Suggestions for Supervisor Conversations
school of theology and ministry
Below are possible questions or foci for supervisory conversations that you might draw on as is helpful:
I. The Ministry Experience
- So far, what has been interesting, engaging, surprising, challenging for the student? Where is s/he feeling comfortable? Where is s/he feeling uncomfortable or stretched?
- Ask the student to write a short verbatim (recalling as best s/he can an actual piece of conversation or interaction with another) or description of a moment in ministry and discuss it together in terms of how the conversation seemed to go, how it felt, what the student noticed in the moment about self or other, what the student notices now about self or other, what you would affirm, and where you might offer challenge or another perspective on the encounter.
II. The Student and the Ministry Experience
- What gifts, strengths, and abilities does the student feel s/he brings to this sort of ministry? What areas have felt affirmed by this experience?
- What vulnerabilities, difficulties, or limitations does the student feel s/he may bring to this sort of ministry? Where has s/he felt challenged?
- What may be coming up for the student in terms of confirmation, challenge, deepening of his/her sense of vocation? What may be coming up regarding his/her sense of ministerial identity?
- What would be ‘next steps’ for the student – personally, academically, and/or professionally- in pursuing this sort of ministry?
III. Theological Reflection*
- In reflecting either broadly on the ministry or on a particular moment of ministry (such as described in a verbatim), what theological or biblical themes seem present (e.g., faith, love, forgiveness, justice, grace, hope, creation, reconciliation, etc.)? Concretely, how do these themes seem to be active or alive for the student and/or the other?
- In reflecting either broadly or specifically, are there stories, persons, images, or passages from Scripture that come to mind as relevant, helpful, comforting, challenging?
- Where might the activity, presence, and invitation of God be seen or sensed in this experience?
*Drawn from Shared Wisdom (Mahan, J., Troxell, B., & Allen, C., 1993, Abingdon Press.)