Self-Efficacy and Ministerial Field Education: An Instructional Design Perspective

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Virginia Tech


This study examined the relationship between mentored ministerial field education's four components and student efficacy beliefs in 11 professional skills for students at several evangelical seminaries in the U.S. It also investigated whether students believed they had become competent practitioners of these skills or had received sufficient mentored field education in order for them to do so. A new self-efficacy survey was developed, and N=102 students from seven seminaries participated. Practice accounted for 7.9% of the variance in self-efficacy. Observation, instruction, and feedback were more weakly correlated with self-efficacy and not significant in the regression. On a scale from 0 ("I cannot do at all") to 10 ("Highly certain I can do"), participants' self-efficacy in the skills ranged from 6.89 in counseling to 8.98 in "using and interpreting Scripture;" and there were indications that many participants had received a somewhat uneven field education. Only 23% of participants reported receiving sufficient practice and 19% sufficient feedback for them to become competent professionals. Future directions for research are suggested; and implications for both schools and churches are discussed from the perspective of instructional design, including incorporating students' self-assessments into learner analysis and field education program evaluation.



professional education, ministerial education, seminary, instructional design, quantitative research