top of page
2011 Conference

Movement and Change in Field Education


SPEAKERS INCLUDED: Matt Floding, Colin Hunter, Merrill Kitchen

WORKSHOPS INCLUDED: Missional Formation, Trends in On-line Supervison, Cross Cultural Perspectives, Resources for New Field Educators, Nurturing Lay Leaders, The Spirituality-Theology-Ministry Trialogue

DATES – 28-30, November 2011

PLACE – Whitley College, Parkville, Melbourne

More information:




Rev Colin Hunter
Colin Hunter is a Baptist minister who oversaw the theological field education programs at Whitley College and Churches of Christ Theological College, the former from 1992 to 2007. He undertook postgraduate research in which he developed a curriculum for training supervisors, and subsequently a phenomenological enquiry into the experiences of students involved in the Whitley STFE program. He has a keen interest in research and coordinated postgraduate ministry studies degrees with the Melbourne College of Divinity prior to his retirement in 2007. In retirement Colin continues to supervise pastors and ordinands, as well as postgraduate students in ministry studies. He is also developing a supervision program for Global interAction, the mission organisation of Australian Baptists.



Rev Matthew Floding
Rev Matthew Floding, DMin serves as Director of Formation for Ministry and Associate Professor of Christian Ministry at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan, USA. Western is a seminary of the Reformed Church in America.  He most recently served as chair of  ANZATFE’s counterpart in North America, ATFE. His own ministerial journey has taken him from serving as a pastor for ten years, a college chaplain for ten years and now in field education at Western for 12 years. Matthew is general editor and contributor toWelcome to Theological Field Education, an Alban Institute publication. He is married to Marcia and they have three adult children.

Rev Merrill Kitchen
Merrill Kitchen is an ordained minister of Churches of Christ in Australia. Initially, she trained as a Medical Scientist and worked in hospitals in Melbourne and Israel / Palestine. After returning to Australia, she engaged in part-time theological studies at Whitley College. Her postgraduate theological studies have been in socio-rhetorical readings of the Gospels. At the end of 2009 she retired after 10 years as Dean of the Evangelical Theological Association and a further 10 years as Principal of the Churches of Christ Theological College in Melbourne.  Earlier this year she was appointed a Fellow of the Melbourne College of Divinity.


The Right Revered Vitoria Matthews
Bishop Victoria was installed as the eighth Bishop of Christchurch at ChristChurch Cathedral on August 30 2008.  Previous to this she was the Bishop of Edmonton, Canada for 10 years (1997 – 2007) and Suffragan (Assistant) Bishop of Toronto (1994-1997), directing the Field Education program at Trinity College University, part of the Toronto School of Theology. Luckily for New Zealand she also narrowly missed being elected Primate of Canada in 2007.
 Bishop Matthews is only the second woman to become a diocesan bishop in New Zealand.  She previously chaired the Canadian Primate’s Theological Commission, and is on the Windsor Continuation Group, which is looking at crucial questions about the shape of Anglican common life around the world.
  She has been in high demand as a retreat leader and guest lecturer, enjoys leading youth pilgrimages to holy places such as Iona and Taize, and has served as a trustee of Yale University in the USA.
  In her spare time Bishop Victoria enjoys hiking and walking her Anatolian shepherd dog Jethro, swimming, and reading history and theology.




Session 1

The workshop will consider what are the main components that make up a Field Education program, what makes a successful placement, training and working with supervisors and lay leadership teams, developing your Field Education manual and assessment in Field Education.


Andrew Prince, Crossway College Brisbane 
Andrew is an ordained Baptist pastor who serves full-time on the faculty of Crossway College as lecturer in Ministry and Mission, where he has been since 2009. He previously trained as a veterinarian before his ministerial training at Moore Theological College and Malyon College. Andrew has been married to Susan for 13 years and has three sons: Nathan (5) and twins Matthew & Joshua (3).


The finds and losses of Coordinating a Practicum online – Descriptive, evaluative, imaginative.


John Chalmers, Australian Catholic University
John has taught Mission and Ministry and Directed Field Education for the past nineteen years. For the past nine years he has concurrently Directed Centacare’s Pastoral Ministries (hospital and prison chaplaincy, maritime, indigenous, AIDS and mental illness ministry) within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane. John enjoys contemporary literature, the Great American Songbook and surprises.


Margaret Marcuson says: ‘The patterns and processes of growing up in our particular family have a profound impact on our leadership’. This workshop will open up possibilities for exploring this impact, its gift and grist, for formation and leadership in ministry.


Roslyn H Wright 
Roslyn is Director of Field Education at Whitley College – a Recognised Teaching Institute of the Melbourne College of Divinity. As am ordained Baptist pastor Roslyn comes with a mixed resume that includes primary education, adult employment training, industrial chaplaincy, spiritual direction, pastoral leadership, and formation.


This workshop will introduce the social learning theory of Etienne Wenger applied to the extraordinary opportunity Field Education presents. Wenger is very much interested in how one moves from the periphery of a practice towards recognition by that community of practice as having attained a degree of competency. We will explore implications for our supervisor-mentors, our students, the sites themselves and our role as field educators.


Matthew Floding
Matthew Floding serves as Director of Formation for Ministry and Associate Professor of Christian Ministry at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan, USA. Western is a seminary of the Reformed Church in America. He most recently served as chair of ANZATFE’s counterpart in North America, ATFE. His own ministerial journey has taken him form serving as a pastor for ten years, a college chaplain for ten years and now in field education at Western for 12 years. Matthew is general editor and contributor to Welcome to Theological Field Education, an Alban Institute publication. He is married to Marcia and they have three adult children.


Session 2

What is the dynamic nature of theological reflection? How does covenantal supervision impact formation? This workshop utilizes a narrative approach to theological reflection. We will explore a method for dialogue by which those in the pilgrimage of ministry may probe the theological dimensions of life and work in a changing world.


Marilyn and Roger Evans Co-Directors – Kenneth H. Pohly Center for Supervision and Leadership Formation, United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio, USA.
Marilyn has worked as a teacher, staff development coordinator, and director of curriculum and instruction in public schools. She serves as adjunct faculty in the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry programs at United Theological Seminary as well as leading supervision workshops for district superintendents. She chairs the Staff/Pastor Parish Relations Committee at Concord United Methodist Church (UMC) in Englewood, Ohio and is a member of the West Ohio Annual Conference of the UMC. Roger has worked as a teacher, school principal, and director of human resources in public education. He leads supervisory training workshops for facilitators of the Contextual Ministries program for United Theological Seminary. His special interests are in older adult ministries, spirituality and distance learning. He is an active leader in missions at Concord UMC in Englewood, Ohio and a member of the West Ohio Annual Conference of the UMC.


Although there are several step-by-step models for theological reflection and theological reflection may be modelled in seminars, many students find it difficult to put the theory of theological reflection into practice. This workshop explores exercises and strategies which can be used to facilitate critical theological reflection. Participants are asked to bring examples of their own approach to teaching theological reflection.


Nancy J Ault 
Nancy Ault is the Director for Supevised Field Education at the Perth Theological Hall (UCA) and Lecturer in Practical Theology at Murdoch University. Nancy teaches and researches across a range of subjects. In 2011, she won the Murdoch University Vice-Chancellor’s Citation for Excellence in Enhancing Learning. This citation was for a variety creative activities and strategies which enable students to develop critical reflective skills through making connections between theory and practice.


Increasingly, the experience of ministers is that equipping lay people to share in ministry is essential. This is not surprising for a church now on the margins of society. Intentional processes for support, guidance, and resourcing of lay ministry are critical so lay people don’t flounder, burn out or drop out. Instead they can flourish in the exercise of their particular gifts offered in the name of Christ. You may have discovered how valuable professional supervision is for your ministry. It does not belong to professionals alone. It can be a marvelous ministry you offer when you believe passionately in fostering the ministries of others. It is enhanced by a written description of the ministry role, by mutual agreement about the goals of the ministry, by a willingness to learn and take initiative on the part of the disciple, by a regular, purposeful meeting with the ‘supervisor’, and by a commitment to engage together in regular evaluation – all of these in response to the God who calls us into ministry. The supervisor necessarily comes more ‘alongside’ than ‘over’ to encourage and equip. Such supervision may happen one-to-one or with a group of ministry leaders.


Neil Simms – Director of Field Education, Trinity Theological College, affiliated with the Australian Catholic University. 
Neil knows that field education provides a great opportunity to participate in the formation of others for ministry, and supervision is a key component in this. Neil has relished his role at Trinity for the last fourteen years. He is a Minister of the Uniting Church in Australia, and has served in congregations in Queensland. Neil is married to Jenny and they have two children and five grandchildren with another on the way!


Session 3

Victoria Matthews, Bishop of Christchurch, shares her insights for theological education out of the aftermath of the New Zealand earthquakes.


Anecdotal evidence highlights an increasing number of emerging younger ministry leaders who indicate the importance of missional encounters in their ministry formation. These encounters were events in which they experienced human need and responded in some form of Christian ministry. How do these encounters trigger ministry formation and theological reflection? Does this affect how ministry training institutions respond to the broader social justice orientation of youth cultures from whom ministry trainees emerge?

Ian Grant, Director of Training & Director of the Intercultural Studies Program, Harvest Bible College. 
Ian grew up in Vanuatu, served as missionary in PNG, and in Senior Pastor and Youth Pastoral roles. He has managed and lectured in undergraduate and graduate ministry training institutions in Australia and internationally, in missiology and leadership. He loves his wife, seven grandchildren, developing emerging leaders, espresso, curry laksa and forests!


In this seminar, peers will discuss the strengths and challenges of their Handbook/ documentation. Attendees will send their documentation to Murray House (by Sept 30) for circulation amongst all those attending. Evaluation instruments will also be circulated with all of the documentation going to all participants. This elective will be conducted over two seminar for mutual verbal and written sharing.

Murray House and Doug Robertson Avondale College of Higher Education
Murray and Doug were the convenors of the Sydney 2009 ANZATFE. They are co- directors of the Field Education program for 85 students and 34 pastoral mentors. Doug has been in this role for over 8 years. They both attended the peer review seminar at ATFE, Atlanta 2009.


Session 4

This workshop aims to reclaim the “practical” in “Practical Theology” by integrating practical theology more closely with our own practical pedagogy in field education. The workshop will compare various versions of the pastoral circle/spiral as a method for utilizing social analysis in theological reflection and for reflecting on social engagement in ministry. It will bring into focus two dimensions of practical theology—both of which have to do with critical reflection on practice. One is the view as seen through the wide-angle lens of liberative praxis and justice-oriented action. This view looks at a broad vista of historical forces for justice and injustice when evaluating local movements and ministries. The other is the narrower focus of the action-reflection model as it is used to zoom in on individual action and particular practices of Christian ministry. The workshop will explore educational possibilities presented in the creative tension between these two dimensions of practical reflection.


Joseph E. Bush – Director: Practice in Ministry and Mission, Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC, USA 
Joseph E. Bush taught in the area of Ministry in Church & Society at the ecumenical Pacific Theological College in Fiji and at the Presbyterian School of Ministry in Dunedin, New Zealand, where he also was responsible for field education. He has continued to teach field education in the United States at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities and in his current position as Director of Practice in Ministry and Mission for Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. An ordained Methodist minister, he is the author of several articles in social ethics, environmental ethics, professional ethics, and pastoral ministry. His book “Gentle Shepherding” was named one of the top ten for 2006 by the Academy of Parish Clergy.



Stemming from Bruce’s recent MTh thesis work, this workshop will encourage us to view our pedagogy of ‘theological reflection’ through the lens of Christian formation, reframing TR explicitly in terms of a three way conversation between our spirituality, theology, and ministry. These three are ‘coinherent’, existing in essential relationship as innate components of each other, yet sometimes theological education exposes (or even contributes to!) disintegration between them. Proposing TR as the process that fosters this coinherence, Bruce will centre participatory discussion around questions such as:

  • How might the models and methods we use to introduce and teach TR to students foster more authentic, integrated living?

  • What contributors and inhibitors to a holistic approach to TR exist in your curriculum?

  • How well and often do you engage in TR yourself in terms of a spirituality-theology-ministry trialogue? •


Bruce Hulme, Tabor Adelaide 
Bruce Hulme teaches/oversees theological reflection, SFE, spiritual formation and Christian spirituality for ministry, theology and intercultural studies degree students at Tabor Adelaide. Previously he has been a lay worker in Lutheran congregations. He is particularly interested in how as followers of Jesus we can learn to live more authentic and integrated lives. He is married to Sonia and has five beautiful children aged between 1 and 10 (but he does admit, sometimes this means he goes to work for a rest!)

bottom of page