Nurturing Leaders. Changing Lives.

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Lead on. We're with you.

For those who’ve heard God’s call to leadership, we’re here to make the journey with you, connecting you with what you need to flourish as difference-makers. That’s our commitment as the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. GBHEM.

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God has called you to serve as a leader in the church of Jesus Christ. Perhaps you are sensing a call to pastoral leadership, the chaplaincy, a specialized ministry or as a lay professional. Whatever your calling, the choice of a seminary is one of the most important decisions you will make on this incredible faith journey. Our 13 United Methodist seminaries in the United States have educated outstanding preachers and teachers, evangelists and missionaries, chaplains and lay leaders who have led the church and changed the world in the name of Jesus Christ. Learn about theological education in The United Methodist Church.

Licensing and Course of Study

If God is calling you to become a pastor, but you do not see seminary as a reality for you, then you may want to consider becoming a licensed local pastor. We welcome you to the start of a new faith journey. Learn more about Licensing and Course of Study for The United Methodist Church

Global Theological Education

General Conference 2012 approved the creation of a Central Conference Theological Education Fund and a commission to oversee it. A budget that included $5 million from World Service funds for the next four years was approved.

The Commission on Central Conference Theological Education, elected by the Council of Bishops to oversee the use of the funds, met in Copenhagen in August 2013 and drafted plans for distributions of the funds.

The Central Conferences include: Africa, Europe, and the Philippines.

Specialized Theological Education

GBHEM’s Division of Ordained Ministry provides Specialized Theological Education programs that train pastors who serve The United Methodist Church in a specialized environment. One program, el Curso de Estudio (Course of Study), provides theological education for Hispanic-Latino/a Methodists in the United States. Learn more about Specialized Theological Education.


Many clergy and laypeople are employed to lead the church in specialized areas like Christian education, youth ministry, spiritual formation, ministry with people with disabilities, or other. Certification is the United Methodist Church’s recognition that an individual has been called, made a commitment to serve, and has fulfilled the required standards for academic training, experience, and continuing study to serve with excellence in an area of specialized ministry. Learn about the areas of certification and the requirements.

Clergy Lifelong Learning

Many opportunities are available for continuing education and professional development for United Methodist clergy. Learn about the UMC Cyber Campus and online continuing education classes, as well as policies, guidelines, and standards.

Ministerial Education Fund

If you're looking for support materials to help educate your congregation about the Ministerial Education Fund, you're in the right spot! We have DVDs and printed material free to download or for ordering online from United Methodist Communications. If you would rather call and order resources, call toll free: 1-888-346-3862

Young Clergy Initiative

A $7 million young clergy initiative created to encourage young adults in the United States who wish to respond to God's call to ordained ministry was approved at the 2012 General Conference, with the funds to come from money previously budgeted for general church agencies. Learn more about the Young Clergy Initiative. 

Grant application information is also available.

Need More Information?

Connect with us via email or phone for any questions or concerns you might have.

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Quarterly Review

Check out the archives of the Quarterly Review, a journal of theological resources for ministry published jointly by GBHEM and The United Methodist Publishing House from 1980-2005.