Ministerial Apprenticeship Program


Don't just learn it. Do it.


Capitalize on the personal and educational benefits of a tutorial relationship between an experienced minister and a student.

Ministerial Apprenticeship Program

Mid-America Reformed Seminary believes that mentoring should be part of all ministerial training. From the beginning of Mid-America’s existence, pairing the Master of Divinity student with an experienced pastor has been an integral aspect of the Seminary’s training. Students participate in mentoring relationships not simply during the summer, but throughout their seminary career. Veteran ministers and their congregations partner with the Seminary in preparing students to be pastors as well as preachers. Enter the Ministerial Apprenticeship Program

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  • 8Practica

  • 2 Summer internships

  • 20

    Minimum required
    exhorting assignments

Program Description

Mid-America recognizes the necessity for practical experience in preparing a man for ministry. It also realizes that there is no better way for a student to gain that experience than by being paired with a veteran pastor in a mentoring relationship. This relationship between the seasoned pastor and the M.Div. student is the focus of the Ministerial Apprenticeship Program (MAP). This program allows the student to gain field experience throughout his seminary career. A Master of Divinity student automatically becomes part of the program upon his entrance to the Seminary.

Field education is a part of seminary training, but it is always closely connected to the life of the church. Students whose denominational requirements differ from, or go beyond, those of the MAP should ensure that necessary requirements are incorporated as much as possible into their field education.

The program is under the supervision of the MAP Director in consultation with other faculty members. Working with the student, the MAP Director helps to secure a minister to supervise the student’s fieldwork. The supervising minister should be a member of the Mid-America Reformed Seminary Association, if possible. Ordinarily the student will make the supervising pastor’s congregation his church home, and his relationship with the pastor and congregation will continue for the duration of the student’s seminary training. Any financial remuneration is incidental to the established purpose of the program.

The student’s work will be evaluated at designated times each year so that his competency in several areas may be tested and improved. The student, the pastor, and the faculty will meet at the end of the junior year to evaluate specific areas of growth in the student’s spiritual, personal, theological, and ministerial life. Near the end of the middler year, a consultation with the student is conducted in the presence of the faculty. The faculty helps the student determine his suitability for the ministry and counsels him with regard to his continuing studies. If necessary, the senior year concentrates on any areas that need improvement.

Components of MAP

1. Regular contact with the pastor, consistory or 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. It is the responsibility of the student to see that his work is being supervised and regularly evaluated.

2. Involvement in the following areas of the work of the church:

  • Teaching a church school (catechism) class, or leading a society or Bible study
  • Attendance at a specific number of meetings of consistory or session, diaconate, and classis or 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.

3. At least two summers of service in a congregation, either as student assistant to a pastor or in a vacant church—in which case the student will be supervised by a pastor in a neighboring congregation, whenever possible. Each summer assignment is to be at least ten weeks in length.


A Case for the Ministerial Apprenticeship Program

When third year MDiv. student, Matthew Van Der Woerd, was active in his first internship, we sat down with him to capture his thoughts on the benefits of the Ministerial Apprenticeship Program - a summer internship where students encounter the opportunity to practice theories and ideas learned in the classroom.