Contextual Education is the heart of the Candler curriculum. Integrating theological education with practical experience of ministry in congregations, social service agencies, and clinical settings, Candler’s unique Contextual Education program is designed “to educate – through scholarship, teaching, and service – faithful and creative leaders for the church’s ministries in the world.” [Mission Statement]
Contextual Education is organized through a two-year sequence: Contextual Education I (usually taken in the first year) and Contextual Education II (that follows the successful completion of Contextual Education I). All M.Div. candidates must successfully complete all Contextual Education I and II requirements.
In addition to Contextual Education I and II, the Office of Contextual Education oversees
Episcopal students who are postulants and are approved by their bishop to enroll in Candler’s Episcopal Studies track fulfill Contextual Education requirements through successful completion of academic and site work through the Episcopal Studies Program.
Methodist students who have been appointed by their bishop to serve a Methodist congregation while at Candler and who have been approved to enroll in the Teaching Parish Program, satisfy Contextual Education requirements through the Teaching Parish program.
Contextual Education I
Site Work: Four hours per week throughout the entire academic year at one of ten sites chosen by the student. Each site will host 10-12 Candler students. Sites include prisons, homeless shelters, a center for adults with intellectual disabilities, hospitals, and refugee centers. For a complete list of Con Ed I sites, click here.
Fall Weekly Reflection Group: 90-minute weekly Reflection Group taught by the Site Supervisor. Students working at the site meet together throughout the academic year in this weekly Reflection Group. Some fall Reflection Groups meet on campus and some on site. 2 academic credits.
Spring Integrative Seminar: The students’ faculty academic advisor joins the students and Site Supervisor for the two-hour, spring Integrative Seminar that meets weekly on campus. 2 academic credits.
Contextualized Introduction to Pastoral Care (PC501CE): All students will be enrolled in a Pastoral Care and Counseling class that has been contextualized with Con Ed 1 sites. (Fall or Spring) 3 academic credits.
Instructions on how to enroll in Contextual Education I will be sent to all incoming students in the summer.
Contextual Education II
Site Work: Eight hours of weekly engagement in an ecclesial setting for one academic year.
Bi-monthly Reflection Group: Students meet twice a month with other Con Ed II students and a distinguished practitioner. 2 academic credits.
Contextual Education Elective (CEE): Students enrolled in Con Ed II are required to enroll in a CEE class taught by a Candler faculty person. These courses are contextualized for ecclesial settings and are specifically designed to utilize students’ experience on site as a primary source for learning. 3 academic credits (Fall or Spring).