Nurturing Leaders. Changing Lives.

pair of worn boots
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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Starting Candidacy

Where to Begin

(1) Talk with your minister & read The Christian as Minister.
(2) Check your annual conference website for how to start and who to contact.
(3) To formally apply, write a letter to your District Superintendent outlining your call to ministry.
(4) Once you're a candidate, you’ll be assigned a mentor--an ordained person who will guide you through the process.
(All Greek to you? Use our Glossary of Candidacy Terms.)


Deacons may receive a Master of Divinity (M.Div.), or they may obtain a Master’s degree in their work field plus 27 theological study hours
Elders need a Master of Divinity from a seminary approved by the church.
Local pastors complete the Basic Five-Year Course of Study.

Scholarships and Loans

Half of finding funding is knowing where to look. First, contact the financial aid office in the schools you’re interested in, since many institutions offer scholarships. You can also find loans and scholarships available through GBHEM by visiting the Loans and Scholarships page. Also, each annual conference has a Board of Ordained Ministry (BOM), which helps candidates during the candidacy process; check with your BOM about scholarships. Oh, and a helpful hint: more scholarships are available for certified candidates!