Chair’s Welcome

ATFE Colleagues,

It was a pleasure to gather in St. Paul to make new friends, deepen long term
relationships, and share best practices together.  We hope that you returned to your ministry settings with new energy and ideas, and practical ways to continue to improve field education for your students.

Your new Steering Committee is already hard at work. We listened carefully to the concerns you expressed at the biennium, and we have reviewed the conference evaluations.  Moving forward we are committed to:

1.      Actively recruiting new members from our sister ATS schools.

We have a list of all ATS schools and will be identifying and contacting field educators at these institutions within the next two months, extending a membership invitation.

2.      Streamlining the billing and dues collection process.

We have received membership information from the outgoing chair and registrar,  but we are identifying some gaps in contact information. Thanks in advance for your help and patience as we update the record keeping. We’ll keep you posted on our progress.

3.      Clearly communicating the value of ATFE membership in the off years

Moving forward we will keep you abreast of new items of interest on the website, inform you when new issues of Reflective Practice are available, and encourage your continued professional development through even-year caucus meetings, web-gatherings and the sharing of resources.

4.      Providing a more cost-effective conference venue in 2019.

      We know that travel to Asheville will be more costly than some other cities, so we are actively pursuing creative ways to bring you a quality conference at an   affordable rate. We’ll share these details as they unfold.

5.       Providing relevant and quality conference content.

A return to four conference days in 2019 will ease up our crowded schedule, allowing time for additional breakouts (we’ll solicit proposals from you in early 2018), business sessions, and networking.

6.      One Steering Committee change.  Glen Prescott has determined that he is unable to serve as our Communications Coordinator.  Per our by-laws, the Steering Committee voted to affirm Axel Shoeber remaining in this position for the 2017-2019 term. Thank you, Axel!

Our goal is to communicate with you regularly during the upcoming biennium. We also welcome your input and suggestions on these matters, and any others of concern to you as we move forward. Please direct questions, concerns and ideas to ATFE Steering Committee Chair Tracy Hartman at We are here to serve you!

On behalf of your 2017-2019 Steering Committee,

Tracy Hartman, Ph.D.

Acting Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean
Daniel O. Aleshire Professor of Homiletics and Practical Theology

The message from our former chair is still helpful for many:

This association is comprised of professors and professionals who are engaged in theological field education. Whether you are a seasoned theological field educator or new to the field, ATFE is committed to supporting you. We are an international ecumenical community that is marked by an extraordinary degree of collaboration, a spirit of generosity and a commitment to professional development and academic research in theological field education. Within the greater ATFE membership, there are also a number of caucus groups that share similar traditions or theological outlooks. The various caucuses identify with particular denomination, geographic regions, ethnicities, or special interests. You will find information about the caucuses in this website.

In every accredited ATS (Association of Theological Schools) school that forms or trains persons for ministry, theological field education is an integral component to its curriculum. That is, every divinity school or seminary must include an experiential component in their curriculum that provides  a place for students to practice ministry and a corresponding space to reflect theologically on their practice. Ministry experience, reflective seminars, methods of theological reflection and reflective praxis, peer learning and pastoral supervision are some of the aspects of a theological field education learning environment.

Whether you are looking for guidance, information or educational tools to begin your new role in theological field education, or exploring new avenues in research that call upon insights from other disciplines, this ATFE site is the place for you. Learn more about who we are and the resources we have to offer. We invite you to consider joining one of the caucus groups that shares a similar denomination or theological outlook. Share employment opportunities. See what research is currently being done in this field. Access some of the publications or resources noted in this site. If you are not already a member, please consider joining us.

The Association meets every two years for a conference that includes keynote speakers. Our 34th Biennial Consultation is scheduled for January 19 – 21, 2017 in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Your ATFE Steering Committee for the 2015-17 biennium is comprised of 9 people, each of whom take responsibility for various portfolios and tasks for ensuring the maintenance of its structure and for furthering the development of this field in theological education.  As you browse through the website, take a look at our Steering Committee and feel free to contact any of us concerning their particular role in the Association or questions you might have about ATFE.

Joseph Bush Wesley Theological Seminary ATFE Chair for 2015 – 2017