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The Congregational Studies Year will provide a Student Minister with a unique experience to learn about ministry through the lens of real interaction with an actual congregation. Through structured observation, students will have opportunities to blend academic learning with structured reflection on a wide range of issues in congregational life such as preaching, pastoral care, religious education, administration, congregational border-crossing and conflict engagement. Congregations will commit to the formation of a Congregational Lay Committee that will meet monthly with the Student Minister to supplement the work of the designated Teaching Pastor who commits to meet weekly with the Student Minister. In addition, Student Ministers will be reflecting with peers and faculty to gain other perspectives as well as supplementing the work with readings. At the end of the year, each Student Minister will chose an area of congregational life for further and deeper analysis during the Leadership Studies Year.