The Ministerial Apprenticeship Program (MAP) was developed so that students in the Master of Divinity program would have a guided opportunity to put into practice the theories and ideas learned in the classroom. Believing that a student must learn much more than academic material to be an effective minister of the Word, Mid-America established the program to capitalize on the personal and educational benefits of a tutorial relationship between an experienced minister and a student. The MAP consists of the following components:
- Regular contact with the pastor, consistory/session and congregation by the student during the first year of study in order to gain a broad acquaintance with the life and activities of the congregation
- Involvement in the following areas of the work of the church:
- Teaching a church school (e.g. catechism) class, or leading a society or Bible study
- Attendance at a specific number of meetings of consistory/session, diaconate, and classis/presbytery
- Direct contact with the evangelism program of the congregation
- Involvement in calling on the sick, shut-ins, and others needing pastoral care
- Exhorting in the worship services of the congregation and area congregations
- At least two summers of service in a congregation, either as a student assistant to a pastor or in a vacant church
If possible and desired by the student, some of the above and additional requirements may also be met by a pastoral internship of no less than ten months.
In all cases of work, the supervising pastor, consistory/session and student will provide periodic, detailed evaluation. In short, MAP, the field education component of the M.Div. program, is concerned with spiritual, personal, theological, and ministerial development of students in the areas of worship leadership, church education, pastoral care, and church government and administration.