Advanced Course of Study School

Advanced Course of Study School

The Advanced Course of Study School curriculum will enable a local pastor to meet the educational requirements for provisional membership, full conference membership and ordination as an elder in The United Methodist Church. Students not seeking ordination but additional education may register for ACOS courses for credit or for Continuing Education Units. 

The purpose of the Advanced Course of Study (ACOS) is to provide a curriculum which will enable a local pastor to meet the educational requirements for full conference membership and ordination as elder. ACOS courses are vigorous in study, equivalent to master’s degree classes. ACOS classes do not duplicate those included in the Course of Study curriculum.

All ACOS students are required to know their annual conference's specific education requirements for ordination. Many annual conferences require courses above and beyond the Basic Graduate Theological Studies listed in the Book of Discipline.

Students with prior graduate theological education (completed in the last 10 years) may have their transcript reviewed by GBHEM for possible credit in ACOS.

Basic Graduate Theological Studies include the following subjects:

  • Old Testament
  • New Testament
  • Theology
  • Church History
  • United Methodist Doctrine
  • United Methodist Polity
  • United Methodist History
  • Mission of the Church in the World
  • Evangelism
  • Worship/Liturgy

Admission Application Requirements

  • Autobiographical Statement: A 2-3 page, double-spaced autobiographical statement is a critical element in the evaluation of your application. Please consider your response carefully, attending to content, style, grammar, and organization of the essay. The statement is a way to introduce yourself to our Review Committee. With this in mind, write a reflective essay about your life that addresses the following topics:
    • Significant life experiences that have affected your view of self, God, and the world. Include references to family members and significant others, courses, and experiences in previous education, church, service-related activities, and employment.
    • Your plans following completion of Advanced Course of Study.
  • Church History Statement: Our Review Committee would like to know more about your church journey. Please give a detailed list of appointments you have served since becoming a United Methodist Local Pastor. If you transferred to the UMC from another denomination, please include a list of churches you served and what denomination those appointments were with. This outline should include:
    • Appointment name, location, and conference
    • Dates served
    • Position (Associate, Sr. Pastor, Youth Minister, Etc.)
    • One thing that really challenged you at each appointment
  • COS/ACOS Transcript: You can request your transcript(s) from GBHEM by emailing Request that your transcript be sent directly to the COS Office.
  • $50 Application Fee

Once all these materials are received and reviewed, you will be notified as to whether or not you are accepted into the program.

Registration Fee

  • $200/course

Course Fee

  • $500/course fee

Housing & Parking

  • Students are responsible for their own housing and their own parking on campus in one of the Emory visitor lots.

2018 Winter Hybrid Session
Registration Deadline: November 8, 2017

"The Old Testament and Pop Culture"
January 26-27 and March 9-10
3 credit hours; Old Testament BGTS course


2018 Spring Hybrid Session
Registration Deadline: February 12, 2017

"The Church's Mission in the World"
April 12-14 and May 24-26
3 credit hours; Mission BGTS course

Continuing Education Units

The difference between taking an Advanced Course of Study class for Academic Credit or for Continuing Education Units is as follows:

  • Those who register for academic credit will receive a grade for the course and complete all the course reading and writing assignments.
  • Those registering for Continuing Education Units will have the opportunity to fully participate in the course without completing the written assginments. You will be responsible for reading all the course materials, attending all the class sessions, and participating fully in the classroom conversation.

Once you register for a course via CEU you cannot start the course and then shift to credit, you must select credit or CEU from the start, and the same is true from credit to CEU.

Registration Fee

There is a $200 registration fee per course.

Registration Process

Mail your completed registration form and your registration fee to the Course of Study Office at:
Course of Study
Candler School of Theology, Emory University
1531 Dickey Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322


  • Students attending a weekend course are responsible for their own housing and their own parking on campus in one of the Emory visitor lots.
  • Students attending a summer school course are eligible for staying in on-campus housing at a rate of $350/week for a one bedroom/one bathroom private apartment.
  • Students attending a summer school course and commuting are responsible for paying for their own parking on campus in one of the Emory visitor lots.

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"As pastors, there are few opportunities for us to worship without leading. This may be the best part of COS--there is good music, good preaching, and a place to receive amazing grace. Don't miss the opportunity to re-fill your Spiritual tank."
-Ann Hatcher, Tennessee Conference