From Wesleyan Discipline
3170. The following programs of study are open to the candidates in meeting the educational requirements for becoming an ordained minister in The Wesleyan Church.
- (1) Seminary. It consists of graduation from a four-year course of study at one of the institutions of higher education of The Wesleyan Church, plus graduation from a three-year divinity course under the Wesleyan Seminary Foundation (3170:4). This is recommended as the most adequate academic preparation for the Wesleyan minister. Graduation from a three-year divinity course at an approved seminary reduces the period of service required before ordination (3070:2). One-year and two-year master’s degrees in ministerial preparation are not as adequate as the standard three-year divinity course, but may be combined with undergraduate courses to meet academic requirements for ordination.
- (2) College/University. It consists of graduation from one of the institutions of higher education of The Wesleyan Church, involving the completion of a minimum of four years’ work and covering the authorized ministerial study courses (3200; 3210:1-3). This is recommended as the minimum academic preparation for becoming an ordained minister in The Wesleyan Church.
- (3) Correspondence. It is recognized that some individuals are converted late in life, and hear God’s call to the ministry after the normal time for education has passed and family responsibilities make attendance at an institution of higher education extremely difficult. In such cases, a district board of ministerial development may grant special permission to a candidate for the ministry to secure part of the training through correspondence courses administered by the Ministerial Study Course Agency. These courses will of necessity concentrate on the specialized subjects needed for the ministry, and the district board of ministerial development shall encourage such candidates to secure training in the more general educational subjects in formal class settings (1390:2; 3210:1).
- (4) Training Outside The Wesleyan Church. Some candidates for the ministry will have secured some or all of their higher education outside the institutions and agencies of The Wesleyan Church. In such a case, the district board of ministerial development shall forward copies of transcripts or other records of study to the Ministerial Study Course Agency so that it can carefully evaluate such work in terms of its equivalence to the ministerial courses of study of The Wesleyan Church, giving particular attention to the candidate’s qualifications in the areas of Wesleyan doctrine, history, and polity (2388:4; 3033:3; 3059:1b; 3070:3; 3104:2). Subsequent to each evaluation and the report of the Ministerial Study Course Agency, the district board of ministerial development shall have the right to require additional work until it and the Agency are fully satisfied that all requirements for the Wesleyan ministry have been met (1390:2).