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Director of Contextual Education

Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, IA

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The Director of Contextual Education position gives focused attention to the wholistic formation of students as church leaders in mutual collaboration with congregations, synods, and agencies where students are engaged in contextual teaching and learning. This position involves stewardship of the formation process in accordance with the Auburn Studies report on “Learning Pastoral Imagination” <http://pastoralimagination.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/CSTE-LPI-030116.pdf>. To accomplish this work, the Director of Contextual Education will work together with faculty and staff to develop clear criteria and high standards in the recruitment of sites and to oversee a robust process for training supervisors and mentors, who serve as key partners of the Wartburg Seminary teaching and learning community.

Reporting to the Academic Dean, the Director of Contextual Education will be responsible for five major areas of work related to Contextual Education: initiation and stewardship of collaborative partner relationships through the MDiv-Collaborative program; MDiv and TEEM Internships; Deacon Internships; Clinical Pastoral Education and the Clinical Program of Wartburg; and the Fieldwork courses in the Masters curriculum. The Director of Contextual Education administers the MDiv-Collaborative program with oversight from the Vice President for Admissions and Student Services. Specific responsibilities are named below, all contributing to the overall purpose of wholistic formation in partnership with others.

Major Responsibilities/Activities:

The MDiv Collaborative Program

  • Work with the Admissions and Student Services Department to coordinate admission and placement of CL students in sites.
  • Identify and cultivate sites for the program, including the process of vetting a congregation’s participation in the program with their synod and matching the student.
  • Work with the student, congregation, synod, and seminary to develop a learning and financial covenant for each student and site.
  • Plan and lead an annual training for CL supervisors and mentors.
  • Oversee the ongoing support and evaluation of the student and the site in partnership with the student’s academic advisor and the VP for Admissions and Student Services.
  • Accompany student, academic advisor, congregation, and synod through transition from staff to formalized internship.
  • Work with the Admissions and Student Services Office and the faculty to facilitate student services, advising and technology support.
  • Provide information and support to the Development Office in their work with donors.
  • Collaborate with the Academic Dean, Faculty, and the Vice President for Admissions and Student Services to implement comprehensive assessment of the MDiv Collaborative program in accordance with the seminary’s mission.


MDiv and TEEM Internships:

  • Work with the Professor of Contextual Theology to oversee the internship year. This work focuses on the orientation, education, and supervision of interns, supervisors, and internship committees during the period of the internship, including site visits (whether done personally or by delegation) and staffing internship cluster arrangements.
  • Help to plan and lead training events for internship supervisors on Wartburg’s campus.
  • Provide ongoing orientation and support to supervisors and interns.
  • Maintain regular contact with the interns, mentors, and supervisors.
  • Maintain annual contact with internship sites by visits, interactive video communication, or phone conference.
  • Work with internship cluster gatherings of students and supervisors who meet periodically during the year—planning, administering, and leading those retreats in conjunction with the other seminaries of the ELCA.
  • Represent Wartburg Seminary at meetings involving the collaboration of ELCA seminaries in the work of Contextual Education.
  • Read all internship reports, consulting with the faculty advisor and, as appropriate, with the Professor of Contextual Theology about particular issues that arise in those reports.
  • Submit recommended grades for internship to the Professor of Contextual Theology.
  • Compile a list of strengths and growth areas for each intern based on the final internship evaluations by September 15 of each year to be used by the faculty in the approval process.
  • Maintain communication with the Internship Task Force about the quality and ongoing status of internship sites. Participate in Internship Task Force matching process.
  • As needed, actively recruit internship sites for interns with geographical restrictions or other special requirements.
  • In working with interns, supervisors, and internship committees, wherever conflict or other serious issues need deliberation, these concerns shall be communicated to the Professor of Contextual Theology, who provides consultation in adjudicating the disposition of the internship.  


Deacon Internships:

  • Oversee the administration of internship for deacon candidates.
  • Provide orientation to deacon internship for new students each fall semester.
  • Work with deacon candidates to identify internship sites appropriate to their specialization.
  • Help to prepare and train supervisors and sites for deacon internships.
  • Oversee and track the completion of requirements for deacon internships.
  • Read all internship reports, consulting with the faculty advisor and, as appropriate, with the Professor of Contextual Theology about specific issues that arise in those reports.
  • Submit recommended grades for deacon internship to the Professor of Contextual Theology.
  • Collaborate with ELCA colleagues in advocating for and strengthening the deacon roster and a deacon ministerium within the ELCA.


Clinical Pastoral Education and the Clinical Program of Wartburg:

  • Provide annual orientation to students who are applying to CPE or CPW.
  • Communicate opportunities for completing CPE as they become known and organizing opportunities for CPW.
  • Coordinate with CPE Supervisors the opportunity to interview students in the CPE or CPW application process.
  • Receive and review final CPE and CPW reports, consulting with the academic advisor, as necessary.


Fieldwork Courses in the Masters Curriculum:

  • Oversee the offering of the Fieldwork Courses in the Masters curriculum—IN 171W, IN 172W, IN 271W, and IN 272W—submitting course descriptions and syllabi in collaboration with the Registrar and providing student orientation to these courses.
  • Serve as the primary Instructor for these courses, including monthly meetings with students during the semester to process their fieldwork.
  • Recruit and train supervisors and sites for these courses.
  • Submit grades to the Registrar based on evaluating satisfactory completion of each course.


Education & Experience Required:

  • A theologically educated, rostered leader in the Evangelical Lutheran Church is required.
  • Additional education, particularly in fields related to spiritual formation, leadership development, and mentoring, is preferred.


Skills Required:

  • Commitment to the mission of Wartburg Theological Seminary.
  • Effective collaboration with seminary faculty and staff.
  • Conversant with WTS academic programs, ELCA judicatory polity, and candidacy processes.
  • Maintains professionalism in guiding and evaluating students.
  • Efficient administration skills related to implementing and integrating policies and procedures.
  • Clear communication in written materials and spoken presentations to interpret WTS programs in compelling ways.
  • Organization and self-motivation to ask key questions of other administrators, while working independently.
  • Competence to arrange meetings, travel, and connect with bishops, synod and Churchwide staff persons, pastors and congregational leaders.
  • Team player to draw on the strengths of others and coordinate work in a system.


This position requires the ability to travel to synods and congregations for meetings 25% or more of the time.


This position requires that the person will locate in the Dubuque vicinity.


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Job Details

Req Num 1
ID 423544
Dubuque, IA
Positions 1
Pay --
Volunteer and Non-profit
First Shift
Health Insurance
Dental Insurance
Vision Insurance
Retirement Plan
Paid Vacation
Paid Sick Leave
Paid Holidays

Preferred Candidates

Years of Experience 5-10 Years
Education Masters

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