St. Augustine's Seminary of Toronto

Pontifical Baccalaureate of Sacred Theology & Master of Divinity Pastoral Formation

St. Augustine’s Seminary encourages its students to participate pastorally in their local church and community on their own. However, to formalize the pastoral formation of each student, a field education program has been designed. In addition to the field education placement, the ordination candidates must complete a parish internship year.

Field Education:

  • St. Augustine's requires one semester of field education in combination with one semester of Pastoral Counseling. These courses are scheduled for the 2nd year theology in consultation with the Director of Field Education.
  • Students who decide to complete a Clinical Pastoral Education course (C.P.E.) do so on an elective basis. The C.P.E. course is not part of St. Augustine's Seminary's S.T.B./M.Div. programs. The course may be registered and upon approval of the Director of Field Education, the student will receive 2 elective credits, which will appear on their official transcript. The Supervisor's final evaluation and the student's own final evaluation is to be provided to the Director of Field Education at the Seminary.

The Director of Field Education conducts mandatory weekly seminars for sharing and theological reflection to assist students in recognizing the challenges of the apostolate while integrating the practice of ministry with the study of theology. This means that each student has professional guidance in their action and in their evaluation of both their successes and difficulties.

Field Education Course Outline:

  • Field education placement must start and end the same week as the Toronto School of Theology classes.
  • Field education placement is a minimum of 8 hours per week commitment. Attendance is mandatory. If you are unavoidably delayed or unable to attend you must contact the institution.
  • Attendance and active participation in weekly seminar.
  • One hour per week of supervision, either with field supervisor or the Director of Field Education. Supervision is one of the most crucial aspects of the placement.
  • Every third week a personal reflection is due to the field supervisor and Director of Field Education: “What have I learned during this time?”
  • Work Agreement is to be completed and signed by the field supervisor, student and Director of Field Education by September 30 or January 30.
  • A final evaluation is to be completed by the field supervisor and the student by the last day of classes.
  • Three written Theological Reflections are to be given to the Director of Field Education on the assigned dates. One week after its due date, an assignment will no longer be accepted. Students will not receive a passing grade unless all the assigned work is completed and accepted.
  • The Pass/Fail grade will be based on the following: 50% of the grade will be given on the basis of attendance and participation in the placement, seminar, and completed assigned theological reflections; 50% will be based on the pastoral growth of the student as reflected in the final written evaluations.
  • A grade of “F” (failure) in Field Placement may result in disqualification from the Seminary program.

Parish Internship

Ordination Candidates are required to complete a one-year pastoral internship in a parish under the supervision of the Pastor. This course is normally done after the 2nd year of theology.

Internship Placement
Each intern is appointed to the parish by his own Ordinary. The Seminary-supervised internship starts at the beginning of September and finishes at the end of August with, in the Toronto Archdiocese, the month of August as a vacation month paid by the parish. For other dioceses the starting and ending date is at the discretion of each Ordinary.

Dress Code
All interns are expected to maintain a professional dress code within their ministry work as representatives of the parish. Sunday and liturgy dress is to be a white alb.

Days of Reflection
Each intern is required to be present at St. Augustine's Seminary from 12:00 p.m. Wednesday until 4:00 p.m. Thursday (unless not permitted by distance) per month throughout the internship placement. On these reflection days, through supervision and peer input, interns will help one another to clarify further for themselves areas of competence and areas of concern. The intern also travels to the Seminary for the Lenten Recollection weekend and other days as added by the Seminary, e.g. 5 day January reflection.

For those interns living far from Toronto who do not attend the monthly reflection day it is strongly recommended that they do attend the January Reflection Days and share their internship experience and benefit from the experience of the other interns. Reflection days will be planned especially for them in January.

Spiritual Direction
Spiritual direction continues to be a necessary means of personal growth for one’s personal life and ministry. Each intern must meet regularly and frequently (at least monthly) with his Spiritual Director at the Seminary. Those interns for whom because of distance, spiritual direction at the Seminary is impossible during their internship year must find, by the beginning of their internship, spiritual direction close to their parish placement. Please inform the Rector, the Director of Spiritual Formation or the Director of Parish Internship of the name and place of their Spiritual Director for the internship year. Please Note:No spiritual direction may be scheduled during the group reflection time of the monthly reflection day at the Seminary. Each is important in its own way.

Year-End Retreat
Interns make a year-end spiritual retreat and inform the proper authorities at the Seminary—Rector, Director of Spiritual Formation or Director of Parish Internship. (See Seminary Spiritual Direction Guidelines for details on the year-end retreat).

Supervision
A one-hour session per week with the Pastor-Supervisor is essential, during which the intern will receive feedback, formation, direction and support. (This has to be specific supervision. Sharing or casual talk over coffee or at meals is excellent but cannot take the place of the required supervisory time).

Further guidelines about supervision and evaluation are given in the Pastoral Internship 2-1-2 Handbook.

Experience of the Parish
It is of great importance to the intern that he be exposed to and possibly involved in all aspects of parish life, liturgy, movements, activities and events. All of these will be a valuable experience for the intern.

Time off from the Parish

  • Arrangements have to be made with the Pastor-Supervisor.
  • One full 24-hour period each week (no accumulation of days off)
  • Three full days after Christmas
  • Three full days after Easter
  • Monthly Day of Reflection at the Seminary from Wednesday 12:00 p.m. to Thursday 4:45 p.m.
  • Days of Recollection in the Seminary program.
  • Year-end retreat. (For Toronto seminarians the Seminary pays the cost of the retreat, for other dioceses by the parish or at the discretion of the diocese.)
  • Other times as required by the Seminary.
  • The intern may not have extra time off (except his regular day off) during the following weeks:
    • The week prior to Christmas and Christmas Day.
    • Ash Wednesday
    • Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Easter Sunday

Salary
Interns will be paid according to the amount stated by the Ordinary. This sum is to cover monthly wages and travel expenses. No educational expenses are to be paid by the parish. No educational program or academic courses are to be attended by the intern without the approval of the Seminary. Any Christmas and Easter bonuses are at the discretion of the Pastor-Supervisor.

Learning Work Agreement
A Learning Work Agreement is to be completed by the intern in consultation with the Pastor-Supervisor and given to the Director of Parish Internship for approval no later than September 30.

Evaluations
Evaluations from both the supervisor and the intern are mailed to the Director of Parish Internship by the deadlines provided each year in September.

The role of the Director of Parish Internship
The Director of Parish Internship will report monthly, to the Rector, the progress of each intern and whether the intern is complying with the written requirements and commitment of the internship. The Director of Parish Internship is readily available for help in any way. He engages to meet one-to-one with every intern at least once each semester and more often when necessary. He engages to visit each parish placement and meet with the Parish Supervisor and the intern and possibly with others involved with the intern at least once each semester and more often if necessary.

Written Requirements

  • When attending the monthly day of reflection, each intern is required to give in writing to the Director of Parish Internship a personal reflection of his personal experience, of his parish experience and of ministry. (A copy of this reflection will go to the Rector.)
  • Following the pre-arranged schedule, the intern presenting the following month is to give a copy of his "Theological Reflection" to each intern in the group and to the Director of Parish Internship a month prior to the presentation day in the group. Each intern is then to read and process it and be ready for discussion on presentation day. Please make sure the theological reflection is typed. The length of the theological reflection is not to exceed three pages. (Further guidelines about theological reflection presentations will be given during the Orientation Days).
  • During the "Parish Internship Year" each intern writes:
    • a monthly Personal Reflection
    • a monthly Theological Reflection
  • The due dates for the written requirements are provided at the orientation in September.
  • Regardless of presenting to the group or not, the assignments have to be handed in or mailed in on the due dates, or an explanation has to be given to the Rector and agreed to by the Director of Parish Internship.
  • Interns who live far from Toronto and who are not attending the monthly reflection days at the Seminary are requested to mail to the Director of Parish Internship a monthly "Personal Reflection" and monthly "Theological Reflection" by the deadlines specified in September.
  • Assignments should be handed in on the assigned dates. One week after its due date, an assignment will no longer be accepted. Students will not receive a passing grade unless all the assigned work is successfully completed and accepted.
  • The Pass/Fail grade will be based on the following: 50% of the grade will be given on the basis of attendance and participation in the placement, seminar, and completed assigned theological reflections; 50% will be based on the pastoral growth of the student as reflected in the final written evaluations.
  • A grade of “F” (failure) in Parish Internship may result in disqualification from the Seminary program.

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