Supervised Ministries

The programs in supervised ministries help students gain professional competencies in the art and practice of ministry, build frameworks for addressing practical theological issues, acquire comprehensive and contextualized views of ministry in the church and the world, discern and develop professional ministerial identities, and establish a foundation for pursuing lifelong learning individually and among peers. Supervised ministry is a requirement of the M.Div. program; placements may also be made available to students in the M.A.R. degree program as funding permits. The nine-hour Negotiating Boundaries in Ministerial Relationships workshop (REL 3990), required of all M.Div. students, is a prerequisite for supervised ministry. It is typically offered three times during the academic year. A description of REL 3990 can be found in the chapter Areas and Courses of Study, under Courses without Area Designations. For more information about requirements and policies regarding supervised ministries, please consult the Office of Supervised Ministries (OSM) literature or the OSM website.

Students may participate in one or more of the following programs. Completion of one is required for the M.Div. degree. These programs carry elective credits that do not apply toward Area IV. Only fifteen supervised ministry credits (including CPE) may be applied toward the M.Div. degree.

Eligible students receive a stipend for their first supervised ministry placement through the Office of Finance and Administration.

Programs Offered by Yale Divinity School

Yale Divinity School offers three internships under the Supervised Ministries program: Part-time Internship with Practicum (3 credits per term), Part-time Internship with Advanced Practicum (3 credits per term), and Summer Intensive Internship with Practicum (Summer: 6 credits). Descriptions of these internships can be found in the chapter Areas and Courses of Study, under Courses without Area Designations.

Programs Offered by Other Educational Institutions–Transfer Credit

Students may transfer supervised ministry/field education credit from other educational institutions as approved by the director of the OSM. Qualifying programs must include the following:

  1. Supervision by a qualified mentor with an M.Div. or equivalent;
  2. A minimum of four hundred hours of work;
  3. A peer reflection group.

Examples of qualified programs include:

Clinical Pastoral Education (6 credits) CPE is offered by the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE). One unit of CPE, which can be taken during a summer or an academic year, fulfills the supervised ministry requirement. CPE taken for credit at Yale provides the unique experience of the Interprofessional Workshop on Palliative Care at Yale School of Medicine that brings together students from several professional schools—medicine, social work, nursing, and divinity—to explore how professionals work together in end-of-life care. CPE sites are accredited by the ACPE and include hospitals, hospices, geriatric care facilities, community organizations, prisons, and occasionally churches. CPE brings students into supervised encounters with persons in crisis. It provides an in-depth pastoral experience with individual and group supervision by certified teaching chaplains. Each program has its own application procedure, schedule, and policies. Students preparing for ministry are strongly encouraged to take CPE. Eligible students may receive a stipend through the Office of Finance and Administration.

Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) Summer Program (6 credits) A ten-week summer internship program for college students and seminarians sponsored by Interfaith Worker Justice and the AFL-CIO. Interns attend a weeklong training period on religion and labor organizing and then work directly with labor unions and other labor organizations to engage the religious community in workplace issues. Interns meet with a mentor for theological reflection. Stipends are provided to help with costs.

Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education Summer Program (6 credits) SCUPE is offered by a consortium of a dozen theological schools located in Chicago. SCUPE programs educate individuals from all backgrounds as effective change agents in urban communities. Utilizing the educational and training theories of adult experiential education, SCUPE programs are designed for individuals interested in pastoral ministry, community leadership, and social justice. These programs provide leadership development through hands-on urban ministry experience. The SCUPE summer program, when it is offered, consists of an introductory two-week intensive course called Cross Cultural Ministry followed by a nine-week full-time internship with a peer group practicum. Interns are placed in Chicago churches and community organizations. Housing and financial support are generally available. The program is not offered every summer.

Intern Year

YDS does not offer Supervised Ministries credit or academic credit for an intern year unless that year of study is formally supervised and credited by another seminary and is approved by the director of supervised ministries prior to the internship. However, students who wish to maintain their student status at Yale while participating in an intern year may do so by making an application to the Professional Studies Committee, explaining how the intern year fits into their educational goals. If the committee approves the intern year, then students will be allowed to complete a technical registration that will allow them to continue their current student status at Yale and to continue to use Yale e-mail. Because the student status continues, the individual will not need to start repaying student loans and will not have to reapply for admission to YDS at the end of the intern year. Upon completion of the intern year, students are expected to supply the Professional Studies Committee with a brief written evaluation of the intern year.