Frequently Asked Questions About TFE

Why do I have to take TFE?

Every accredited seminary is required to have a field education program with students ministering under the oversight of field supervisors/mentors. Therefore, every student who graduates from Golden Gate Seminary must take TFE. The only exception is for students in the MTS degree program. MTS students may complete TFE or opt for the courses approved for substitution.

When should I take my TFE?

TFE may be taken after you have completed P1111 Foundations for Ministry or E1111 Foundations for Educational Leadership (please check the current GGBTS catalog ). TFE is normally taken during your second year of study.

What is the application deadline?

May 15 is the deadline for applying to TFE for the following fall semester.

When I start looking for a place to serve, what should I keep in mind?

You should start considering where you will do your TFE the first week you are enrolled at GGBTS. Most students get plugged into a church soon after coming to campus. Others are already involved in serving in a church. Your TFE should match your passion for ministry and where you see God leading you to minister in the future. In other words, it should be a place that helps you gain the ministry skills that you will need in the future.

How many hours per week must I serve in my ministry setting?

You will need to serve a minimum of 10 hours per week during your TFE ministry practicum. At least 6 of the 10 hours must be face-to-face ministry (teaching, preaching, leading a group, visiting, evangelism, etc.). TFE is also offered for variable credit: 10+ hours of ministry per week: 2 hours per semester; 20+ hours of ministry per week: 3 hours per semester; 30+ hours of ministry per week: 4 hours per semester. Credit hours requested must be contracted and specified in the TFE application.

What is the covenant of learning?

Once you begin your TFE ministry practicum you will create a covenant of learning. It will specify the hours you will serve and your responsibilities in your ministry setting as well as learning and growth goals that you wish to achieve during your TFE.

What is the 360 degree Feedback Team?

A team providing constructive feedback and guidance to the student during the ministry practicum consisting of:
  • Peer Reflection Group Leader – your on-campus or online GGBTS professor
  • Peer Reflection Group – your on-campus or online class
  • Field Mentor – your ministry supervisor who meets specific qualifications, has been enlisted and identified on the TFE  application, and has received the required field mentor training
  • Spiritual Formation Mentor – provides spiritual guidance during your ministry practicum, has been enlisted and identified on the TFE application
  • Ministry Reflection Group – a group of ministry recipients and/or ministry partners enlisted after your TFE class begins
  • See the TFE Handbook for a more detailed description of each of these.

What is the role of my Field Mentor?

Your Field Mentor will be your supervisor during your ministry practicum. You will meet with them weekly for a minimum of one hour. They will hold you accountable and provide guidance and encouragement as you serve in your ministry setting and pursue your covenant goals.

Why does my Field Mentor need to go through the TFE training?

Your Field Mentor may have had previous supervision training, but not all training is equal. Your Field Mentor will understand our philosophy of supervision at GGBTS, the unique features of our TFE program, and our commitment to the ministry of supervision. It is also to be to your benefit to know and understand that your Field Mentor has been equipped to work with you in our program.

What is the role of my Spiritual Formation Mentor?

No matter what we do in ministry, it is spiritual in nature. We have discovered through experience that Field Mentors tend to focus upon ministry skill formation more than spiritual formation. Your Spiritual Formation Mentor will help you focus on how you are growing spiritually during your TFE.