The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) is excited to announce a series of new partnerships that will allow licensed local pastors to earn college credit for the Course of Study training program.
Beginning this spring, GBHEM and Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, will collaborate to provide Course of Study credit for women enrolled in the college’s online degree programs.
The Course of Study is a 20-course program that educates licensed local pastors in The United Methodist Church. It provides an alternative training option for those who wish to serve as pastors but do not find the traditional seminary route to be a good fit.
“We are thrilled to offer this new opportunity to local pastors in our Course of Study program,” said Rev. Shannon Conklin-Miller, associate general secretary of GBHEM’s Division of Ordained Ministry. “Not only will this allow more local pastors to pursue an undergraduate degree but working specifically with Wesleyan College will also open more paths for women to step behind the pulpit.”
Wesleyan College is a historic women’s college in Georgia that has a longstanding affiliation with the United Methodist Church. Its online program offers bachelor’s degrees in business administration, accounting and applied psychology. Women who are enrolled in Course of Study may earn 36 transferable course credits toward their online degree (120 total credits are required).
“Wesleyan prides itself on educating the female leaders of tomorrow and we relish the opportunity to help more women step into church leadership as they earn their degrees. The Course of Study is a rigorous educational program and we know it will integrate well with our existing online degree programs,” said Vivia Lawton Fowler, Ph.D., president of Wesleyan College.
Wesleyan is the first college to offer this transferable credit option, but they will not be the last. Union College, a coed United Methodist-affiliated institution in Barbourville Kentucky, will soon offer a similar option through its online degree program.
“With Wesleyan and Union Colleges leading the way, GBHEM hopes to offer more college credit partnerships like this in the future,” said Conklin-Miller. “Eventually, we’d like to make it possible for Course of Study students across the country to receive college credit for their studies with the Church.”
The full Union program is expected to launch later in 2020 and those interested in pursuing the online degree option through Wesleyan College can find more information here.
About GBHEM: The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry embraces the ministry of learning and leadership formation in The United Methodist Church and the Wesleyan tradition; serving Christians around the world who are shaped by a process of intellectual engagement, spiritual and character formation, and leadership development. We cultivate a dynamic culture of call and vocational discernment that encourages lay and clergy leaders to discover, claim and flourish in God’s ministry and mission for the Church, the academy and the world. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @GBHEM.