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Mater Ecclesiae College

60 Austin Ave. Greenville, RI 02828


FieldworkThe consecrated woman has a mission as an apostle, a messenger of God. Her education cannot be limited to the intellectual sphere, but must also include the essential elements of pastoral and apostolic formation. As part of her integral formation, these elements must permeate the consecrated woman’s entire identity: spiritual, intellectual and human.

It is not enough for the student to want to do pastoral work; she also has to know how to do it effectively. Fieldwork provides students with the tools they need to relate their studies to concrete issues. The continuity of this hands-on work experience throughout the degree program complements the intellectual formation students receive in spirituality, philosophy, theology, and pastoral studies. Fieldwork allows them to bridge the gap between 'theory' and 'practice' in pastoral ministry; not only to learn how to carry out an apostolate, but also to experience what their future life will be like. This firsthand contact with the faithful and their needs, helps students to discover the true meaning and value of their formation, studies, personal call and mission.

Fieldwork also comprises a social action dimension within the community. The student, in conjunction with her adviser, will select from the following pastoral fields: education, mass media, families, youth, women, evangelization, social work and the promotion of authentic Christian living. Age, maturity and qualities of the students are considered to see what is best for each one.

A student may also propose an independent study program by identifying a need or concern in her community, developing and implementing a response, evaluating the results, and presenting the process and outcome.

The Director of Experiential Learning is available for guidance, consultation and evaluation. Professional skill-building seminars in Developmental Psychology, The Art of Leadership, and Developing Youth Leadership Skills are also offered. Students are encouraged to keep a journal of their fieldwork experience and are required to submit weekly progress reports. Students receive advice, training and on-site guidance and evaluation. A personalized orientation is key to motivating, and involves helping with planning, reviewing the student’s difficulties and achievements, and guiding her in the maturing of her apostolic zeal.

Note: Students dedicate approximately six hours per week to field work.

Apostolic Seminar
Featuring guest lecturers and leadership consultants, apostolic seminars complement the curriculum by presenting information on a wide range of topics, such as key elements of apostolic methods, leadership concepts, service opportunities and contemporary issues. These seminars also provide students with opportunities to practice leadership skills, such as leading a meeting and event planning.

Resource Center
Social Service Affairs provides a resource center for information on community service opportunities, work-sharing initiatives, and service project models. Services include a pamphlet/booklet display, lending library with books and videos on youth leadership activities, information on workshops and other resources. Students are welcome to drop in.


• Training of lay catechists and the implementation of catechetical programs and youth programs at schools and local parishes.
• Administration of religious education programs in the Diocese of Providence.
• Organization of various campus academic activities: seminars, conferences, and round tables designed to stimulate thought and social awareness on campus.
• Work within the Mater Ecclesiae Academic Office with student tutoring and administrative assistant work.

Youth and Family
Students assist in:
• Formation of clubs for young girls and teens, focusing on both recreation and service.
• Organization and coordination of summer camps or youth retreats.
• Development of study courses and spiritual renewal retreats for family centers.

Social Work and Promotion of Authentic Christian Living
In conjunction with local community and church service organizations, students share their time and professional skills in a spirit of charity:
• Assisting in various social service fields: homeless shelters, crisis pregnancy homes, hospitals, etc. • Education and family support for immigrants.

Mass Media
Students participate in media analysis and related educational workshops.
• Assistance in the publications office at Mater Ecclesiae.
• Editing and writing for magazines and newsletters.
• Translation projects.
• Designing and editing promotional materials.

Leadership Opportunities
Some students will be asked to identify a need at Mater Ecclesiae, develop a response, implement the initiative with a selected audience, evaluate the results, and present the process and its outcomes. Initiatives in the past have involved fundraising projects. Some students have also had the opportunity to intern at United Nations conferences.

International Opportunities
Opportunities exist for students to participate in fieldwork experiences abroad. Students, in consultation with their academic adviser and the Dean of Academic Affairs, may apply for eligibility.

Previous placements have included missionary work in Argentina, Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as in various parts of the United States; leading cultural and religious pilgrimages in Rome and France; and community service training in Chile.

Opportunities are available in areas of Christian education, missionary work, and leadership conventions and camps, for a period of one to six weeks during the summer session.