BTI Policy for Field Education Sites

Occasionally it is desirable for a student from one Boston Theological Interreligious (BTI) Consortium member school to serve in a field education site that is affiliated with another member school. The field educators from the undersigned BTI Consortium schools agree that this opportunity should be as simple as possible, while recognizing that there are important differences in our respective programs: differing timetables, differing methods by which students select sites; differing financial arrangements, differing requirements for sites and students, and differing underlying philosophies. The following assumptions and procedures attempt to state and clarify the ways in which a student may serve in the field education setting of another member school.

Assumptions about sites and supervisors shared among the BTI Consortium member schools

  1. Affiliation: Indicates a field education site and/or supervisor has had a relationship with a particular BTI Consortium member school’s field education program. That affiliation includes:
    1. The site has been available to that BTI Consortium member school’s students and has provided supervision for those students.
    2. The site abides by the policies of the BTI Consortium member school’s field education program.
    3. The supervisor has received training and support (e.g., library access, course enrollment) from the BTI Consortium member school.
  2. The status of affiliation means the BTI Consortium member school can presume to count on that site and supervisor for students in future years, while there is no guarantee that a student will be available in a given year or that the site must work exclusively with that school’s students in future years.
  3. Switching Affiliation: Sites are encouraged to affiliate with the BTI Consortium member school that best meets the site’s organizational needs and mission. If a site wishes to switch affiliations from one BTI Consortium member school to another, it must contact both the school with which it is ceasing affiliation and the school with which it wishes to partner. This is for the benefit of transparency and information sharing; it is not for the purpose of seeking approval for the switch.
  4. Supervisor Training: Each person who wishes to supervise field education students must satisfy the qualifications of the affiliated school. That typically includes enrolling in a basic supervisory training offered by that BTI Consortium member school. While all undersigned BTI Consortium schools agree to recognize completion of supervisory training at any undersigned BTI Consortium school, it is assumed that supervisors will pursue the training at the school where their sites are affiliated except in unusual circumstances.
  5. Student compensation: BTI Consortium member schools vary in practice and policy on compensation of field education students. Each field education site arranges student compensation according to the guidelines of its affiliated school. It is understood that not all of these arrangements will be suitable for students from other BTI Consortium schools so must be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.
  6. Communication: Each BTI Consortium school manages communication and placements in its own way, which students can and must learn through direct communication with the appropriate field education offices.

Required procedures and student responsibilities for sharing sites

  1. Student communication responsibility: If a student is interested in serving in a field education site of another BTI Consortium member school, prior to making arrangements with the site, the student must receive approval from those in charge of field education in his/her home school, the director of field education at the site’s affiliated school, and, of course, the site.
  2. Manner of communication with affiliated BTI Consortium school: Students and/or a director of field ed may contact the director of field education from the affiliated school via phone, email, or in person. In most cases, it is advisable for students to make first contact via email, with the understanding that different field education directors will express different preferences for follow-up communication.
  3. Site expectations: The student is responsible for learning the expectations of the field education program and/or the site may be different from their home school’s field education program and site (e.g. written work, relationship with teaching committees, and hours).
  4. Curricular expectations: If the student’s school field education program requires that writing is used in the supervisory process (e.g., theological reflection paper, verbatim) the student is responsible for informing the supervisor and fulfilling those curricular obligations.
  5. Notification of agreement: After obtaining the approval of the field ed director overseeing the site, and completing the appropriate interview process, if the student and the site decide that they will work together, the student must notify the field education programs of both schools of that decision.
  6. Site-related documentation: Generally, the student serving in another school’s field education site will follow the site’s school-related documentation (e.g., contract/covenants, learning agreements, and evaluations). The student is responsible for ensuring that all site-related documents are submitted to both field education offices. Different arrangements may be made in consultation with the Field Ed Directors of each school.
  7. Tuition: The student incurs no additional tuition liability in serving in another school's field education site. All tuition is paid to the student's home school.

Some BTI Consortium schools do not have formal affiliation with the sites and/or supervisors at which their students regularly serve. If a student from another BTI Consortium school wishes to serve in such a site, the student and those in charge of field education at the student's home school will decide on the procedures to follow.

BTI Consortium member schools affirming this policy, 2017:

  • Boston College, School of Theology and Ministry, Chestnut Hill, MA
  • Boston University, School of Theology, Boston, MA
  • Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, MA
  • Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Brookline, MA

Adopted by BTI Consortium field educators, February 16, 1990; amended February 2017; amended April 2018.)