Contextual Education I

  • Graduation at Arrendale

    Candler students gain ministry experience and incarcerated women learn leadership skills at Arrendale State Prison. Learn more »

  • Lutheran Services of Georgia

    At Lutheran Services of Georgia, Con Ed I students can tutor and mentor children and youth in after-school programs. Learn more »

  • Congregational Ministries with Refugees

    Through Congregational Ministries with Refugees, students have the opportunity to build relationships with refugee families. Learn more »

Contextual Education I

In the first year of Contextual Education, MDiv students enroll in a social service or clinical setting, unless they are enrolled in the Teaching Parish or Episcopal Studies track. During this time, you will be introduced to ministry in various forms, whether that experience is through working with low-income families to meet their housing needs, building relationships between parishioners and newly arrived refugees to the Atlanta area or in another setting. Students typically complete Con Ed I during the first year of the MDiv program.

At the end of the first year of Contextual Education, you will have gained:

  • The ability to integrate theological learning with ministry practice.
  • Broadened ideas of vocational identity and calling.
  • An expanded notion of church and of ministry while forming skills for leadership in ministries of justice and reconciliation.

Incoming students may choose a site for their Contextual Education I placement from the following list. Instructions on how to enroll will be sent to all incoming students in the summer before their first semester. Each site hosts 10-12 Candler students, and enrollment for sites and corresponding reflection groups (held in the fall) will close once they reach capacity. The integrative seminars are held in the spring.

SiteSite Work HoursReflection Group (Fall)Integrative Seminar (Spring)
Arrendale State Prison (Alto)M 9:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.M 1:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. (on-site)W 8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. (on campus)
Campbell-Stone Apartments (Buckhead or Sandy Springs)Sun-Sat between 10 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.Th 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (RARB 250)Th 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. (on campus)
Congregational Ministries with Refugees (Atlanta)Sat 10:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. (All Saints) or W 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. (Northlake)T 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (RARB 421)T 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. (on campus) 
First Presbyterian Church Community Ministries

M-F 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Occasionally: Sun 6:30 a.m - 9:00 a.m., and M-F 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. 

T 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. (on-site)Th 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. (on campus)

Friends of Refugees: Refugee Family Literacy Program

M-Th 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.W 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (RARB 421)W 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. (on campus)
Gateway CenterT 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m., W 4:00 p.m. - 8 p.m.Th 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (CST 369)Th 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. (on campus)
Gwinnett Medical Center (Lawrenceville)

Fall: W between 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Spring: more flexibility

W 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. (on-site)T 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. (on campus)
Lutheran Services of Georgia (Refugee Services) (Atlanta)

M 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., W 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 

Mentorship 3 hours weekly plus one Saturday 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. detention visit per semester

T 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (CST 368)T 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. (on campus)
Metro Regional Youth Detention, Department of Juvenile Justice

M 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m., Th 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.  

W 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. (on-site)T 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. (on campus)
Transitional Center/Helms Facility (Atlanta)W 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.W 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (on-site)W 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. (on-site)

Curricular Requirements

  • Stewards of Children
  • CE551a. Contextual Education I Site Reflection (first semester only; 2 hours)
  • CE551b. Contextual Education I Integrative Seminar (second semester only; 2 hours)
  • PC501CE. Contextualized Introduction to Pastoral Care (fall or spring, 3 hours)

Reflection Groups
In the first semester, students meet weekly, on campus or at the site, for a 90-minute reflection group led by the site supervisor. Site supervisors have advanced theological education, and are therefore equipped to mentor students and provide constructive evaluations at the end of each semester. (CE551a, 2 hours)

Sites and corresponding reflection groups will close for enrollment as they reach their maximum of 10 students.

International Students

International students who qualify for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) may enroll in Contextual Education I in their first year of the MDiv program. For more information, contact the Contextual Education handbook and the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). International students must receive authorization prior to their first visit to the Contextual Education I site.

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"Con Ed I has reaffirmed what I want to do with my life. I have a heart for working with underserved groups and plan on going into social justice ministries, so it's great to have a practical, hands-on component where I take what I'm learning in class and apply it, whether that's pastoral care techniques, or the history of the church and why we believe what we believe as Christians."
-Jessica Turner, Emmaus House, Atlanta, MDiv '16