are those who have been in full-time ministry or Christian service for five years or more.  They will need to complete an Application to Mentor and attend our one-half day New Mentor Orientation.

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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 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 a student will be part of a bi-weekly faculty-led reflection group (normally MM602 & MM701) the1.5 hours of reflection group time may be counted into students' weekly MM hours.

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Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE)
An accredited Clinical Pastoral Education program is another option for fulfilling some of the Mentored Ministry requirements. CPE program are located at hospitals and health care institutions around the country and provide students 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 year. In our program, CPE satisfies two Mentored Ministry unit requirements but may also count for more depending on the student's future goals and their denominational requirements. Students may also opt to have CPE count for an additional one, two, or three electives along with their two Mentored Ministry units. Speak with the Mentored Ministry Department regarding such variations.

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 and the Final Evaluation (done by both supervisor and student) comprise the written work required for this course.

Click here for more information about the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education and their national directory of CPE centers.

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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 session1, no matter when in the summer they are leaving for the field. Finally, students may also opt to have their OMP experience count for another elective course, WM721.

Click here to learn more about OMP and see the course description in the catalog.

For the most recent Mentored Ministry OMP Manual, click here (PDF).

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Denominational Considerations
Students sometimes ask, "Is my denominational affiliation important?" Our answer is, "It very much could be." Here are three reasons why:

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 be non-denominational, you should seek to choose a denomination.

Secondly, it's very helpful to unite and resource with other Christians who share your theological and methodological convictions. 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.

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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 in the Mentored Ministry Office now has a Recommended Mentored Ministry Sites List (started in Fall 2013) which students may visit the office to view. Here the names of churches and/or ministries are listed where there are approved mentors in place who have signed onto the new (2013) Mentoring Commitment. This list is not the whole list of approved mentors and miinstries in the area, but it does list those who have been able to sign on to the aforementioned Mentoring Commitment. Students may be confident these mentors and the churches or ministries they serve are prepared to help give students the best ministry experience, support and training possible.

Once you have selected or discovered ministry situation that you would 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 our 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 then work with them to arrange for their subsequent training and orientation.

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Partnership Students
Click here to view the Partnership Program Schedule. If you are a Fall incoming student and part of the Scholarship Partnership Program, you will need to register for: MM501, the required basic Orientation Unit. To register for Partnership Mentored Ministry you should register for MM502-HB. This is only required for M.Div. and MAEM students. (Students from other majors do not need to register for any Mentored Ministry as it is a degree requirement only for MAEM and M.Div.)

Note that all first-year Partnership Students are required to attend the four, lunchtime Partnership sessions during the Fall semester. The requirements for everyone are as follows:

Attend all of the following events and submit the related assignments:

  • The Mentored Ministry & Partnership Welcome Event
  • Theological Viewpoint on Stewardship Lecture. Students are to take notes and to submit a written 2-page reflection paper due to Mentored Ministry office before the next session.
  • Historical Viewpoint on Stewardship Lecture. Students are to take notes and to submit a written 2-page reflection paper due to Mentored Ministry office before the next session.
  • Biblical Viewpoint on Stewardship Lecture. Students are to take notes and to submit a written 2-page reflection paper due to Mentored Ministry office by the last day for written work.

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Dual-Degree Students (M.Div & MACO)
Beginning the Fall semester 2013, dual-degree (M.Div./MACO) students are required to do three Mentored Ministry Units: MM501 - the Orientation Unit, and MM502 and MM601 as field units. 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 lunchtime sessions over the course of the semester. 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, and in no circumstances may Partnership MM count for one of your field units as a dual-degree student.

Dual degree Counseling Practicums and Internships are handled exclusively by the Counseling Department.

Attempting dual degrees is a challenging undertaking which 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.

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Semlink Students
If you are currently doing a Mentored Ministry unit or units via Semlink, you are to work exclusively with them on the details of your MM course(s). Be sure to use and refer to the materials that the Semlink Office gave you when you registered. You must use their forms for assignments and follow the due dates for assignments that they assign you. Finally, you must submit all of your Semlink MM work to the Semlink Office, rather than to the Mentored Ministry Office. Once you have matriculated on campus, then you will switch over to working exclusively with the Mentored Ministry Office.

You can do a maximum of 2 field units for Mentored Ministry via Semlink (MM501-I and/or MM502-I). However, remember that there is the prerequisite of Spiritual Formation for Ministry (MC501) which you must take prior to or simultaneous with these field unit(s). MC501-Spiritual Formation for Ministry is also available through Semlink. 

Once you are on Campus: For those of you who have taken one or two of these Semlink field units before matriculating on campus, you will have the option of taking the Orientation Unit once you arrive on campus. The rule of thumb is: If you are clear as to how you plan to use the rest of your MM units, you may have all the rest of your units be field units. If not, plan to take your next consecutive MM unit as the Orientation Unit and then take the rest of your units as normal field units. Either way, you must confirm your choice with the Mentored Ministry Office.

If you have done MM501-I through Semlink, then you will register for MM502 at the Registration Fair when you arrive, and then attend the Orientation Meetings that semester. If you have done MM501-I and MM502-I through Semlink, then you will register for MM601 as your Orientation Unit at the Registration Fair when you arrive as well as attend all required Orientation Meetings that semester.

The following are the Mentored Ministry classes for which students must register consecutively. Note that students may do double units if they're working in ministry for 20 hours per week or more, and that summers may also count as a semester.

MM(EM/MM) 501
(Orientation Unit - 1)
MM(EM/MM) 601 (unit 3) MM 701 (unit 5)
MM(EM/MM) 502 (unit 2) MM(EM/MM) 602 (unit 4) MM 702 (unit 6

Special Note for M.A. in Educational Ministries students: Because the MAEM program is shorter, MAEM students are required to do the Orientation Unit and 3 field units.

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International Students
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 them some sort of salary or 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.

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Get Set...

Orientation
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, seventimes during the semester, making it 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. 

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A Word about Waivers
Beginning Fall 2013, there will be no Mentored Ministry waivers for matriculating MDiv and MAEM students.  Only transfer credit from another seminary will be accepted. Any/all transfer credit is to be arranged exclusively through the Registration Office.  For those who have been in full-time, professional ministry for seven years or more, you may petition to have your Mentored MInistry wiaved by completing the Advanced Standing Petition.

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