Field Education

Authentic training for the ministry must include both practical experience and reflection on that experience. The HDS Field Education Program offers guided learning experiences that integrate theory and practice with work in hospitals, churches, schools, and other service institutions.

We invite students to cultivate their theological imagination within a structured program where they explore their own unique call to ministry. Students develop technical skills in the art of ministry while they reflect theologically on what they are learning and doing.

The Field Education Program fosters intellectual, ministerial, and personal growth. Through field education, students become reflective practitioners integrating theoretical perspectives with the practical experience they gain in ministry settings.

Field Education students direct their own learning, using their imaginations and creativity to find the appropriate settings for their educational and vocational goals. Approximately 100 accredited field education sites are affiliated with HDS and are open to master of divinity (MDiv) and master of theological studies (MTS) students. These sites include parishes, educational institutions, community-based social justice agencies, hospitals, and other health care institutions. If these sites do not meet students' particular needs, students may seek out and propose their own field placements.

Two units of field education are required of MDiv students, and students are encouraged to participate from the moment they step on campus. By identifying a field placement in the first year, students can begin immediately integrating theory with experiential learning.

Field education at Harvard Divinity School is part of the broader context of the Office of Ministry Studies, which provides a focal point for the MDiv program and its links to professional ministry. Please see the Field Education Handbook and the HDS Handbook for Students for Field Education Program and MDiv degree details and requirements.

To Apply

  • All field education forms should be submitted through the Field Education 4516A Canvas course website by the posted deadlines.

  • At the beginning of the semester, all MDiv students will be added to the Field Education Canvas course website for the academic year.

  • Once Placement Contracts are reviewed, OMS will remove any students not participating in field ed from the course roster.

For complete information regarding compensation and using Federal Work-Study funds for field education, please see the Field Education Handbook.