Academics

Contextual Ministry (CXM)

The Virginia Theological Seminary Contextual Ministry Department offers you, the seminarian, resources needed to develop skills and practices for experiential ministry. 
THREE CUSTOMIZABLE TRACKS

If you are an M.Div. student, including non-ordination track, The CXM Department requires nine (9) credit hours are completed within the Middler year, and offers three customizable program tracks. 

Optional- Senior Seminarians may continue in an “unofficial” or “informal” (i.e., not for credit) or elective credit capacity in the Senior year to fulfill specific diocesan requirements and/or to experience deeper involvement and learning by remaining in the same placement for two years. 

Track I allows for all credits to be completed in the Academic year, with a fuller immersion into the weekday culture of your site in the spring semester.

Track II allows for seminarians to:
  • Take two consecutive years of Biblical Languages
  • Participate in the New Missions Practices concentration or to gan experience in church planting and revitalization.
  • Participate in CXM as a School Chaplain
This track includes participation during the Academic year, plus one January or Summer Term Intensive.

Track III allows for seminarians to participate in other chaplaincy settings (e.g., hospital, work, military, port, etc.), and facilitates greater flexibility with an individualized CXM plan. With approval of the CXM Director.

If you are an Anglican Studies, Theology, and M. A. seminarian,
 you may choose to complete either three (3), six (6) or nine (9) credits of CXM with permission from the CXM Director.  
THE CONTEXTUAL MINISTRY CALL LIST
    During the fall semester, Juniors are encouraged to visit different CXM sites, including 150+ parishes and organizations, around the greater D. C. area to get a sense of where they might want to serve and what types of ministry they want to experience. These sites include:
    • Schools
    • Prisons
    • Hospitals
    • Parishes (rural, multicultural, suburban, etc.)
    To assist them in the decision process, each Junior must meet with the Director of Contextual Ministry, Dr. Allison St. Louis, to discuss interests and needs . By January or February, Juniors will narrow their options to few sites where they will apply and be interviewed for the following (Middler) year.

    If you are a parish or organization who would like to become a CXM site, please see the Downloads section for application materials, and contact the CXM Department to speak with the CXM Coordinator

    If you are a seminarian interested in a parish or organization not currently on the CXM Call List, please contact the CXM Department to schedule an appointment with the CXM Director. 
    TRAINED SUPERVISORS

    Contextual Ministry (CXM) Supervisors collaborate and train with Virginia Theological Seminary to offer high quality supervision to seminarians being formed as leaders in God’s church. This partnership is essential to a healthy, life-giving CXM experience. Supervisors are clergy with three years of experience and laity in an organization with three years of experience in that context. 

    The work of a dedicated CXM Supervisor includes:
    • Creating a safe environment to explore questions, concerns, joys and struggles in the CXM experience
    • Reflecting theologically with the seminarian on the seminarian's leadership and ministry at the CXM site
    VTS CXM provides a three year Supervisor Enrichment Program to propely support this important ministry, 
    LAY SUPPORT TEAMS

    Lay Support Teams play an important role in the seminarian’s Contextual Ministry (CXM) experience by offering support and challenge. Lay Support Teams are expected to meet with their seminarians once per month for two hours during the academic year (Sept.-May) and complete an annual evaluation of the seminarian.

    VTS CXM conducts an orientation and assessment workshop to equip Lay Conveners, team members, and seminarians for this vital process. 
     
    CPE SEGUE AND COLLOQUY

    Seminarians gather in safe, confidential, small groups (approx. 5-7 persons, with 2 faciliators) to reflect and further integrate the CPE and CXM experiences into ministerial identity and practice. Each format has its own purpose: CPE Segue provides an opportunity to debrief after the intensity of CPE, while Colloquy develops the art and skill of Theological Reflection (TR) in relation to ministry. Facilitators are experienced clergy, laity, and faculty, along with senior seminarians recommended by previous facilitators as especially gifted in theological reflection and small group leadership skills. 
     
    If you are an M.Div seminarian, CPE Segue and Colloquy is required.

    If you are an M.
    A., Anglican Studies, and Theology seminarian participating in Contextual Ministry, CPE Segue and Colloquy are optional. If you agree to participate in CPE Segue and Colloquy, you will be required to do so for the entire academic year.

    VIRGINIA THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY TRADITIONAL FIELD EDUCATION PROGRAM EXTENSION

    For the VTS Classes of 2019 and 2020, the Department of Contextual Ministry will extend the Traditional Field Education Program, to be phased out after commencement in May 2020. 

    Please see the Brightspace for requirements.

    Please see your course catalogue, the Traditional Field Education Manual, and Brightspace for requirements.

    For required semester papers, please see the FED Document Index or Brightspace.

    For the standardized CXM Timeline, please see the CXM Timeline on our Digicaiton site.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the CXM Department.

    Downloads

    Contact Info and Directions

    Dr. St. Louis' Mailbox: Box 187
    Ms. Jubinski's Mailbox: Box 121
    Contextual Ministry Department Phone: 703-461-1744
    Our office is located on the second floor of Bohlen Hall (#202), which is number 15 on the Campus Map.

    Field Education Staff

    List of 3 members.

    • The Rev. J. Allison St. Louis, Ph.D.  

      Director of Contextual Ministry & Second Three Years Program
    • Carol Jubinski 

      Administrative Coordinator for Contextual Ministry
    • Carissa Riedesel 

      Administrative Assistant
    3737 Seminary Road, Alexandria, Virginia 22304  |  Phone: 703-370-6600 or 800-941-0083 | Employee Directory