Contextual Education

 What do we mean by contextual education?

A theological curriculum concentrating on contextual education engages people in rethinking what it means to be human in relation to God, other people and cultures, and the whole of creation. This kind of rethinking requires people to know with their whole beings: engaging all of the senses; challenging preconceptions; and getting our hands dirty (literally and figuratively). Such rethinking leads people to acknowledge that what we do not know is greater than what we do know, but to recognize ceaseless opportunities for new knowledge, often emerging in unlikely places. The BU School of Theology curriculum is one aspect of this fundamental rethinking, focused particularly on classroom education and internships. Simultaneously the School is refiguring our community practices, co-curricular learning, and physical space, knowing that how we are together and where we are together shape our theologies and our lives.

For contextual education policies and procedures for MTS and MDiv students and for Contextual Education Supervisors, click below or follow the navigation at the left. If you have any questions, please email us at sthope@bu.edu.

Our Master of Divinity students begin preparing for contextual education from their first fall semester and may enroll in field-based learning upon completion of their first full year of study. Students can choose from STH partner sites, Boston Theological Institute sites, or may develop field-based placements to meet special needs or interests. Read more…

Master of Theological Studies students are required to fulfill one semester (4 credits) of contextual education, typically during the second year of this two-year program.  Students may elect to follow a project proposal process. Students design MTS projects in consultation with advisors and the Office of Contextual Education. Read more…

Students may choose to take Clinical Pastoral Education if their denomination requires it for ordination, if they have a particular interest in clinical issues, or if they are on a course of study where CPE makes sense for the goal. Read more…

We understand that education extends beyond the classroom, into real world environments that require students to dive in, get their feet wet, and explore. Take a look at what other students have done with the freedom to explore made possible by Springboard Funding. Read more…