The Thistle

Expanded Field Ed Program Features New Opportunities for Students—and a Full-Time Director

Covenant Seminary is pleased to announce that its Field Education program is in the midst of a major expansion effort that will provide new opportunities for ministry-leaders-in-training to hone their skills while studying at Covenant’s St. Louis campus. Building on the program’s existing strengths and the Seminary’s many close relationships with local churches and ministries, the expanded program will offer current and future students enhanced mentored ministry internships under the guidance of experienced practitioners. The expanded program will also provide more support for students before, during, and after the internship process, as well as upgraded training and resourcing for church and ministry leaders serving as internship site mentors and supervisors. Other significant aspects of the program include the hiring of a full-time director dedicated exclusively to Field Education and the development of a specialized learning track in church planting. Initial funding for the expansion is provided by a generous grant from the Antioch Fund for Church Multiplication, in conjunction with the Seminary’s current capital campaign.

Integral to Covenant’s educational philosophy and curriculum, the Field Education program is designed to take advantage of the Seminary’s location in St. Louis, with its wealth of PCA churches and those of many other denominations. The city offers a unique ministry training ground in which future church leaders can engage in, reflect on, and receive feedback about the practice of ministry in a variety of real-life contexts, in concert with what they learn in the classroom. Helpful as the program has been, the Seminary has long desired to provide additional resources and more structured oversight to increase its effectiveness in preparing future church and other ministry leaders. The recent hiring of the program’s first full-time director is a major step in that process.

Jeremy Main (MAEM ’15), a Covenant Seminary graduate who has served as field education mentor coordinator since 2015, assumed the duties of director of field education on April 1, 2017. He brings to his new role a wealth of experience in the development of partnerships and programs, as well as in education and leadership. With three MA degrees—in urban affairs (Saint Louis University), political science (University of Missouri–St. Louis), and educational ministries (Covenant Seminary)—and teaching experience at the college and university levels, including as adjunct professor of educational ministries at Covenant since 2015, Jeremy is currently pursuing a Doctor of Transformation Leadership (DTL) from Bakke Graduate University. He also serves as a ruling elder at Midtown Church (PCA) in St. Louis. Jeremy and his wife, Trisha, have three children.

Main is excited about the expanded Field Ed program’s potential and possibilities: “Our goal is to equip current and emerging leaders for faithful ministry in God’s global Kingdom. Students can’t learn everything in seminary, but they can develop the practices necessary for continued learning and compassionate leadership in whatever contexts the Lord has for them. Field Education provides valuable ministry experiences that help them intentionally integrate all aspects of their seminary training. We’re grateful for all the ministries that have welcomed our students, and we pray they have benefited from the assistance of students who are eager to serve and learn. We want to be more of a resource for the mentors and supervisors who give so generously of their time and expertise. We also look forward to broadening our networks, learning more about effective ministry in various contexts, and developing a more robust and diverse collaborative effort for training leaders for God’s mission.”

President Dr. Mark Dalbey commented, “Covenant’s board, faculty, staff, and students enthusiastically welcome Jeremy to his new role as director of field education. We thank the Lord for his provision of an experienced servant-leader who can help us take the program to a new level. We are also grateful to the Antioch Fund, in partnership with Mission to North America, for the generous grant that enables us to begin making our desires for this program a reality. Our graduates—and our churches—will be stronger for it.”

For information on how your church or ministry can participate in and benefit from the Field Education program, contact Jeremy Main at 314.392.4047 or jeremy.main@covenantseminary.edu.