Thorough Training at Union

College Ministerial Seminars: Field Training Notes

By F. H. Yost, Department of Religion, Union College

The training of prospective ministers at Union College is not carried on through a school of theology, but in the department of religion, as one of the liberal arts depart­ments of the college. A student who com­pletes a course of study in this department receives the regular bachelor of arts degree. The first two years of study differ little from the first two years of other liberal arts courses, except that Greek is taught to meet the language requirement, with Hebrew as a recommended elective. All science, history, English, and other requirements are fully met.

The more professional parts of the training are administered mainly on the upper-division level, and include as requirements homiletics and field work, speech, psychology, and church history, in addition to the Biblical languages and the regular Bible requirements, which take the student through the entire Bible, the doc­trines, and the prophets, especially Daniel and the Revelation. On the upper-division level there are Bible courses which are reserved for religion majors only, permitting intensive and professional instruction. It is the intent that those who are graduated from the depart­ment shall know thoroughly the word of God.

Counsel for students is definitely planned. Individuals are talked with, and advised frankly concerning their progress. A student registered in the department of religion is expected to follow a course of conduct that is fully in keeping with his declared objective, and if he does not, he is asked to consiIer himself no longer a member of the depart­ment until he has satisfied the administration of his worthiness.

A rating blank is used as a basis for much of the counseling. The items on this blank are checked by the faculty of the department of religion for each student during his junior year, and the student is advised of the find­ings. In the late fall of each year the rating blanks are gone over again for the seniors, a task in which the department of religion faculty is joined by the dean of men and the dean of women, the director of the placement bureau, and the instructor in speech. On the basis of these further findings, those who are to be graduated the following spring are rec­ommended through the placement bureau to the conferences. Ordinarily, some ten to fifteen interns, Bible instructors, and Bible workers, are placed for gospel work each year in various conferences and academies.

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By F. H. Yost, Department of Religion, Union College

April 1940

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