Lifelong Learning


You can not learn everything you need to know before you begin ministry. What are the expectations and opportunities for on-going, lifelong learning?

Lifelong Learning for Licensed and Ordained Ministers

Why do I need to continue learning after completing the course of study?Brain and books on scale

Completing the course of study fulfills the educational requirements for ordination. The course of study curriculum is designed to prepare men and women to begin ministry—it does not teach you everything you will ever need to know. The excellence in ministry to which God calls you requires a lifetime of study and learning. Though the Bible remains constant, methods of understanding and communicating it are constantly changing. The theology of church changes very little in a person’s lifetime, but different emphases arise to meet the needs of a changing culture. To be a good steward of the ministry will require lifelong learning.

What are the lifelong learning requirements for licensed and ordained ministers?

Manual 426.6 states that “once a minister has fulfilled the requirements of a validated course of study for ministry, he or she will continue a pattern of lifelong learning to enhance the ministry to which God has called him or her. A minimum expectation is 20 contact hours each year (2 CEUs).”

What are continuing education units (CEU)?

A continuing education unit (CEU) represents 10 hours of contact (class participation) in an organized continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship, capable direction, and qualified instruction.

How can I fulfill my annual CEU requirements?

A variety of brokers or providers of continuing education can help you fulfill the expectations stated in Manual 426.6. You may take a course or courses for continuing education credit at a college, university, or seminary. You may participate in continuing education events provided by your regional Nazarene college, Nazarene Bible College, Nazarene Theological Seminary, or District Ministerial Studies Board. Both course work for credit and CEUs are becoming available via the Internet. Most hospitals and local or state mental health organizations provide continuing education opportunities that can be used to meet the annual 2 CEU requirement.

How are certificates of continuing education obtained?

The ultimate responsibility for recording, tracking, and reporting your continuing education program belongs to you. Colleges, universities, and seminaries provide continuing education certificates (or transcripts in some cases) for credit and continuing education that they offer.

Clergy Development will record every accredited CEU reported to them by an approved broker or provider. If you will consistently report your CEUs to Clergy Development through your district continuing education coordinator, they will be able to provide you with a cumulative record of your continuing education at your request. Your reported continuing education will also appear on your minister’s profile.

How do I report continuing education units to my district board?

Continuing education will be reported to the district continuing education coordinator.

Manual 426.6 describes the reporting process: “All assigned and unassigned licensed and ordained ministers shall report on their progress in a program of lifelong learning as part of their report to the district assembly. An up-to-date report on his or her lifelong learning program will be used in the church/pastoral review process and in the process of calling a pastor.”

Continuing Education Opportunities

Can I take modules from the Modular Course of Study for continuing education units?

Ministers and students who have not completed the course of study are required to complete two modules or courses in a validated course of study annually. Those who meet this course of study requirement have fulfilled their continuing education requirement and additional continuing education is not required during that year.

If you did not take a specific module as part of your course of study for ordination, your District Ministerial Studies Board may allow you to take a module to meet your annual continuing education requirement. Mixing new students and experienced ministers in the same classroom can enrich the educational experience for both.

Does my district offer continuing education opportunities?

Your District Ministerial Studies Board has responsibility for providing continuing education opportunities if there are not sufficient opportunities available in your area from other providers. You should learn the way in which your District Ministerial Studies Board advertises continuing education opportunities.

Church of the Nazarene

USA/Canada Region

17001 Prairie Star Parkway

Lenexa, KS 66220

Phone: 913.577.2830

Toll-free: 800.306.9948
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