Students at commencement

Ministry in Context

Contextual Education: New Teaching Congregations and Christian Public Leader Updates!

In the Teaching Congregations program as per the distributive curriculum, please remember that all Student and Mentor Pastor Reflection Questions are due on Monday May 5 for graduating seniors and Monday May 12 for non-graduating students. Students may find more information on their coursepages. Please contact the office of Contextual Learning if you would like help accessing or completing these.



In the Christian Public Leader program as per the portfolio curriculum, watch this space for updates

Clinical Pastoral Education: New CPE Procedures!

The office of Contextual Learning would like to share an update to the CPE registration and payment procedure, effective immediately:

1. As soon as you know where you will be doing CPE, please send Contextual Learning a copy of your acceptance paperwork. Be sure it includes information about the site, the supervisor, and the start and end dates.

2. When this acceptance paperwork is on file, Contextual Learning will contact the Registrar's office to register you for either a full-time or part-time

A Meditation on Fear and Trust from the Iona Community

Lord Christ,
Help us to have the courage and humility to name our burdens
And lay them down,
So that we are light to walk across the water
To where you beckon us.

Our pride
Armoring us,
Hardening us,
Making us defend our dignity by belittling others.
We name it
And we lay it down.

The memory of hurts and insults
Driving us to lash out,
To strike back.
We name it
And we lay it down.

Our fear,
of unsolved questions,
of the unknown,
of fear itself,
We name it
And we lay it down.

We do not need these burdens,
But we have

Director's Word: On Mission

On the church’s to-do list, mission is often the focus of one committee, a pull-down tab on the church website. Often, mission is understood as something some of “us” take up as a way to help “others”—those in need far away from our home and church.  This is a traditional understanding of mission, one that arose during a time when the assumption was that everyone nearby is already Christian. While it is a view of mission motivating untold acts of kindness and

Open House for Tim Coltvet and MA Community!

On Tuesday April 1 from 11:30am to 1:00pm, the office of Contextual Learning is excited to host an Open House for Tim Coltvet and for all of the MA professional degree-seeking students in Congregational Mission and Leadership, Children Youth and Family, and Congregation and Community Care concentrations.

It will be a brief yet festive opportunity to help welcome Tim to the office and familiarize MA students with the work and support we do here.

Lunch food and drink will be provided. See you there!

Behind in Their Reading

I’ve talked to quite a few pastors recently, and I am concerned about them. I don’t think they’re keeping up with their internet reading.

These pastors tell me that they consider themselves blessed to be serving where they are. Their congregations are supportive, encouraging and understanding. While there is a steady throb of disagreement within those congregations, the pastors understand that as a sign of health, people wrestling with hard issues together. These pastors say that

A Reflection on Trust

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without

Internship Updates: Orientation, Interviews, Preference Forms, Cluster Meetings

Internship Orientation for students is running smoothly. Future Interns, if you are not attending the sessions on Thursday afternoons, please make sure to check your email for the recordings and handouts. Pastors, your trainings will occur in May.

Internship Interviews are now complete, with the exception of interviews that were rescheduled to after inclement weather. Future Interns, if you need to reschedule and have not reached out to your interviewees, please attend to this immediately. Pastors,

Teaching Congregations Updates: Spring 2014

Teaching Congregations in Spring 2014 is already underway! Students, if you do not need a new placement and have already submitted your Learning Agreement for 2013 - 2014, no further action is required. You may begin your contextual work.

If you do not need a new placement but did not submit your Learning Agreement last semester, please submit that as soon as possible; they were due March 1.

If you need a new placement, please begin by reviewing the Site List. If no site works for you, your chosen

Cross-Cultural Education Updates: Upcoming Lectures, Cross-Cultural Opportunities

"Becoming Buddhist When Jesus Isn’t Enough: A Third Wave Womanist Negotiation of Race, Gender and Religion": The 2014 Mahle Lecture at the Wesley Center for Spirituality, Service, and Social Justice at Hamline University features the absolutely fantastic Black womanist process theologian Dr. Monica Coleman. Dr. Coleman will be giving a lecture entitled: "Becoming Buddhist When Jesus Isn’t Enough: A Third Wave Womanist Negotiation of Race, Gender and Religion"

This lecture examines the transformative