Educational Requirements and the Statute of Limitations
Full-time Local Pastors are required to complete four courses per year in a regional Course of Study School (UM seminary) or through the correspondence curriculum prescribed by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and complete the entire 20-course curriculum in 8 years. Official transcripts are kept at the Division of Ministry (Nashville). Have the NTC BOM Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org or 972-526-5046) request a current copy, if needed.
Part-Time Local Pastors must complete two courses per year, completing the 20-course curriculum in a maximum of 12 years. This work may be done at a regional Course of Study School or through one of the ‘Extension’ schools available in certain geographical locations. A current transcript stating courses completed and the grade received shall be furnished to the District Committee on Ministry at the local pastor’s annual review.
Should a Local Pastor be unable to complete the prescribed number of courses annually, he/she must provide reasons for the delay to the District Committee on Ministry, along with an education plan that sets forth the anticipated schedule of completion. It is the responsibility of the District Committee on Ministry to enforce the statute of limitations allowing 8 years for Full-time Local Pastors to complete the Basic Course of Study, and 12 years for Part-Time Local Pastors.
Basic Course of Study School at a United Methodist Seminary
For Local Pastors under appointment in the North Texas Conference, the Board of Ordained Ministry will cover 75% of the cost at a United Methodist Seminary. For students who commute, the BOM will also pay 75% of your seminary meal plan. The seminary will be paid directly by the BOM. Students must pay the remaining 25%, and the additional cost of a single room. Students making a “D” or lower will be billed by the NTC for all expenses. All balances have to be paid before a student can proceed. The cost of books is not included.
NTC Weekend Extension Course of Study School (COSS)
The North Texas Conference Extension Course of Study School continues to be a convenient way in which Part-Time Local Pastors can fulfill most of their required Course of Study work. The Director of Local Pastor Education, which includes COSS, is Marsha Middleton, who serves as Dean of the School and ensures adherence to the standards and policies established by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. She may be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com. The academic calendar for the extension school runs from September through August. A schedule of courses for and application forms are available elsewhere on this website.
The NTC Extension Course of Study School intends to offer courses which will enable a Part-Time Local Pastor to fulfill their basic Course of Study requirements in a manner that maximizes opportunity for secular employment during the year. The Basic COSS curriculum consists of 20 classes. These classes will be offered on a two-year rotation in the North Texas Conference COSS (see “10 and 11” below).
- Students interested in participating in the NTC Extension Course of Study School are to contact Duane VanGiesen, Board of Ministry Officer, at P.O. Box 866128, Plano, TX 75086-6128, Phone: 972-526-5046, Fax: 972-526-5047, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Administrative Assistant, Janet Thompson, at email@example.com.
- A non-refundable fee of $100 is required for each course from students within the North Texas Conference. Upon receipt of the registration form and fee, a confirmation will be emailed. Registrations must be received 30 days prior to the first class.
- Contact the instructor for a class syllabus, including reading assignments and written work due prior to the first class. Some course assignments can be found by clicking on the course name.
- Students are welcome from outside the North Texas Conference. The course fee for non-North Texas Conference members is $200. Most conferences offer funding assistance for ECOSS, so the Local Pastor should contact his/her Local Pastor Registrar for this reimbursement.
- The classes will be held at the North Texas Conference Ministry Center at 500 Maplelawn Drive, Plano, TX 75075.
- Each course meets one Saturday each month for three consecutive months. Sessions begin by 9:00 a.m. and conclude by 4:00 p.m. Attendance at all three sessions is required. Excused absences can be approved only by the instructor.
- The North Texas Conference COSS is an extension of the Regional COSS at Perkins School of Theology, which follows the mandates of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.
- Grades will be issued, recorded and forwarded to the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry for inclusion in the Local Pastor’s official transcript, which is kept in Nashville.
- Students making a “D” or lower will be billed by the NTC for any BOM grant received for the cost of the course. All balances must be paid before the student can proceed with courses.
- Again, the NTC Weekend Extension Course of Study School is intended for Part-Time Local Pastors who hold secular employment, and are therefore better served by a weekend format rather than the standard on campus seminary format. However, to encourage a relationship with the seminary, Part-time Local Pastors in the NTC are encouraged to complete a minimum of two out of the twenty courses through a regional Course of Study program such as the Perkins Course of Study School.
- Exceptions to this policy can only be granted by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry in Nashville. Requests for this permission should be made to the DCOM Registrar in writing. A copy of the request, accompanied by the recommendation of the DCOM, shall be forwarded to the District Superintendent and the NTC Local Pastor Registrar who will forward the request to the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, Division of Ministry for consideration.