Meadville Lombard’s degree programs provide a web of practical experience and personal support that give the student an unparalleled opportunity to deepen spiritually, grow academically, and mature vocationally.
Students in our Master of Divinity program serve as volunteers in a community agency and then as interns in a faith-based community (most often in a congregation), while students in our MA in Leadership Studies program serve as volunteers in a community agency. Examples of community agencies where our students conduct their site work include a center for teaching English as a second language to refugees, Planned Parenthood, a job training center for homeless adults, and a community conflict resolution agency.
We uniquely knit these experiences into the fabric of the curricula. This is how a student learns through the everyday, hands-on experiences of religious and community leadership. These practical experiences are brought into the classroom in the way that assigned readings are used in other, more traditional, schools. They provide a basis for theological and spiritual reflection as the student “acts their way into new ways of being and thinking.”
As they proceed through their program, students are guided by Teaching Pastors and Teaching Mentors. These are congregational and community leaders who supervise, mentor, provide spiritual guidance, coach, and act as role models for students when they are engaged in practical site work.
Meadville Lombard understands that the best religious and spiritual leaders have been formed by many voices and many perspectives. They are shaped by leaders who excel in academics, who are seasoned practitioners, who have led communities in issues of diversity and multiculturalism, and by those who possess pastoral and spiritual wisdom. A Meadville Lombard education lends all these voices and perspectives to each and every student.