Last Thursday, May 3rd, CTSFW hosted the Field Education Supervising Pastors conference, funded by a grant from the Association of Theological Schools. Thirty-five of our fieldwork supervisors attended the conference, where they heard presentations from CTSFW faculty as well as several supervising pastors who have demonstrated expertise in mentoring students.
By learning and practicing in a congregational setting alongside academic study, seminarians immerse themselves in the life of the Church and by it gain practical experience in such things as public Scripture reading, leading appropriate portions of the Divine Service, and preaching Christ-centered sermons in which Law and Gospel are rightly distinguished. They also care for the sick and aged, and many learn to reach out to inactive members or the unchurched in the community, and to teach at a variety of age levels (from Sunday school to youth catechesis to adult Bible Class).
For, after all: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing” (1 Cor. 13:1-3).
Presentations included such topics as preaching (Rev. Peter Brock; St. John, Bingen), leadership/administration (Rev. Patrick Kuhlman; Immanuel, Avila), and pastoral visitation (Rev. James Voorman; Zion, Decatur). Rev. Roy Olsen (Emmaus, Fort Wayne) also presented, as did Dr. Zieroth (director of vicarage and internship), Prof. Roethemeyer (associate professor of Pastoral Ministry & Missions), Dr. Grime (dean of Spiritual Formation), and Prof. Pless (director of Field Education).