How to Fulfill the Educational Requirements
for Ministerial Licensing and Ordination
The Church of the Nazarene is a culturally diverse denomination operating in many different areas of the world. It recognizes that a single curriculum may not prepare men and women to minister in all of these diverse cultures. Therefore, cultural adaptation of the curriculum to meet the contextual needs of the ministers is expected.
At the same time the denomination expects a certain standard of knowledge, character, and competency for all ministers within the church. These standards are written in the Manual and every entity of the church is held to these standards. The Church of the Nazarene has established a validation process in order to assure that every Course of Study curriculum meets the denominational standards as it prepares men and women for contextualized ministry.
Those seeking ministerial licensing or ordination in the Church of the Nazarene must complete a validated Course of Study.
STEP 1: Familiarize yourself with the educational options
• Complete the Course of Study and earn an academic degree at the same time. This is normally the best option. Most Nazarene colleges, universities, seminaries and Bible colleges have designed specific majors within their religion departments that incorporate a validated Course of Study curriculum along with additional courses needed to qualify them as academic degrees.
• Complete the educational requirements of the Course of Study without getting a college degree.
Validated non-degree Course of Study programs are offered by many districts of the Church of the Nazarene. Contact your District Board of Ministry for information. Additionally, on the USA/Canada Nazarene Bible College and some Nazarene universities offer a non-degree option. In some cases, this is the appropriate educational path toward ordination.
• Explore the residential, online, and hybrid program options.
It is important to compare the advantages of a fully residential (on-campus) program with online and hybrid (both online and face-to-face) options for completing either a degree and non-degree educational path that meets the educational requirements of the Course of Study. Consider what option best matches your needs as a learner as you also weigh your personal and family situation. Click here to find educational providers on the USA/Canada Region who offering validated Course of Study programs.
STEP 2: Seek the advice of your District Board of Ministry and other trusted advisors before selecting your educational path.
STEP 3: Notify your District Board of Ministry of your chosen path for completing a validated Course of Study program.
All those embarking on the journey of educational preparation for ordination must notify their District Board of Ministry of their intent and remain in communication with the Board on their progress. Your District Board of Ministry will inform you of the process they have developed for this purpose.
STEP 4: Complete the enrollment with the education provider you have chosen and be diligent in completing your studies.
If you are completing a degree program at a non-Nazarene institution or a degree program at a Nazarene institution that is not a validated program, you will need to work even more closely with your Board of Ministry. Your Board of Ministry will assist you in determining whether any coursework you have completed might apply toward the Course of Study requirements, and help you identify additional studies necessary to fulfill the educational requirements for ordination in the Church of the Nazarene.