Supervised Practice of Ministry
Supervised Practice of Ministry (SPM) is one of the distinctive aspects of the Austin Seminary experience. Students, alumni, and congregations agree that SPM courses are invaluable in preparing women and men for ministry. Students make significant contributions to the lives of the congregations they serve; in turn, congregations help to train interns for a life of fruitful ministry.
The philosophy of the SPM program weaves action and reflection into the learning process. Having completed foundational courses in the Seminary curriculum, students are prepared to learn through concrete acts of ministry. This service takes place under the supervision of an experienced pastor and mentor who guides the intern in regular reflection on his or her life, work, and pastoral identity. Finally, the student returns to Seminary, now more ready than ever to integrate theory and practice in the classroom environment.
SPM supervisors are carefully selected and must complete the Seminary's training program. They must have no fewer than five years' experience in ministry prior to their participation in the program; further, they are expected to have served for a year or more in the congregation where the internship is to take place. Interns and supervisors are thoughtfully and intentionally matched according to the goals and needs of the student and congregation.
Students have three options for fulfilling the SPM requirement: a year-long internship, a three-month intensive summer internship, and participation in the teaching church program, in which students serve congregations in the Austin area while enrolled in classes part time. Clinical Pastoral Education and experience in pastoral care in the hospital setting are also available through the Austin Seminary SPM program; the same model of learning through action and reflection applies.
Associate Dean of Ministerial Formation and Advanced Studies
Churches: Interested in participating in the SPM program?
Click here to access the application form.