2016 Wesleyan Discipline: Chapter 8: Education and Clergy Development Division
2338. Vision. The vision of the Education and Clergy Development Division is to spread hope and holiness that transforms lives and nations by promoting The Wesleyan Church’s Christ-exalting message and biblical values by infusing Wesleyan theology and values throughout Wesleyan Higher Education; by ensuring effective ministerial education, development, and programs; and by providing pastoral care systems assisting districts and supporting healthy ministerial leadership.
2339. Purpose. It is the division’s purpose to pursue this vision through serving the Church by coordinating the implementation of The Wesleyan Church’s objectives for Christian education as they relate to the training of Christian ministers, missionaries, and educators on the study course, college and seminary levels, the development of youth in higher education for various fields of service, and continuing education and career development for the ministers of The Wesleyan Church; by assisting in identifying and clarifying God’s call to ministry; by providing the programs and resources for the training, credentialing, and continuing development of ministers; and by establishing the standards for credentialed ministry and tracking progress made toward meeting certification.
2340. Executive Director. The Executive Director of the Education and Clergy Development Division is elected by the General Conference from among the ordained ministers of The Wesleyan Church as a general official, is an ex officio member of the General Conference (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1503:1c) and the Executive Cabinet (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1990), and is a member and the executive secretary of both the Committee on Chaplains (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:2395) and the Wesleyan Educational Council (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:2355). The Executive Director of Education and Clergy Development is amenable to the General Board, serves as a nonvoting resource person to the board, and is under the supervision of the General Superintendent. The Executive Director of Education and Clergy Development shall exercise leadership in this division in keeping with The Discipline, the Policy of the General Board for the Education and Clergy Development Division, and other directives as may be given by the General Conference, the General Board or its Executive Board. The term of service and other regulations for this office are provided in 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1810–1870.
2341. General Duties. The Education and Clergy Development Division and its executive director, shall:
- (1) Give leadership to and oversee the educational institutions of Wesleyan Higher Education ensuring that biblical Wesleyan theology and values are reflected in every discipline and that the vision and purpose of the educational institutions and approved seminaries is aligned with and complementary to the vision and purpose of The Wesleyan Church.
- (2) Facilitate, through the Wesleyan Educational Council, the networking of educational institutions with church constituencies, districts, and local churches resulting in a stream of ministerial students being prepared to serve the church, with an emphasis on internships, continuing education, recruitment, and placement for Kingdom ministries.
- (3) Provide and/or coordinate a strong network of non-traditional ministerial preparation opportunities that serves second-career ministerial students and that is complementary to educational institutions of The Wesleyan Church.
- (4) Provide pastoral care systems with the goal of developing healthy pastoral leadership.
- (5) Encourage and integrate ethnically diverse ministerial leadership for all areas of Church life.
- (6) Assist persons in identifying and clarifying God’s call to vocational and credentialed ministry.
- (7) Set standards for ministerial preparation for all levels and types of service.
- (8) Enroll and track the academic progress of every ministerial student, record all grades, and certify the completion of courses of study for ordination, licensing, commissioning, transfer of ministerial credentials.
- (9) To make recommendations to the General Superintendent regarding the restoration of deposed ministers, in keeping with the General Board Policy on Ministerial Restoration.
- (10) Facilitate the development of District Boards of Ministerial Development with systems for assessment, credentialing, and development of the ministerial team for the Church.
- (11) Provide financial support and incentives, e.g., Ministerial Loan-Grant and other scholarship funds, to encourage a growing stream of ministerial students in colleges and seminaries, as well as Wesleyan students in other disciplines of study.
- (12) Recruit, support, guide, track, and provide resources for current and future faculty development to serve in Wesleyan higher education, especially in the area of ministerial training.
- (13) Coordinate all vocational chaplaincy ministries for the Church, endorsing military and civilian chaplains, specifically providing networking, support, and representation for military chaplains.
- (14) Provide advocacy and support for growing women-in-ministry and ethnic clergy leadership movements in The Wesleyan Church.
- (15) Maintain relationship with all Wesleyan Colleges/Universities and their boards of trustees by attending all board meetings, guiding compliance to the Standards for Educational Institutions, as well as reviewing and recommending changes to the Standards to the General Board.
- (16) Coordinate events designed to meet the vision and purpose of the division, such as: Doctrinal Symposia, New Pastor Orientation, DBMD Institutes, Chaplain Institutes/retreats, leadership development, Fellowship of the Called, professors of religion from all Wesleyan institutions symposia, FLAME institutes, district ministerial institutes and non-traditional training by institutions, pastor workshops for continuing education, student events at World Headquarters, and faculty development events.
- (17) Promote Wesleyan student enrollment in Wesleyan institutions.
- (18) Develop new revenue streams and allocate revenue to finance division priorities.
- (19) Further, the specific vision, mission, strategic plan, core values, and general duties for the Education and Clergy Development Division shall be prepared by the divisional leadership in collaboration with the General Superintendent and be presented to the Executive Cabinet for ratification and to the General Board for final approval.
3. Wesleyan Educational Council
2355. The Wesleyan Educational Council shall consist of the Executive Director of Education and Clergy Development, who shall serve as its executive secretary (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:2341), and the president and chair of the board of trustees for each general educational institution (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:2365). The Council shall serve as an advisory body to the Executive Director of Education and Clergy Development.
D. Educational Institutions
1. Ownership and Control
a. Basic Principles
2358. The educational institutions of The Wesleyan Church shall be governed in harmony with these principles:
- (1) All schools, in fulfilling the mission of The Wesleyan Church, shall seek to produce Christian workers and committed lay members for the church of Jesus Christ. The Church recognizes that more than one type of educational institution will be needed. Some institutions will devote themselves primarily to the preparation of full-time Christian workers for the Church. Some colleges, recognizing the God-given mandate to explore and bring under dominion the whole range of knowledge for the glory of God and the good of mankind (Gen. 1:26–28; 9:1–7; Matt. 6:10; 1 Cor. 3:21b–23; 2 Cor. 10:5; 1 Tim. 4:4–5), will offer a Christian liberal arts program. Some students will use such a curriculum as training for full-time, church-related vocations or as a foundation for graduate training for such vocations; some to prepare for other vocations in which they have been called to serve Christ, His Church and His world.
- (2) The Church and all its schools shall work in the closest harmony. In its legislative assemblies, the Church defines its faith. In its classrooms, the Church studies, expounds, and defends its faith. In the congregation, the Church worships its Lord and proclaims its faith. To safeguard the doctrinal purity of the Church, it shall be required that all schools maintain and promote the doctrinal position of the Church as set forth in its Articles of Religion, Membership Commitments, and Elementary Principles. Any person employed on the administrative staff or faculty of an educational institution of The Wesleyan Church must affirm adherence to the doctrine of entire sanctification and other doctrines of The Wesleyan Church as set forth in the Articles of Religion.
- (3) In establishing its educational institutions, and in guiding their life and work, The Wesleyan Church seeks to provide the highest possible quality of Christian education for its own constituents and for other persons who wish to study under its auspices without regard to race, national origin or gender (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:265:12; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:360:3d).
b. Lines of Authority
2362. Ultimate authority over the educational institutions of The Wesleyan Church rests with the General Conference (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1590:13). In practice this authority is delegated to the General Board and consists of the following:
- (1) Authority, by two-thirds vote, to establish, merge or dissolve an educational institution, or to enter into a cooperative agreement with other persons/groups of like theological and behavioral commitment in the ownership and operation of an educational institution.
- (2) Authority to provide for and deal with all matters pertaining to charters and bylaws.
- (3) Provision for boards of control in keeping with 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:340:2.
- (4) The adoption and revision of such Standards of the General Board for Educational Institutions as the General Board shall deem to be wise.
- (5) The General Board is not empowered or authorized to contravene, override or set aside a decision of a college board of trustees except as is provided and specifically stated in 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:2362:1-4.
2. General Educational Institutions and Curricula Offerings
2365. The general educational institutions of The Wesleyan Church are:
- (1) Houghton College, Houghton, New York.
- (2) Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion, Indiana.
- (3) Kingswood University, Sussex, New Brunswick.
- (4) Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
- (5) Southern Wesleyan University, Central, South Carolina.
2368. Each of the four-year colleges shall maintain a curriculum which satisfies the educational requirements for ordination as an ordained minister by The Wesleyan Church.
3. Educational Areas
2371. The established districts, provisional districts, and developing districts of The Wesleyan Church in the United States and Canada shall be divided into four educational areas (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1590:14), corresponding in general with the four representative areas of the Church, and in general with the regional accreditation associations serving the area in which the schools are located. The boundaries of the educational areas are given in 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:2455–2470.
2374. Each general educational institution shall be considered as serving all the districts of the area or areas to which it is assigned.
4. Financial Support
2377. The financial support of the general educational institutions of The Wesleyan Church shall be provided for as follows:
- (1) The United Stewardship Fund-General Fund (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:2035). The USF- General Fund shall include provision for the Education and Clergy Development Division (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:2338), and the Wesleyan Educational Council (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:2355).
- (2) The United Stewardship Fund-Educational Institutions Fund (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:2040). The USF-Educational Institutions Fund shall provide for the support of the approved general educational institutions (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:2365; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:2450–2470), the Ministerial Study Course Agency (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:2385–2388), the Wesleyan Seminary Foundation (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:2382), and the subsidizing of ministerial training (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:2035:1).
- (3) Special Offerings. Each general educational institution shall supplement its income through school representation work, solicitations, and special offerings (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:2050:3).
E. Educational Agencies
1. Wesleyan Seminary Foundation
2382. The Wesleyan Seminary Foundation is the Church agency providing for the advanced training of Wesleyan ministers. Its connection with a particular institution, the official agreement between The Wesleyan Church and the institution, and consequent policies and programs shall be determined as provided by the General Board. The Foundation shall be under the direction of the Executive Director of Education and Clergy Development.
2. Ministerial Study Course Agency
2385. Ministerial training within The Wesleyan Church will ordinarily take place in one of the approved educational institutions. However, for those persons whose circumstances make such institutional education impossible in whole or in part, the Education and Clergy Development Division shall provide correspondence courses of study. The correspondence courses shall also be open to others who wish to prepare for Christian service. (Cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3200–3210.)
2388. The Ministerial Study Course Agency shall be maintained at the denominational headquarters to centralize and standardize the keeping of records on all students for the various ministries recognized by The Wesleyan Church and the administering of the correspondence study courses for those ministries (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3200–3210). It shall be directed by the Executive Director of Education and Clergy Development. The duties of the Executive Director of Education and Clergy Development in this connection shall be:
- (1) To maintain records on all students for the various ministries recognized by The Wesleyan Church, whether enrolled in educational institutions or in correspondence courses (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3170:1-3), and including students of the lay minister’s course of study (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3210:4; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3420), commissioned minister’s course of study (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3059:1b; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3210:3); the pre-ordination course of study (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3040:2; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3051:1; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3070:3; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3210:1), the courses of study for specialized ministries (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3210:2), and the special worker’s courses of study (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3210:5; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3460-3470). The records shall include transcripts, grades, courses finished, and current standing. The Agency shall exchange needed information with the educational institutions and the local and district boards directing the students, issuing an annual report concerning progress for the year and current standing to each student, a similar report on each student of the lay minister’s course of study to the local board of administration of the local church where membership is held, and a similar report on each student recognized by the district to the home district board of ministerial development prior to the session of the district conference (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1387:2; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1390:2; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3040:2; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3460).
- (2) To provide a correspondence course for each course required in each course of study, securing the services of a qualified instructor and approving the choice of textbooks and study plans, providing for the registration of students properly authorized to use the correspondence courses (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3170:3), and providing study guides and instructions as well as examinations which shall be administered through an ordained minister whenever possible (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3200).
- (3) To provide suitable transcripts and to issue certificates upon the satisfactory completion of the work assigned (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:6410).
- (4) To evaluate any training taken outside the institutions and agencies of The Wesleyan Church by a student for one of the ministries recognized by The Wesleyan Church, to judge the equivalence of such outside training to the appropriate course of study, and to report any conclusions and recommendations to the appropriate local board of administration or district board of ministerial development (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3070:3; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3104:4; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3170:4; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3470).
F. Committee on Chaplains
2395. The Committee on Chaplains shall include the Executive Director of Education and Clergy Development as its executive secretary, with other members to be selected as provided by the General Board.