Competency Exercises in the Master of Divinity Program

In the Master of Divinity program competency exercises are designed to allow students to demonstrate basic competence in two subject areas in the way that a pastor must demonstrate such competence. This is not yet the level of competence an experienced pastor would display or even that a new-minted MDiv graduate would display, but a basic level such as would be expected of someone who has done the foundational work in the two subject areas. Because the exercises assess competence in the way pastors must display competence, they are built around actual pastoral practices carried out in the student’s congregational site, and the exercises integrate one Interpreting field and one Leading field.

After completing all other 500-level course requirements in a subject area a student is ready to take the competency exercise in that area. Subject areas are always paired in competency exercises, one Interpreting field (IS, IF, IP, IB) with one Leading field (LW, LC, LF, LM). Thus a student must complete the course requirements in two subject areas in order to be ready to register for a competency exercise. The choice of which Interpreting field and which Leading field are paired is up to the student. Ultimately, MDiv students must pass four competency exercises, covering all eight subject areas. Competency exercises are either 1.0 credit and last four weeks or 1.5 credits and last six weeks. The credit hours earned and length of the competency exercise depend on the subject areas being combined.

For the full policy defining competency exercises in the MDiv see section 7.1.9 of the Student Handbook.

Students register for a competency exercise in the month in which most of the work for the exercise will be done, but they must also contact the two instructors overseeing and grading the exercise to negotiate the specific schedule for the exercise, including the final due date. Students are advised to register for no other course work during the weeks they are engaged in a competency exercise. The instructors are to provide the student with three documents: the instructions for the exercise, an assessment rubric that spells out the competencies being evaluated, and a questionnaire to be distributed to and collected from congregation members who experience the student’s ministry during the exercise. For additional details about registration procedures see section 7.1.10 of the Student Handbook.

For information purposes only the instructions, assessment rubrics and congregational questionnaires for competency exercises corresponding to the 16 possible combinations of subject areas are listed here. Students taking competency exercises should always ask the instructors for current authoritative copies of these documents.

IB-LC (Interpreting Behavior-Leading through Care) 1.0 credit      

Instructions

Assessment rubric

Congregational questionnaire

IB-LF (Interpreting Behavior-Leading in Formation) 1.0 credit

Instructions

Assessment rubric

Congregational questionnaire

IB-LM (Interpreting Behavior-Leading into Mission) 1.0 credit

Instructions

Assessment rubric

Congregational questionnaire

IB-LW (Interpreting Behavior-Leading in Worship) 1.0 credit

Instructions

Assessment rubric

Congregational questionnaire

IF-LC (Interpreting the Faith-Leading through Care) 1.5 credit

Instructions

Assessment rubric

Congregational questionnaire is not used

IF-LF (Interpreting the Faith-Leading in Formation) 1.5 credit

Instructions

Assessment rubric

Congregational questionnaire

IF-LM (Interpreting the Faith-Leading into Mission) 1.5 credit

Instructions

Assessment rubric

Congregational questionnaire

IF-LW (Interpreting the Faith-Leading in Worship) 1.5 credit

Instructions

Assessment rubric

Congregational questionnaire

IP-LC (Interpreting the Past-Leading through Care) 1.0 credit

Instructions

Assessment rubric

Congregational questionnaire

IP-LF (Interpreting the Past-Leading in Formation) 1.0 credit

Instructions

Assessment rubric

Congregational questionnaire

IP-LM (Interpreting the Past-Leading into Mission) 1.0 credit

Instructions

Assessment rubric

Congregational questionnaire

IP-LW (Interpreting the Past-into Worship) 1.0 credit

Instructions

Assessment rubric

Congregational questionnaire

IS-LC (Interpreting Scripture-Leading through Care) 1.5 credit

Instructions

Assessment rubric

Congregational questionnaire is not used

IS-LF (Interpreting Scripture-Leading in Formation) 1.5 credit

Instructions

Assessment rubric

Congregational questionnaire

IS-LM (Interpreting Scripture-Leading into Mission) 1.5 credit

Instructions 

Assessment rubric

Congregational questionnaire

IS-LW (Interpreting Scripture-Leading in Worship) 1.5 credit

Instructions 

Assessment rubric

Congregational questionnaire


♦ Updated 12/16/15