There are many different educational options available for people exploring a call to ministry.  Take time to find the option that best meets your needs.

  • Seminary – If you feel certain that a career in ministry is where you are being called, seminary is a recommended option.  Seminary programs include two, three, and four year masters programs that allow you to earn a degree that will equip you for professional ministry.  The expected degree for ordained ministry is a Master of Divinity.  Learn more about whether seminary is the right option for you or find a list of  UMC approved Seminaries below.
  • Licensing School and Course of Study – there are many reasons why seminary may not be the best option if you are exploring a call to ministry.  Serving as a licensed local pastor offers an affordable and flexible option if: 1) you are not sure you want a career in ministry but you are being called to serve as a pastor in a local church, 2) family, cost, or other life circumstances make relocating for a three year educational program impossible, 3) you are specifically called to ministry as a licensed local pastor.  Licensing school is an 80 hour program that prepares and equips you to begin serving in a local church right away.  Course of Study is a 5 year ongoing educational program that offers students a variety of ways to pursue education in and affordable and convenient way.
  • Ministry as a Lay Person – all people are ministers in the United Methodist Church and there are a variety of ways to enhance and expand your skill set and even serve in a local church without pursuing a pastoral license or ordained ministry.  The word lay and laity refers to people who serve in ministry when they are not ordained.
    • Certified Lay Ministry (CLM) is an educational process that enables a lay person to assist and even be assigned to serve in a local church.  For more information about this process visit umcdiscipleship.org and contact your district superintendent.
    • Certified Lay Servant Ministry is an educational process that builds your skills as a disciple so that you are better equipped to lead as a lay person in your local church.  For more information about Certified Lay Servant Ministry visit umcdiscipleship.org and look for information on Lay Servant Ministry, or contact Sheryl McKinney our conference Lay Servant Ministry Coordinator
    • Lay Leadership Opportunities are everywhere, contact your district or conference lay leader to learn more.