The Division of Ordained Ministry at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry today announced the establishment of three new options for the education of part-time licensed local pastors: an Extension of the Course of Study School of Ohio (COSSO) to be located at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, a satellite Course of Study program with Saint Paul School of Theology in Hays, Kansas, and a pilot Escuela de Cursos de Estudios (ECE), a Spanish Course of Study, to be offered in Denver, Colorado.
Providing the framework for a partnership and mutual commitment to support pastors as they pursue their theological education, memos of understanding for the Course of Study programs were approved by the Division of Ordained Ministry Board of Directors at GBHEM this week.
The COSSO agreement was created in partnership with GBHEM, Methodist Theological School in Ohio (MTSO), and United Theological Seminary. Saint Paul School of Theology and the Great Plains Annual Conference partnered with GBHEM on the establishment of the satellite Course of Study program. The pilot ECE was developed by leaders in the Western Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church and GBHEM staff.
Designed to serve part-time local pastors, these Course of Study extension and satellite programs will offer up to 12 courses per year. The seminaries and annual conference leaders will work collectively to develop the schedule and course offerings. The two Spanish-language hybrid courses offered in 2017 will combine a weekend residential program and online work. The goal of the pilot program is to identify effective education offerings for part-time Spanish-dominant local pastors.
“We look forward to our work with these seminaries and annual conference leaders as we each endeavor to fulfill our mission of educating clergy and church leadership,” said Rev. Shannon Conklin-Miller, assistant general secretary for clergy formation, Division of Ordained Ministry at GBHEM. “GBHEM is grateful for this opportunity to collaborate with these institutions and leaders, and we look forward to longstanding partnerships.”
Conklin-Miller worked closely with Dr. Joon-Sik Park, director of COSSO, Rev. Jay Rundell, president of MTSO, Dr. Kent Millard, president of Untied Theological Seminary, and Dr. Peter Bellini, director of non-degree programs at United Theological Seminary, to develop the hybrid Course of Study program in compliance with United Methodist guidelines and policies.
Rev. Dr. Israel Kamudzandu, director of Saint Paul Course of Study, worked closely with the leadership of the Great Plains Annual Conference to initiate the new program and ensure the educational needs of the conference’s part-time local pastors were fulfilled.
Rev. David Martinez, director of Specialized Theological Education at GBHEM, worked closely with the Advisory Board for Hispanic Ministry in the Western Jurisdiction and Rev. Cesar Duran, Hispanic/Latino Ministry developer of the Rocky Mountain Annual Conference, to increase access to the ECE for bi-vocational local pastors who are not able to attend the residential ECE programs.
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About GBHEM: As the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s mission is to prepare global leaders for a global church and the world. Every elder, deacon and licensed local pastor benefits from our training and candidacy programs. Many young adults find help in clarifying their vocation and God’s call on their lives through our leadership and discernment programs. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @GBHEM.