2017 Breakout Sessions

Please sign-up for break-out programs on the Eventbrite registration page just prior to payment.

If you are interested in doing prior reading for the break-out sessions you wish to attend, please scroll down the page on this website of “Publications by ATFE Members.”

Session 1
Friday January 20
1:00 – 2:30

“Human Sexuality and the Church”
Tracy Hartman, Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond

How can we help seminarians and ministers facilitate conversations about human sexuality in their ministry contexts?   Tracy Hartman is part of team helping her church discuss a variety of topics related to sexuality, and she designed a seminary course to help other ministers do the same.  After a brief presentation, participants will have the opportunity to share best practices from their schools/congregations.

“The Dark Side of Emotional Intelligence” Seminar
Mary Kay DuChene and Mark Sundby, North Central Ministry Development Center, New Brighton, MN

Mary Kay DuChene, through her work as a leadership consultant and Assistant to the Bishop of an ELCA synod, and Mark Sundby, as a licensed psychologist, have witnessed the dark side of emotional intelligence. In this seminar, they will share learnings from their experience and the research literature. While emotional intelligence is often a positive competency for leadership, there is a dark side and it can be detrimental or even devastating in the wrong circumstances. The workshop will incorporate a brief presentation, case studies, and small group discussions to enhance the learning.

“Word and Image: An Artistic Response to the Exploration of the Vocation of Lay Ecclesial Ministers” Clinic
Barbara Sutton, Saint John’s School of Theology-Seminary, Collegeville, MN

This clinic will provide people an opportunity to develop an artistic response to their own vocational journey as a field educator using words and images.  The inspiration and insight for this clinic comes from a contemplative process of reflecting on one’s own life and vocation developed for Lay Ecclesial Ministers at Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary, Collegeville, MN.  Participants will be able to view a national exhibit, Words and Images as well as create a collage and poetic response.

“The Global Shift and Growing Dimensions of Multiculturalism: Dialogue, Stories, Equity vs. Equality”
Jennie Lee Salas, Princeton Theological Seminary

The word Multiculturalism became a strong buzz word over the past ten years. Yet, this term of understanding our world continues to be magnified by privileges within various forms of diversity; culturally, religiously, socially, gender differences, race, politically and many other world-wide areas and realities. Discussing, exploring and learning on how to engage in authentic dialogue in having, “Courageous Conversations,” through story sharing, will be a framework that can inspire in us to strive toward a theologically grounded “beloved community which requires a qualitative change in our soul as well as a quantitative change in our lives” (quote from: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.).

“Brimming with God: Reflecting Theologically on Cases in Ministry” Clinic
Barbara Blodgett, Lexington Theological Seminary and Matt Floding, Duke Divinity School

Theological reflection is a cornerstone of field education programs, where it is a pedagogical practice leveraging the experiences of students in order to form them as ministers.  On the ground, it is practiced in many different ways.  This clinic will not include any lengthy presentation but will include ample time for practicing the art of theological reflection.  After a brief conversation about different methods of TR, we will break into trios for an exercise of simulating a TR session with a student intern.  One person will be the supervisor, one the intern, and one a coach/observer.  Everyone will reflect on the same ministry incident and then we will gather to compare notes.  Because this clinic will be taking place mere hours after the U.S. presidential inauguration, we have decided that the incident will be about ministering prophetically in this time.

“Creative Dislocation:  Immersive Learning, Formation and Transformation”  Seminar
Odette Lockwood-Stewart, Pacific School of Religion

Recent research into formational and transformation dimensions of immersive learning for seminaries and congregations will be presented. Then questions will be introduced and engaged to learn from our own and one another’s experiences.

  • What components contribute to spiritual formation and liberating transformation in immersive learning?
  • What have you learned from failure?
  • How do immersion courses create, impact or disturb host cultures?
  • What is the impact of faculty, pastoral and community engagement?
  • How are varied life experiences of participants addressed?
  • What models and integration of financing, and partnerships are accessible, sustainable and ethical?


Break-Out Session 2
Saturday January 21
1:00 – 2:30

“Crossing Borders: A Multiracial/Cross-cultural grounding for Contextual Education” Seminar
Darrick Jackson, Meadville Lombard Theological School

Ministry in the 21st Century requires us to cross cultural boundaries and serve people from various backgrounds. In this seminar we will explore how contextual education can prepare our students to serve in a diverse world.

“Field Education in the Changing Landscapes of Ministry” Seminar
Christian Scharen, Center for the Study of Theological Education, Auburn Theological Seminary

Auburn Seminary’s Center for the Study of Theological Education is leading a national study of theological field education, including a broad survey, interviews and case studies at sites of interest and innovation. In this seminar, we will offer our analysis of the larger realities facing theological education, the motivations for our study, discuss preliminary findings, and invite advice and counsel from the attendees.

“Enriching the Supervisor/Supervisee Relationship” Seminar
Paul Ruff, Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity at University of Saint Thomas

This break-out session will explore some ways that the field education faculty can best support and help enrich the supervision at placement sites by cultivating a relationship in which you may offer contact, support and mediation to the supervisor him- or herself in the work with a seminarian.  This would include helping develop clarity regarding the interpersonal goals of the placement for the seminarian, finding unobtrusive ways to measure growth, and, with invitation, helping mediate any issues that may arise in the relationship itself.  What might be borrowed from training models from other interpersonally complex fields with field training experience (such as education, psychology and medicine) will be explored as we discuss this in the continuum of growth and learning from seminary training to the use of ongoing mentorship in ministry.

“Online Supervised Ministry as a Community Inquiry: Sharing Our Ideas” Seminar
Axel Schoeber, Carey Theological College

This participatory seminar will pool participants’ ideas on various ways to build community online, and together we will sketch a theoretical framework for understanding our engagement in online community as theological field educators.

“Putting a Number on It: Crossing the Assessment Divide” Seminar
Mary Froehle and Alfredo Hernández, St. Vincent De Paul Regional Seminary

The demands of accountability and accreditation often ask field educators to translate the art of supervision into numbers and aggregates. St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary has developed multiple means to assess field education outcomes, and will share one of those, the Pastoral Formation Evaluation Rubric. We have found that including both qualitative and quantitative elements in the rubric has enhanced supervisor responses. We would like our presentation of the rubric and its use to catalyze a dialogue with others about their practices with the goal of mutually enriching participant’s assessment practices.

“Theological Reflection Across Religious Divides” Seminar
Christina R. Zaker, Catholic Theological Union

Students come to theological education from a variety of religious contexts.  Individual students themselves might be familiar with multiple religious backgrounds or the need to minister in religiously diverse communities. A major component of theological field education is building students’ competency for the art of theological reflection, but the methods often rely on Christian language. How might we bridge this divide?  This seminar will engage participants in a shared wisdom approach to theological reflection across the religious divide. Together we will look at Edward Foley’s work, Theological Reflections across the Religious Traditions: The Turn to Reflective Believing (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015) and discuss practical ways of adapting Theological Reflection and Reflective Believing for multiple forums. Participants will identify ways to offer reflective resources to their students in this age of, as Polish Sociologist Zygmunt Bauman notes, Liquid Modernity.

Break-Out Session 3
Saturday January 21
2:45 – 4:15

“Facing the Cultural Realities:  How to advance intercultural development in our students colloquy and institutions by utilizing tools like the IDI (Intercultural Development Inventory)”
Deborah R. Penny and Timothy L. Johnson, North Park Theological Seminary.

All of our degree programs at NPTS include a learning outcome pertaining to the goal that all of our students “exhibit growth in inter-cultural competence.”  We will present the typical sequence of required instruments (IDI) experiences and reflection modules (Cultural Competency Module) that we use in order to increase this capacity as well as the means for measuring it and building upon it beyond graduation.  We will also allot significant time for clarifying questions and comparing our approach with approaches taken toward this priority at other seminaries.

“The World as Joyful Mystery: Laudato Si and the Recovery of Natural Law.” Seminar
Christopher J. Thompson, Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity at University of Saint Thomas

In this session we will explore some of the fundamental aspects of Laudto Si’, especially its importance for recovering a natural law ethic for the 21st century. Join us in the common discovery of the encyclical’s potential for renewing a Catholic culture and developing a culture of life.

“Across the Divides of Culture, Language, and Economics in Urban Settings” Seminar
Cristian De La Rosa and Wanda Stahl, Boston University School of Theology

This seminar will explore the experience of students involved in urban settings where they encounter a multiplicity of divides. What are the challenges across the divides of culture, language, and economics in the barrios in our inner cities?  How do we prepare, accompany, and learn from students doing their contextual education placements in transitional neighborhoods of cities in the United States and abroad as they deal with issues of immigration and globalization?  We will share from relevant literature, our own learnings, and students’ stories in this seminar.

“Participating in Christ’s Ministry: Models of Theological Reflection on Case Studies” Seminar
Annette Brownlee, Wycliff College

This workshop asks about the practical implications for reflection on case studies of the claim that Jesus Christ is fully human and fully God. Jesus reveals to us both the human condition and God’s response. God’s response is God’s care of us, i.e. Christ’s ministry.  How do we make space in reflection on case studies to explore how Christ reveals their human situation? And God’s response? And how do we connect this to our pastoral responses? These are big questions to explore. The seminar will offer one attempt for doing so, but is interested in hearing from participants how (if at all) this central claim about Christ shapes their methods.

“I Have This Idea … : How to Get Published” Seminar
Beth Ann Gaede, freelance author and editor

Many books and websites, agents and publishers offer would-be authors guidelines for developing proposals for books or articles. Beth Gaede has 25 years’ experience as an editor and has worked with nearly 200 authors (including many ATFE members). She will guide participants through proposal development, focusing on the issues that matter most to prospective publishers, and outline the editorial and production processes.

“Caring for the Whole Person: Collaborative Experiential Education for Divinity and Nursing Students”
Trudy Hawkins Stringer and Lucinda Stewart, Vanderbilt University                                                       seminar

Pastoral and nursing care provided for a patient during a hospital admission often occur separately.  This Seminar will present findings from an interdisciplinary research project designed by Vanderbilt Divinity School and School of Nursing.  The research group developed an interprofessional experiential simulation pilot project for nursing and divinity students. Goals of the research include:  promote interprofessional education;  increase understanding of one other’s roles; develop effective communication between disciplines; and identify practices and systems that enhance and inhibit communication and collaboration. Our Seminar will include discussion of the development of the project, methods engaged, evaluation tools utilized, participant feedback [both statistical and narrative], and video clips of collaborative training sessions. The presentation will be a springboard for open conversation, imagining additional possibilities for collaborative experiential training for students in our various schools.