Advanced Course of Study

Advanced Course of Study

The Advanced Course of Study 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) for Ordained Ministry is to provide a curriculum which will enable a local pastor to meet the educational requirements for full conference membership and ordination as elder. Local Pastors seeking this route need to have completed the five-year Course of Study program and a bachelor's degree from a college or university recognized by the University Senate.

Students with prior graduate theological education may have their transcript reviewed by GBHEM for possible credit in ACOS up to a maximum of 9 semester hours. Such studies must have been taken within the last 10 years. In addition, students may complete no more than 10 hours of online or correspondence courses within the Advanced Course of Study. Each student shall have courses recorded by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and these will become a part of their permanent educational record for Boards of Ordained Ministry.

Advanced Course of Study classes will not duplicate those included in the five-year Course of Study curriculum. ACOS courses are vigorous in study, equivalent to master’s degree classes. While all ACOS students are required to complete the three United Methodist Studies courses (History, Doctrine, Polity) and two additional Basic Graduate Theoogical Studies (BGTS) courses, all students are required to know their annual conference's specific education requirements for ordination. Many annual conferences require courses above and beyond the BGTS.

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 cosregistrar@gbhem.org. 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 Fees

  • $200/course - Friday/Saturday Weekends
  • $250 - 1 Course in Summer School
  • $325 - 2 Courses in Summer School
  • $400 - 3 Courses in Summer School
  • Late Fees - if your paperwork is submitted after the registration deadline, there is a $25 late fee per course.

Course Fees

Each ACOS course has a $500 course fee.

Housing & Parking

  • 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. Rates are listed on the registration form.
  • 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.
FALL 2016WINTER 2017
  • United Methodist Worship and Moral Formation
    (2 credit hours; Worship course)
    Meets February 3-4 and March 24-25
    Registration Deadline: December 1, 2016

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

Housing

  • 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