Frequently Asked Questions 

Concerning Ministry Leadership Development

Students always have questions concerning the requirements and processes related to Ministry Leadership Development (MLD). This page is designed to address some of the most common questions regarding the MLD requirements. If you have other questions about MLD, please consult other pages in the MLD section of the Beeson website, particularly MLD Program Overview and Requirements. You are always welcome to contact the MLD Office directly for assistance in any of these matters.

When can I begin taking MLD courses?
Students may begin the MLD course sequence in any fall semester following completion of DVHD 502.  The two-semester course sequence begins in the fall and concludes in the spring of each academic year.
What is the MLD course sequence?
There are two courses in the MLD sequence:
DVML 625 Pastoral Formation (3 credits) Fall only
DVML 725 The Ministry of Administration (3 credits) Spring only
*The courses must be taken in a fall-spring sequence, i.e. DVML 625 is prerequisite to DVML 725.

What about my ministry internship (Supervised Ministry Practicum)? When do I complete it? And how does it relate to the MLD courses?
The Supervised Ministry Practicum (SMP) is taken concurrently with DVML 625 and 725. Students in these courses must be engaged in ministry, under supervision, for no less than 12 hours per week for 35 consecutive weeks, beginning in early September and ending in late April. Placements and mentors must be approved in advance by the director of field education. Each student must submit a proposal for placement and mentor to the director of field education for review and approval. Deadline for accepting proposals is July 1.

How do I  register for MLD courses?
Students register for DVML 625 and 725 in the same manner as for all other BDS courses, via the Banner system. Registration for the SMP (DVML 626 and 726) is handled by the Field Education office. A student is registered for SMP when his or her proposal has received approval from the field education director.

What must I do to gain approval for the Supervised Ministry Practicum?
  1. Identify a viable ministry placement. An acceptable placement for a supervised ministry practicum is one where the student has the opportunity to take responsibility for some aspect of Christian ministry, to use his or her gifts in the service of Christ and his church, and to gain hands-on experience in the performance of many ministry duties for which he or she is receiving training in other courses in the Beeson M.Div. curriculum. Many students are already serving in ministry positions that would serve as acceptable placements for a practicum; others must seek out such positions for the purposes of their practica. It does not have to be a paid position, nor does it have to be in a local church. Students complete practica in a wide variety of ministry settings, both paid and voluntary, in titled positions and as interns. It is recommended that students consult with the field education director with questions concerning the placement(s) they are considering. Assistance in locating a ministry opportunity can be gained from Beeson’s Placement Office.
  2. Identify a qualified and willing ministry mentor. To learn about Beeson’s standards for mentors, please see the document, Guidelines for Mentors. It is critical that the content of this document be shared with a prospective mentor before he or she commits to serve in this capacity. Among other things, the Guidelines document spells out some expectations the Divinity School has of mentors and their work with students.
  3. Submit the following materials to the Field Education Office by July 1: 
    • Practicum Proposal Form (fully completed) –This form asks for detailed information about your proposed ministry placement for the practicum and about the person you are suggesting serve as your ministry mentor.
    • Signed copy of the Assumption of Risk, Release, and Indemnity Agreement form
    • Current resume of your prospective mentor (unless already on file in Field Education Office)
  4. The field education director will review the proposal. No action will be taken to approve the practicum proposal until all required materials have been submitted. If there is a problem with any part of the proposal, the student will be informed of such and given opportunity to revise the proposal.

The Field Education Office is located in Divinity Hall N224. The office phone number is (205) 726-2374.