Advanced Course of Study School

The Purpose of Advanced Course of Study

The Advanced Course of Study is a curriculum which will enable a local pastor to meet the educational requirements for provisonal membership, full conference membership, and ordination as an elder in The United Methodist Church. It consists of 32 semester hours of graduate theological study of its equivalent as determined by GBHEM (see ¶ 324.6 of the 2012 Book of Discipline). Included in this curriculum must be United Methodist history, doctrine, and polity for a minimum of two semester hours in each field of study. There are other guidelines regarding Advanced Course of Study, and it is important to seek this information from the Annual Conference and GBHEM, Section of Elders and Local Pastors.

Information from the 2012 Book of Discipline ¶ 324.6
Local Pastors may fulfill the requirements for provisional membership and commissioning when they have:

Policies and Procedures

2015 Application and Registration Forms and Costs

2015 Advanced Course of Study Application & Registration Form 

Registration Fees

  • Friday/Saturday Weekend Courses are $200 per course
  • 2 Week Summer Session $300
  • 4 Week Summer Session $400
  • Late Fees - if your paper work is submitted after the deadline there is a $25 late fee penalty per course.

Course Fees - Each course has a $500 course fee in addition to the registration fees.

  • 1 Weekend/Summer Course = $500
  • 2 Summer Courses = $1000
  • 3 Summer Courses = $1500
  • 4 Summer Courses = $2000

2015 Course Offerings and Precourse Work

Fall 2014 Weekend School meets September 12-13, September 26-27, and October 10-11

Winter 2015 Weekend School meets Janauary 23-24, February 6-7 and February 27-28

Spring 2015 Intensive School meets May 15, 16, 17

Summer 2015 Weekend School meets July 10-11 and July 24-25

Summer 2015 School Week ONE meets July 13-17

  • Precourse Work: The Pastor as Teacher
  • Registration Deadline: March 31

Summer 2015 School Week TWO meets July 20-24

  • Precourse Work: TBA
  • Registration Deadline: March 31

Summer 2015 School Week THREE meets July 27-31

  • Precourse Work: Theology from the Margins
  • Registration Deadline: March 31

Fall 2015 Weekend School meets October 2-3, October 16-17, and November 6-7

  • Precourse Work: TBA
  • Registration Deadline: September 1

Procedure for applying to the Advanced Course of Study via the Emory Course of Study Office

Admission Application Requirements Include:

A completed application and application fee by the appropriate deadline.

  • Autobiographical statement: A two–three paged typed, double-spaced autobiographical statement is a critical element in the evaluation of your application. Please consider your response carefully, attending to content, style, grammatical correctness, and organization of the essay. The statement is a way to introduce yourself to our Academic Honor 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, serviced-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 and have them sent directly to the COS Office.
Once all materials are received and reviewed by the Academic Honor Committee, and if accepted you will be registered for courses you have requested. After a student is accepted into the program there is a general registration form that you will need to complete to register for future courses, you only have to complete the application process once. You will also be invoiced for any registration or course fees that are due, minus any annual conference scholarship funding.