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Chair's Welcome

Welcome to Field Education!

Religious life across North America, particularly in this season, shifts and sways on a regular basis. Whether you are new to the position or an experienced practitioner, we want you to know your role remains integral to the success of our students after seminary.  Our students are the ministers who respond in times of violence and celebration, caring for people we will never meet. Thus, our hope: to be the hands and feet for students so they can be the hands and feet for others.

For many of us in Field Education, we are the only person at our institutions pursuing student formation in this practical manner. For others, we have small teams who work with others or even the entire faculty. For all of us, there are new and creative ways to engage with students who minister in this unusual place and time. If you want to belong to a group of like-minded colleagues who care for the whole student, their ability to theologically reflect, and curate the formation of their souls, then you have come to the right place. Within this community, we recognize our work cannot remain hidden behind academic coursework, but made tangible in every encounter.

This engaged learning happens biannually at our conferences and during our scheduled caucus meetings. YOU are invited to both! Come join others in the sharing of ideas and wisdom from the trenches, strengthening your soul in the process.

See you in January 2023: Estes Park, Colorado.

With continued hope,
Dipa Hart

Who We Are

This nexus of integration is an intended pathway, carefully nurtured by the field educator. Field educators accompany students on their journey through the compilation of ministry experience, theological reflection, peer engagement, classroom time, personal consultation, and workshops with ministry professionals.

ATFE gathers for a biennial conference, which provides professional development workshops, keynote speakers, excursions, and both formal and informal opportunities for networking and connection. Known as “Biennial Consultations,” this event allows members to interact with current issues related to theological field education while also seeking to shape creative visions for the future. At past Consultations, ATFE addressed topics like adult learning theory, cross-cultural competence, emerging ministries, and the shifting landscape of theological education.

Want to know more about ATFE’s history? Here is a fascinating read, especially for new field educators. You’ll see the cliché is true: the more things change, the more they stay the same!

How We Operate

Meet the 2022-2023 Steering Committee:

Dipa Hart
Christina Zakar
John Senior
Thomas Elliott (Tom)
Chris Arockiaraj
Melvin Baber
Erin Laurvick
Susan MacAlpine-Gillis
Sung Hee Chang

We invite you to learn more about them via their bios.

Though ATFE is international organization of over 100 members, we have no full time staff or office. We hold incorporation in the state of Washington. Please peruse our bylaws for more details.

ATFE Archives

Change is continuous, and AFTE adapts over time as well. Please take time to read some of our past newsletters. We also have the benefit of hosting content from keynote speakers and workshop presenters after they present at the Biennial Consultation. Find access to this wealth of knowledge here.