Frequently Asked Questions

• What is TFE?

TFE is built around the mentoring relationship between a ministry context mentor and an individual seminarian in area churches or community ministry settings. It fosters the formation of ministry practitioners who are intentional about theological reflection to create an insightful religious practice. Two credits required for the MDiv program.
All MDiv students must register during their second fall semester for CHMN560 Theological Field Education and receive the final grade for the course at the end of the following spring semester (one year long).
TFE provides MDiv students with opportunities to:
1. Clarify the nature of their calling.
2. Develop ministry competencies with the guidance of a field mentor.
3. Engage their spouse and children in the realities of ministry in order to gauge the couple/family fit for ministry.

• Do I have to do TFE?

TFE is required for all MDiv students during their second year of their program.
• How can I get a waiver for TFE based on my pastoral experience? 

About the waiver for TFE. Pastors who can present a letter from their Conference to the CHMN Chair verifying at least 2 years of full-time paid pastoral experience including intentional mentoring, verified by service record, may be exempted from taking CHMN560 at the Chair’s discretion (Dr. Patterson).

• What is the process to do TFE?

1. Two kinds of registrations are required. First, enroll in the actual course CHMN560. This is done by adding this course to your load (ask at the MDiv Office for the add/drop form if cannot do it online).
2. Second step. Go to Click on “registration” (in red). You will receive a confirmation email so you will know that the process was successful. If you have problems with your password or details of your account, go to the NAD Evangelism Institute in the Seminary Building. Look for Michael Orellana in S320.
3. Login in and take your self-assessment survey. This survey will suggest what areas you may need to improve. This should be completed before making a contract with your mentor. Keep records of these results, which will be helpful when you talk with your mentor about your learning goals.
4. Check our list of mentors available. To do so, click on "Church Contract" and then "To see the full list of mentors click here.” You must choose one of them, but before doing that, spend some time making connections with several mentors,  getting to know their leadership style, ministry opportunities, experience, etc. If you do so, it will provide you with a clear picture of the best place for you to do TFE.
5. After you have chosen your mentor, talk with your mentor about the results of your self-assessment survey and set up some learning goals to improve your weaknesses.
6. With this information in hand, login into your account and click on “Church Placement Contract” (CPC) to make your contract. You will need to enter your mentor’s pin number. All mentors have one, so ask your mentor for that.
7. In your contract, you will see a question about your “student learning goals”. Your statements in this section should reflect your conversation with your mentor about your self-assessment survey results.
8. Remember, this is a serious contract, and when this contract is in place, you are committed to accomplishing all TFE requirements explained in the syllabus. These requirements include:
a. Students are expected to be at church and actively engaged in ministry three Sabbaths each month. Additionally, students are expected to be engaged in ministry in their ministry context in some capacity one additional day (this could include an extra Sabbath) each month.
b. You will be reimbursed for the gas you spend only if you submit your reports in time.  See Steve Nash for details.
c. Submit all required reports (See syllabus for more details)

• How do I get Gas Mileage Reimbursement?

1. No mileage reimbursement will be given until your church contract has been submitted and approved by the Theological Field Education Advisor at NAD Evangelism Institute. Trips occurring prior to approval of your contract are not reimbursable. Mileage reimbursement will be paid during your one year TFE contract and may continue if you stay with the same church after your one year contract ends as long as you are a full time MDiv Student.
2. Reimbursement is provided for up to ONE round-trip per week to attend Sabbath Worship Services. For two of the weeks during the month a mid-week ministry trip may be substituted for the worship service. Remember, maximum of ONE trip per week will be reimbursed.
3. Mileage to area churches has been predetermined and reimbursement will be calculated based on that amount, regardless of actual miles traveled. The maximum is 100 miles roundtrip, even if the church is farther away. Also please note that there is no reimbursement for local Berrien Springs churches.
4. Submit your mileage report monthly to the Seminary Dean’s Office – mileage reports will not be accepted if they are submitted more than 30 days from the latest date of travel.
5. Checks will be available to be picked-up at the Seminary Dean’s office approximately eight days after submitting the mileage form.

• Where can I get more information?

1. By webpage.
2. By mail.
3. To make an appointment. Go to “NADEI, S320 suite at the Seminary Building. Look for Michael Orellana.