The Student Pastor Program orientation attendance is for the entire learning team—student, clergy partner, and lay partner.
By August 1st, please return these forms: SPP Information Sheet and three-part Site Application-setting application, clergy profile, and lay profile. The Information Guide gives you information on administrative items that might be helpful for the very beginning of your matriculation.
The SPP Working Covenant should be signed by the student, both learning partners, the Pastor Parish Relations Committee Chair, and District Superintendent, and then returned at the orientation session.
Participants may take three or four years to complete the M.Div. degree. Please see the SPP 3 year degree plan and the SPP 4 year degree plan. The degree plans will also be communicated to SPP students at their initial orientation session. Deviation from these two pre-designed SPP degree plans may result in additional years to complete graduation requirements.
Students should take 28 credit hours per year if finishing in three years; or take 21 credit hours per year for four years. Assignments in many classes are adaptable to parish situations.
During the fall and spring semesters, SPP students take their courses on three consecutive weekdays in order to minimize travel time. You may rent a dormitory commuter room for the two nights spent on campus each week. Students may contact the Director of Residence Life to make arrangements.
Note: SPP students are given special consideration for Limited Enrollment courses by the Registrar's Office during each registration period. This is to ensure that SPP students are always able to get into specific courses in the designated semester.
Student pastors meet together in small reflective seminars throughout the first two years of enrollment at Wesley, earning 1 credit for each semester satisfactorily completed. These groups are led by faculty members and parish pastors, and provide informal guidance on integrating study with ministry, as well as information related to ministry with small membership congregations. Colloquy groups will generally be the same cohort of students with whom you entered Seminary.
Spiritual Formation for Ministry: In the first year, student pastors participate in a Spiritual Formation for Ministry course and small group on campus, which incorporate covenanted mutual accountability and service learning.
Intercultural Immersions: Before graduation, student pastors are required to participate in an Intercultural Immersion experience as outlined in the M.Div. degree requirements. More information may be found online on the Field Education: Practice in Ministry and Mission page under the menu: Immersions.
Student pastors in small or rural congregations may take a course in Rural or Small Congregation Ministry. Student pastors in an urban environment, with the counsel of their advisor, may select a course focusing on urban ministry.
The SPP Handbook is a resource available to support the student pastor in entering and navigating the Student Pastor Program.