Learn about opportunities to complete a validated course of study while earning a college degree from a Nazarene institution.
Educational Preparation for Ordained Ministry
Who must complete the course of study?
Every licensed minister in the Church of the Nazarene must complete a validated course of study under the supervision of his or her District Ministerial Studies Board.
Completion of the course of study does not automatically lead to ordination. Upon completing the validated course of study, all students will be examined by the District Ministerial Credentials Board and some will be recommended for ordination within the Church of the Nazarene. Recommended individuals will express a call to full-time ministry, exhibit the gifts and graces for ministry, demonstrate the requisite abilities for ministry, and exhibit a mature, Christlike spirit.
Do all religion majors at the college meet the requirements of the course of study?
Each college, university, and seminary designs certain majors to fulfill the requirements of the course of study. The institution submits an application to the Course of Study Advisory Committee for validation of that curriculum as meeting the course of study requirements. Not every major offered by the religion department at a school meets the course of study requirements, so work with the department head at the school in which you wish to enroll to be sure you complete course of study requirements with your academic degree.
Who determines how and when I complete the course of study?
The content and procedure for the course of study is described in the Sourcebook for Ministerial Development of your geographic world region. The Sourcebook for Ministerial Development was created from the guidelines of the Manual of the Church of the Nazarene and the International Sourcebook on Developmental Standards for Ordained Ministry. The regional Sourcebook is approved by the International Course of Study Advisory Committee and the General Board of the Church of the Nazarene.
The District Ministerial Studies Board implements the course of study on each district in compliance with these documents. You should register with the District Ministerial Studies Board on your district and work with the board to complete the course of study. The Manual specifies that you must complete the course of study within ten years of receiving your first district minister’s license.
What is ordination?
Ordination is the authenticating, authorizing act of the church that recognizes and confirms God’s call to ministerial leadership as stewards and proclaimers of both the gospel and the church of Jesus Christ.
It is important to realize that God calls but the church ordains. The church does not claim the right to call people to the ministry. That is the work of God the Holy Spirit.
Ordination is an authorizing act of the church. By means of ordination the church officially approves you as a minister. The ordination service itself bears witness to the church universal and to the world at large that you are truly a man or woman of God, that you have the gifts and graces for public ministry, that you have a thirst for knowledge, especially for the Word of God, and that you can clearly communicate the sound doctrine of the gospel.
Ordination is also a confirming act of the church. But before the public service of ordination the church is at work evaluating you and your potential for ministry. The local church and the District Ministerial Credentials Board will observe you closely to determine if they will recommend you to the District Assembly for ordination.
Ordination is a spiritual and theological act of the church. It is more than receiving a certification to minister. It is more than passing qualifying exams of your profession. It is the church’s acknowledgment that God calls and gifts certain men and women for ministerial leadership in the church. Because scripture teaches that in Christ there is neither slave nor free, Jew nor Greek, male nor female, but all are one in Christ, the Church of the Nazarene ordains persons regardless of their economic status, their nationality or race, or their gender. The issue in ordination is the testimony of a call from God, completing minimum educational preparation for and experience in ministry, and the demonstration in the life of the church of the gifts and graces for ministerial leadership.
Will I be ordained after completing the course of study?
The District Ministerial Credentials Board is required to examine each candidate for ordination and determine if the candidate exhibits the gifts and graces for ministry. The board will also assess the theological beliefs of the candidate to determine if he or she agrees with the beliefs of the Church of the Nazarene. The board will also assess the spiritual maturity of the candidate and determine at what time the board will recommend a candidate for ordination.
Ordination is a privilege extended by the church and is not a right of the candidate obtained by completing the course of study.
Nazarene Colleges, Seminaries, and Universities
All Nazarene schools of higher education are members of the International Board of Education. The IBOE maintains contact information, profiles, and web addresses for these schools on the IBOE website.
Validated College/University Degree Programs
- Africa region
- Asia-Pacific region
- Eurasia region
- Mesoamerica region
- South America (SAM) region
- USA/Canada region