Allison’s Story: Field Education


Clergy are people, just like the rest of us. They need people to turn to to confide in, or to share their problems. I majored in psychology and religious studies. And so now I’m in the middle of the master of divinity from Duke, and my hope is to become a licensed clinical social worker specifically for clergy. So I needed experience in a ministry context to understand what it means to work in a church. Field education is the practical component to the divinity
degree students have the experience of of taking abstract, 20,000-foot concepts and applying them at the ground level. So for instance, I am at 2 churches and a farm in Saxapahaw. Getting to know the community requires time and intentionality. At the United Methodist church, I am working on many of the skills that it requires to be a clergy person — listening well, asking good questions, and being emphathetic. . I also wanted to get the masters of social work from Carolina, and the field ed office really supported that as a goal for me. I’m not finished with my degrees, but I will be much more prepared than I was before this experience. God has placed this call in my heart to help clergy and their families. And so my hope hope is that I can eventually help implement a system where we are supporting clergy in in a way that they need.

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