UM-Related Colleges and Universities Offering Programs for Church Certification in Christian Education, Music Ministry, and Youth Ministry
Certification in specialized ministry offered by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) was created out of the desire of individuals to serve the church more effectively and with excellence.
Here you can find a listing of United Methodist-related universities and colleges that offer a concentration or undergraduate degree in the fields of: Christian education, youth ministry, music ministry, spiritual formation, or camp/retreat ministry. Students who have completed the academic requirements from one of the listed universities or colleges will be ready to move toward undergraduate professional certification.
Three avenues to fulfill the academic requirements for certification are:
- master's degree track
- bachelor's degree plus five graduate certification courses
- bachelor's degree with a major (or concentration) in Christian education/religious education, youth ministry, music ministry, spiritual formation, or camp/retreat ministry by one of the institutions approved by the GBHEM.
The college must offer the required courses in the area of study.
At least 15-18 semester hours (or equivalent quarter hours) should be specifically in the area of concentration. A balanced course of study would include biblical, historical, theological, and educational foundation. The courses studied would also cover developmental approaches to, and resources for teaching and learning, as well as supervised field experience.
Additional courses should be in the field of biblical study, e.g., Old and New Testament, church history and theology/Christian doctrine and related courses in areas such as sociology, psychology, philosophy, literature, history, and education. A course in United Methodist Studies is required.
At least nine semester hours (or equivalent hours) in the area of certification should be numbered at the junior level or above.
The Book of Discipline states, "When persons are hired or contracted, [in the local church] consideration shall be given to the training qualifications and certification standards set forth by the general church agency to which such positions are related."
Certification provides biblical and theological training, knowledge of United Methodist structure and resources, skill development, support, and accountability.
Certification is The United Methodist Church's recognition that an individual has been called and has made a commitment to serve and fulfill the required standards for academic training, experience, and continuing study to serve with excellence in an area of specialized ministry.
For Standards and Requirements for Certification in each specialized ministry area contact: General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, Certification in Specialized Ministry, PO Box 340007, Nashville, TN 37203-0007, or call (615) 340-7375.
The 13 United Methodist-related schools, colleges, and universities listed here offer degrees in certification for specialized ministry.
To Apply for Certification in The United Methodist Church
- Must be a member of The United Methodist Church
- Must be employed in area of certification for 2 years
- Send form 323790 to your annual conference Board of Ordained Ministry registrar with college transcripts. Send a copy of form and transcript to General Board of Higher Education, Division of Ordained Ministry, PO Box 340007, Nashville, TN 37203-0007.
- The Director of Certification in Specialized Ministry of Division of Ordained Ministry will:
- Verify educational requirements have been met
- Examine transcripts
- Verify employment experience
- Verify church membership
- Annual conference BOM will:
- Contact three references
- Administer a psychological assessment & background check
- Schedule an interview
- Verify local church membership, abilities, skills, experience, and leadership
Upon approval, GBHEM will send certificate for presentation at annual conference.