Ministerial Preparation:  A call to Ministry 

The call to ministry is an exciting journey, yet there will be challenges along the way.

For those just beginning this journey there is an online enrollment form available to help you begin this process. The Manual of Ministerial Preparation is one guide which will make the path to ministry more understandable. Students can use the academic requirements chart as a quick reference guide to the courses required for credentialing in the Wesleyan Church.


Ministerial students will find that they have several options to completing requirements for credentials including attending one of our Wesleyan Colleges/Universities, approved seminaries, FLAME, district extensions or completing correspondence courses. If you are beginning ministerial studies, specialized lay ministry training, or transferring ordination to the Wesleyan Church, then be sure to Enroll Online HERE for Ministerial Preparation.

Districts play a critical role in the development of ministers through the leadership of the district superintendent and the counsel of the District Board of Ministerial Development. The DBMD is entrusted with the nurture and development of ministers in training and those in service to the church. Feel free to browse the organizational and ministry functions of the DBMD which are contained in the Manual of Ministerial Preparation and the basic instruction for ministerial students in the Ministerial Preparation Packet. The DBMD interviews, evaluates, and advises ministerial students by using sets of report forms. Education and Clergy Development offers training presentations as a resource to DBMD’s to enhance their ministry. It is vital that channels of communication be kept open between pastors, district superintendents, District Boards of Ministerial Development, and our colleges regarding the progress and promise of ministers in training.

Below you will find resources for your journey into ministry.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I begin the process toward ordination? For information about the process of ministerial preparation, download the Ministerial Preparation Information Packet HERE. The Manual of Ministerial Preparation contains additional detailed information and may be downloaded HERE. The academic requirements chart for ordination and other credentialing is available HERE.

How do I enroll as a Ministerial Student? Enroll with Education and Clergy Development at There is a simple form to fill out and a $20 enrollment fee. The fee is waived for those who have attended one of our Wesleyan schools. Along with this ECD enrollment, please be aware that is your responsibility to obtain the recommendation of your local church board of administration and interview with your District Board of Ministerial Development if you are interested in the Special Worker or Pre-Ordination track. (Lay Ministers need only the recommendation of their church board, and Personal Enrichment students are not required to obtain church or district approval.)

What courses are needed to academically qualify for a district license? There are six classes that are required: Old Testament Intro, New Testament Intro, Wesleyan Church History/Discipline, Intro to Theology, Intro to Homiletics, and Church Leadership/Management.

How do I submit my transcripts for evaluation for ministerial education credit? Courses from accredited institutions or denominational course of study programs may be used to grant credit for ordination requirements. Have your official transcripts emailed to or mailed to: Education and Clergy Development, PO Box 50434, Indianapolis, IN 46250 We require the first and last submissions from an institution to be official transcripts, directly from the school. While attending, periodic submissions may be unofficial, sent from the student. Credits will be posted on ministerial preparation transcripts, and can be viewed online at your record in the Student Portal.

Have my transcripts been received and reviewed? Check on the Student Portal for credits posted (; sign up for an account at If you don’t see expected credits, email an inquiry to

Why was credit not granted from my school transcript? Please send an inquiry to You may be asked to send a course description or syllabus for the course in question. This will help in any reconsideration of an evaluation. We will respond as soon as we are able.

Why is my course grade not showing on my ECD transcript? Allow 3 months after a course is completed, unless a specific need for expedited grading was requested. Then contact the school or professor first to confirm submission. Contact ECD if a grade was submitted, but has not been posted.

After I complete my licensing or ordination requirements, how long will it take for ECD to report to my district? When we receive grades from a class you have completed, we normally record those within 3-4 days. Certification information will be available online to you and your district immediately upon processing. A certification letter can be produced if necessary.

Will Education and Clergy Development periodically send me a copy of my ministerial education transcript? No. Ministerial Preparation transcripts are available online at the Student Portal ( You will need to register for an account at See instructions below.

What is the Student Portal? How do I register for a Student Portal account? The Student Portal will be a help to you in tracking your academic progress. When you register for a Student Portal account you will have the ability to view your Student Record and view, print or download your individual transcript. Your district DBMD leadership also has online access to your file to keep abreast of your academic progress. There are multiple informational documents and forms available on the “Forms” tab, and the only entry point for ECD correspondence course registration is found on the “Correspondence” tab. How to set up an account and access the Education and Clergy Development Student Portal:

  • Go to and fill out the form.
  • Enter a username, your name, email and password information, and click “Submit.”
  • You will receive a request for confirmation at the email address you provided. Click on the link.
  • Go to the Student Portal at and login with your email and password.
  • Fill out the form with your contact information and choose the “Transcripts for Ministerial Students” check box for Access Request.
  • Wait for an emailed confirmation that will be sent when your account has been approved. This may take a few days.

As you view your records, please notify us of any changes that need to be made. We have placed an “Email E&CD” button on the Bio tab of your records to make it easy for you to send us updated information.

I cannot get into my Student Portal account. Where do I find help? Email

Where can I find information about non-traditional course options (schedule, cost, syllabi, locations, etc)? Go to Thriving Clergy Ministry Training Programs online at There you may search for scheduled course offerings or by program.

How do I get credit for the Supervised Ministry requirement? Information and the registration agreement form are found at the “Forms” tab on the Student Portal. There is also an Application for Supervised Ministry Credit form. Please note that both forms need the signature and approval/recommendation of your DBMD.

I have ministry experience. Can I get credit for this? Yes, you may be able to get credit for ministry experience. It’s called “Credit by Portfolio” You can download the information packet for this on the “Forms” tab of your account in the Student Portal.

I am 32 and thinking about going the Commissioned Minister route. Is this possible? The Commissioned Minister’s track for ministry requires that you must be 40 years of age or older, be a district licensed minister and have the permission of your DBMD.

I have a friend who is sensing God’s call into the ministry. How can I help her? The Ministerial Preparation Packet will be a very useful tool for those interested in ministry, found HERE. Either print out the packet or call our office to request one for your friend. It will help identify the process of ministerial training in the Wesleyan Church, give them an opportunity to enroll with our office, and will give them guidance for their future training.

Do you offer some kind of college degree with your courses? No. We are not a college or an accredited institution. Our courses are offered solely to meet the ordination, commissioning, and licensing requirements of the Wesleyan Church. If you are interested in a degree you should begin a dialogue with one of our five Wesleyan Colleges.

I am a lay person who wants to take some classes for personal enrichment. Can I take classes through Education and the Ministry? Yes, we welcome you to do this. Simply enroll with us and choose “Personal Enrichment” as your track. However, please be aware that most of the classes are geared towards someone preparing for pastoral ministry.

Transferring Ministers

We welcome those who have interest in finding a place of ministry within The Wesleyan Church, who agree with us in doctrine and spirit, and believe God is leading them to join hands with us in fulfilling our mission in the world. The academic preparation of transferring ministers will be evaluated as to its equivalency to the course of study prescribed for ministry in The Wesleyan Church, with every effort to recognize the level of service they held in the denomination from which they transferred. Study of denominational history and polity (C35 Wesleyan Church History/Discipline) and theology (C42 Doctrine of holiness) is required of all transferring ministers who seek ministry in The Wesleyan Church. The Department of Education and Clergy Development annually provides an online live classroom experience – FLAME – in which these courses are taught. These courses may also be taken through the correspondence courses from our office or at a Ministerial Training Program class offered by your district.

The process begins with a Transfer Application and supporting documents submitted to the General Superintendent’s Office.  This application is to be submitted with the recommendation of a Wesleyan District Superintendent.  Download the application HERE.

Supervised Ministry

It works like this: the program of supervised ministry consists of one year (twelve months) of ministry in an approved setting under the supervision of a more experienced pastor. The year will be organized in three trimesters, each consisting of four months. Each trimester will have a set of unique requirements, as well as a set of standard expectations which apply to all trimesters. If you complete the entire supervised ministry requirement outside of college or seminary, you must complete the total curriculum as outlined. If you have already completed one or two units of supervised ministry in school before registering for the Supervised Ministry course, you will begin with the curriculum for the corresponding trimester. (For example: If you have completed one term previously, you will begin with the second trimester – C52). Exceptions may be made on a case by case basis by appeal to Education and the Ministry The process of becoming equipped for ministry is a very important and demanding one. The task is really three-fold; the development of the heart, the mind, and the hand. A heart for the ministry is developed by the grace of God, by the faith and commitment of the person, and by the nurture of the Church. A mind for the ministry is developed as you and God work together in the process of disciplined study of His Word, His people, and the various subjects which help you do the work of ministry more effectively. The District Board of Ministerial Development and/or the person it has designated as Coordinator of Supervised Ministry will help you in establishing a satisfactory supervised ministry placement, selecting a supervising pastor, overseeing the supervisory relationship between you and your supervisor, and reporting to the Supervised Ministry instructor. The District Coordinator of Supervised Ministry will receive various reports from you in the course of each trimester. The District Coordinator must complete and submit a final evaluation and recommendation concerning your experience to the Supervised Ministry instructor at the conclusion of the last term of your supervised ministry experience.

For your supervised ministry placement, you will be assigned to a supervising pastor who will be a mentor to you throughout the experience. You will arrange the details of your assignment and spend significant time in supervisory sessions with your field supervisor. The supervisor will be someone with significant experience in ministry who can model for you what it means to be an effective pastor. He or she will also be willing to invest time and energy into your development as a minister. The supervising pastor needs to be an ordained minister and must have the approval of the DBMD to serve as a supervisor.

To register for Supervised Ministry, find the Registration Agreement form HERE. In addition to your supervising pastor and the District Coordinator of Supervised Ministry, you will submit a number of assignments and reports to theSupervised Ministry instructor. This instructor serves in a manner similar to any other Wesleyan correspondence course instructor. He or she receives and evaluates the Supervision Logs and Trimester Reports/Evaluations from the supervising pastor. The instructor submits your final grade for each trimester.

There is an Application for Supervised Ministry Credit for those who have already spent significant time in ministry under the supervision and mentoring of an experienced pastor. This can be found on the Forms tab of the Student Portal.  The application will need to be reviewed by the DBMD, and returned to ECD with a signature and recommendation.

Approved Seminaries
Ministerial Student Portal

Easily access your educational files from your computer or mobile device. Once you have registered for your account with Education and Clergy Development you will have opportunity to see your current information and status. You will also have the opportunity to view, print or download your individual transcript. This means you will have 24/7 access to the current information on your file.

To register, go to Enter your name, email and password information, type in the displayed characters for authorization and click “Submit.” You will receive a request for confirmation at the email address you provided. Click on the link. Go to and login with your email and password. Fill out the form with your contact information and choose the “Transcripts for Ministerial Students” check box for Access Request. You will not be able to login and view your information until you receive an emailed confirmation that your account has been approved. This may take a few days.

Online Ministerial Education Options

Hundreds of people are being called to serve the Kingdom as ministers of the Gospel. Many of them are second-career, non-traditional students who are looking for accessible ways to complete their educational requirements. This page seeks to provide some of those opportunities available in The Wesleyan Church. This page explores three pathways to complete your academic classes online or in a format for students who do not wish to move to complete their requirements in the traditional setting:

  • Accredited Wesleyan Programs
  • Approved Seminaries
  • Non-Accredited Ministry Training Programs


Accredited Wesleyan Programs

Indiana Wesleyan University Undergrad Ministry Degree

Description: This program is an online degree but does not yet have a specific name. It is a creative pathway designed to provide a way for students to earn an undergraduate degree through IWU online and complete the academic requirements for ordination in The Wesleyan Church. It is The Associates in Christian Ministry coupled with Bachelors in Biblical Studies plus 3-4 specific elective course that ensure the academic requirements for Wesleyan Ordination are met. Email Paul Garverick at Potential or interested students can also call 1-866-498-4968 and a Qualification Rep will connect the student to the appropriate Program Representative. If they email or call Paul or his staff, they will forward the information to the Assistant Director of IWU Adult Enrollment that oversees Ministry Program enrollment.

Indiana Wesleyan University Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry

The Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry was designed to be be a streamlined pathway to meeting the academic requirements for ordination via a graduate degree. This MA is 42 credit hours and all the courses can be taken online. Website Email Jason Sanders for more information

Indiana Wesleyan University Masters of Divinity (English & Spanish)

Description: This program is mostly online. The student attends 1-2 onsite 1-week intensives a year. Most intensives are held at the main campus in Marion, Indiana. There are both Spanish and English versions of this program. Website Email Dianne Clark for more information

Approved Seminaries – MDIV Programs

The MDIV programs at our Approved Seminaries are ordination track programs. The accrediting body for seminaries (Association of Theological Schools) currently requires about 1/3 of any MDIV program to be completed onsite. Thus, at both Wesley Seminary as well as the programs listed below, you will note that each requires approximately 1/3 of the coursework to be completed in onsite intensives.

Indiana Wesleyan University Masters of Divinity (English & Spanish)

Description: This program is mostly online. The student attends 1-2 onsite 1-week intensives a year. Most intensives are held at the main campus in Marion, Indiana. There are both Spanish and English versions of this program. Website Email Dianne Clark for more information

Asbury Theological Seminary EXL Program – MDIV

Description: Asbury Theological is one of the best options for graduate ministry education for The Wesleyan Church. Their EXL program allows students to take most of their classes online. Students attend some of their classes in 1 week intensives onsite (typically in Orlando, FL or Wilmore, KY). Asbury’s MDIV is an ordination track program in The Wesleyan Church. Website Or EMAIL Eric Currie, Assoc. VP of Enrollment. Eric is an ordained Wesleyan pastor aware of the needs of non-traditional students in The Wesleyan Church NOTE: All ordination track programs in The Wesleyan Church assume that a student is intentional about ensuring they include the Doctrine of Holiness and Wesleyan History & Discipline equivalent courses. Some ordination track programs also have other requirements in order to fulfill the academic requirements for ordination.

Evangelical Seminary

Like all the MDIV degrees listed here, Evangelical Seminary also offers an online MDIV program within which students complete approximately 1/3 of the courses in onsite, 1-week intensives on campus. 36 credits of Practical Ministry can be completed online (6 courses worth 6 credits each). These each have a 5 day residencies. (An explanation of these is found on the MA in Pastoral Ministry page as these are used for the MDIV and the MA) The remaining 42 credits can be completed online. Website Contact Gwen Scheirer for more information.

George Fox Evangelical Seminary

George Fox offers its MDIV in an online format with the similar onsite intensive model. Website

Nazarene Theological Seminary Distance Education Program

Like all the MDIV degrees listed here, NTS also offers an online MDIV program within which students complete approximately 8 courses in onsite, 1-week intensives on campus. NTS has 5 campuses where these intensives can be completed: MO, OK, OH, TN, MA, and CA. Website

Tyndale Seminary

Tyndale allows students to complete most of their MDIV in the online format with the similar onsite intensive model. An MDiv student may take up to 18 courses out of the total 27 courses through MDiv online or live-stream. 9 courses must be completed on campus. One-week intensives (summer or January intersession) qualify as on-campus courses. Website

Wesley Biblical Seminary

Wesley Biblical offers its MDIV in an online format with the similar onsite intensive model. 9 classes must be taken onsite in an intensive format. Website

Non-Accredited Ministry Training Programs

The following online programs are approved to provide credit for credentialing in The Wesleyan Church. At this time, these programs cannot be transferred to an accredited college or seminary.

FLAME Online

FLAME online offers classes in a live, “face-to-face”, interactive video conferencing format (via Zoom). Students log on to interact with the professor and other students. Classes are currently being offered Monday evenings as well as options on Saturday mornings. Each class typically last six weeks and each session is 4 hours. Website

Cross Training

Cross Training offers online courses in an asynchronous format. Students complete work, submit assignments and participate in online discussions via discussion boards. Courses are typically 3-4 weeks in length. Many students find this a convenient option. Website Email Devon Smith for more information. Devon is an ordained Wesleyan Pastor who helped create and launch the Cross Training program.


Some districts are offering online options for ordination classes. For example, the Florida District has been offering some of their courses online in the Zoom Video Conferencing format. If your district would like to seek approval for online courses for your students, please contact Dave Higle in Education and Clergy Development

Refresher/Continuing Education

Do you want to take courses for continuing education? Most all educational programs have an option to audit courses. Contact each program or institution directly on the best way to audit a course. Typically a registrar is a great place to start with this question.

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