Houston Graduate School of Theology

Ministry Practicum

Ministry Practicum Handbook

Practicum experiences provide students with the opportunity to integrate what they learn in the classroom with practical experience.

Most students who come to HGST begin with some prior experience at the lay or professional level. However, most have not achieved a level of competency that comes with graduate theological education and integration of new knowledge into a professional context.

The Practicum experience gives students further opportunity for supervised training in field settings so that they attain higher proficiency as reflective practitioners. Each ministry practicum (FE 651 and FE 652) is completed part-time during a semester or summer and requires 150 hours of coursework and fieldwork in a congregation, local mission, or community agency (normally 10 hours per week for 15 weeks). In addition to fieldwork at the practicum site, the student attends the weekly class meeting at HGST and completes assignments. Each ministry practicum is a specialized ministry experience that focuses on select areas of ministry as agreed upon by the student and mentor.

Prerequisite Courses:

  • Prior to enrollment in FE 651, students are required to have completed PC 501 Introduction to Pastoral Care, CS 501 Introduction to Christian Spirituality, plus one more “501” course. In addition, they will have completed a minimum of thirty credit hours in the Master of Divinity degree program.
  • Students are also required to select one of the following options for completion prior to the beginning of FE 651:
    • Completion of the Faithwalking 101 Retreat and 201 Series (registration at faithwalking.us); or,
    • Completion of at least six of twelve spiritual direction sessions with a certified spiritual director, with plans to complete the remaining sessions during the practicum experience
  • Prior to enrollment in FE 652, students are required to have completed all six “501” introductory

Pastoral Internship Option

A student may complete the field education requirement fulltime for a minimum of 13 weeks by taking FE 700: Pastoral Internship. This option is suggested for students who desire a broad experience in pastoral ministry. If the internship is local, the student attends the weekly practicum class. If the internship is outside of the Houston area, the student completes reading assignments and organizes a portfolio.


The Office of Field Education

Houston Graduate School of Theology
Dr. Herbert Fain, Ministry Practicum Field Director
Phone: 713-942-9505 ext. 213
Email: hfain@hgst.edu