The RTS Student Development plan covers the student's entire time at the seminary, from beginning to graduation. The plan is intended primarily to provide opportunities for personal and critical reflection and examination of the student's spiritual, personal and professional growth, but especially focused upon the area of walking with Christ. The student also has the opportunity to give feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of the RTS curriculum and the preparation for ministry it provides.
During orientation for the entering student, the student takes an accreditation questionnaire which assesses his or her background and preparation for ministry, as well as an entering Bible Knowledge Exam. This exam gives an indication of a student's general Bible knowledge entering into seminary. This exam is taken again at the end of the student's time in seminary to assess their growth in knowledge of God's Word.
Also, the first year student takes the Leadership course where various assessments are given, including personality profiles, gift assessment, strengths and weaknesses, etc. This is to help the student understand who he or she is and give them knowledge of his or her personal strengths and weaknesses. Included in this class is a 1-hour counseling session provided by the practical theology professor who meets with the student and spouse to talk about the results and implications of the various assessments.
For 1st year students, unable to take Leadership, 1-hour sessions with the Dean of Student Development are provided to follow-up with the student and discuss church placement, ministry, and financial/marital/sexual accountability.
In the winter, the student takes the Classics of Personal Devotion course which focuses upon growth in their personal walk with the Lord by reading the classics of those who enjoyed close walks with God. There is focus on holiness, mortification of sin, prayer, repentance, etc.
For the second year student, informal meetings with the Dean of Student Development will discuss church membership, ministry, and sense of calling and progress toward their ministry objectives.
In the student's final year of the M.Div. program, he or she takes the Field Education Seminar and reports/reflects on their field education experience in church ministry. This includes a large group context for critiquing the strengths and weaknesses of their RTS experience. The accreditation questionnaire and the Bible Knowledge exam are re-taken as well. Individual placement and counseling is offered.