Student Placement Reflections

Every M.Div. student gets to experience a parish placement throughout the school year where they engage in liturgical, pastoral, and community-building activities, complementing the theoretical knowledge acquired in their classes.


Joel Amis, who graduated with an M.Div. this past May, was placed at St. John’s Lutheran Church for the final In Ministry Year of his degree. When Joel first visited the church he was impressed by a service he describes as both traditional and liturgically innovative. He knew a placement at St. John’s would allow him to learn a lot about liturgy—both its history and planning. He gradually began to “find his voice” (oftentimes literally as he developed his vocal skills), becoming comfortable as a worship leader. Participating in the life of a Lutheran church was also a formative ecumenical opportunity. Originally from Georgia, USA, Joel had little familiarity with the Lutheran Church. He felt completely comfortable at St. John’s and realized why the two churches enjoy a full communion relationship: “from my first Sunday at St. John’s I felt completely at home: differences in liturgy, theology, social teaching from Anglican churches I’ve been active in appeared so minor that I could have easily imagined that this was just an Anglican church with a different cultural background.”


Between the second and third years of his M.Div. degree, Tyson undertook a special year-long placement abroad in Paris, France:

“Rabbi Abraham Heschel writes that, “Faith is not the clinging to a shrine, but an endless pilgrimage of the heart.” His words have become extraordinarily profound to me in my year abroad, as I lean further into the future that God is calling me into. 2018 is a year of pilgrimage for me! Since last August I have had a seminarian-in-residence internship with the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, in Paris, France — familiarly known as the “American Cathedral in Paris.” The Cathedral is the episcopal see of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, which has several expat parishes and missions across western Europe. The Cathedral is a lively, international, and exciting place to build up God’s kingdom! My ministry role has primarily been working with the Cathedral’s youth group. We have focused much of our discussion on what it means to follow Jesus, in preparation to walk the last 150km of the Camino de Compostela on the annual spring break youth pilgrimage. I have also been providing administrative and spiritual oversight for the Sunday School team, planning lessons, leading Bible studies, and creating new children’s liturgies: I have helped create a “Children’s Church” service, during which all four Sunday School classes come together for an abridged version of morning prayer, with a Godly Play story replacing one of the scripture readings. I have been deeply integrated into the life of the Cathedral, planning liturgies, sitting in on staff meetings and vestry, doing pastoral visits, alongside assisting in Sunday worship. Paris is an amazing city, and the Cathedral here will always be a spiritual and emotional home! I am tremendously thankful to the college for supporting me in this internship.” – Tyson Røsberg

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