Guidelines for Local Pastors

Jennifer Long, Registrar

Information about local pastors, part-time, full-time, course of study requirements, and continuance is found in ¶¶315-320 of the 2016 Book of Discipline and online at The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry Website is an invaluable tool and will have information in much greater detail than you will find anywhere else. Local Pastors should consult periodically to find the latest policies of our general church.

  Licensing School

Certified Candidates are eligible for appointment only after completing Licensing School (¶315.2).

The 2021 Oklahoma Conference Local Pastors Licensing School is scheduled:.

Full School:
Friday, June 8- Friday, June 16, 2023

Commissioned and Graduates:
June 12-15, 2023


To register for either licensing school, email Rev. Nancy Hamilton-

The curriculum, learning objectives, and textbooks are prescribed by the GBHEM, but the Oklahoma Board of Ordained Ministry is responsible for implementing and operating the Licensing School. Those without a Seminary education are required to be present for the entire 8-day school.

Those who have completed one-third or more of their work for a Master of Divinity degree, have graduated seminary, or are newly commissioned elders or deacons are required to be present for three days of the school.


Local Pastor Licensing School

Jennifer Long, Dean
Kingfisher UMC
Kingfisher, Oklahoma

(405) 375-3286 Office

For information on the registration deadline see the registration forms linked above.

The cost of Licensing School varies each year, but students are required to pay part of the costs while the BOM and all 8 Districts subsidize the costs of LPLS. All expenses must be paid by deadline in order to receive a license to preach.

  Course of Study

The Basic Five-Year Course of Study is a year-round experiential and classroom learning process. This process assumes cooperation between the instructors in the Course of Study Schools and the clergy mentors in the annual conferences. Each Regional Course of Study School shall offer all 20 courses of the Basic Five-Year COS and shall seek to meet the needs of both the full-time and part-time local pastors. Normally courses are to be taken in the sequence prescribed by the curriculum. At a minimum, students are expected to take first year courses in the first year of study and fifth year courses in the final year of study. In addition to these basic curriculum courses, the school may provide a communication skills program for students. Other special programs may be funded at the discretion of the schools or the Division of Ordained Ministry and other programs that meet student needs.

  Course of Study Financial Assistance
  Cohlmia Scholarship for Perkins COS Students

The Oklahoma Board of Ordained Ministry provides scholarships for the Course of Study. The current scholarship is $200 per course. Although the BOM recognizes this does not cover the students’ costs of the COS the BOM uses all the funds available to assist with the costs of COS.

On most COS registration forms there is a place for the Conference Local Pastor Registrar to sign. The student should have the District Superintendent sign the form, send it to the BOML Local Pastor Registrar for him/her to sign and the completed form will be sent back to the student. When the form is signed by the Local Pastor Registrar and it is confirmed there is a current District Committee on Ministry (dCOM) Action Report on file with the Local Pastor Registrar the Registrar will send the scholarship request to the BOM Treasurer. The scholarship funds will then be paid to the Course of Study school to be applied to the student’s account.

If the COS course does not require the Local Pastor Registrar to sign the registration form the student must send the COS registration to the Local Pastor Registrar for the scholarship process to begin.

The Annual Conference does not pay for a grade of "F" or a class withdrawal. In those cases, the student must pay for the next course and pass the course before being eligible for financial aid once again.

  Time Frame for Completing Course of Study Work

¶319.3 – 2012 Book of Discipline requires that full-time Local Pastors complete the Course of Study within eight (8) years and part-time Local Pastors complete the Course of Study within twelve (12) years, unless a family situation or other circumstance limits the Local Pastor's ability to meet the above requirements. Extensions to this time require a ¾ vote of the dCOM, recommendation by the conference BOM, and a majority vote of clergy members in full connection. Recommendations of extensions must be received by the Local Pastor Registrar no later than April 1 to be included in the clergy session of Annual Conference. It is the responsibility of the Local Pastor through the dCOM to ensure these requests are received each year.

  Annual Progress

The Book of Discipline  states that Local Pastors must make progress in the Course of Study every year. According to ¶318.1.c.i – 2012 Book of Discipline, full-time Local Pastors "shall complete four courses per year a Course of Study school." Part-time Local Pastors "shall complete two courses per year" according to ¶318.2.d.i. The BOML is willing to work with Local Pastors in fulfilling their educational requirements and understands limited study time, however all Local Pastors must make it a priority to complete the requirements. If Local Pastors do not make an effort to complete the COS the availability for appointment will be limited.

  Local Pastor to Associate Member

¶322 – 2012 Book of Discipline outlines the procedure for Local Pastors to become Associate Members

  Local Pastor to Probationary Membership and Commissioning

Local Pastors may fulfill the requirements for probationary membership and commissioning under ¶324.6 – 2012 Book of Discipline

  Course of Study Schools

Regional Course of Study Schools

The following is information about the Regional Course of Study schools used by most Oklahoma Conference Local Pastors. All COS schools are under the direction of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) in Nashville, TN . Each school is unique and care should be taken to select the appropriate school for each student.

Saint Paul School of Theology

Dr. Lucas Endicott | Jennifer Smith

13720 Roe Ave, Bldg C

Leawood, KS 66224

Phone: 913-253-5051 |


Perkins School of Theology-SMU

Rev. Jeannie Trevino-Teddlie

P. O. Box 750133

Dallas, TX 75275

Phone: 214-768-2768

Extension Course of Study Schools

Extension Schools are intended for Part-Time Local Pastors who are unable to attend the Regional Course of Study School. There are added stipulations regarding enrollment in an Extension School. Students must check with their District Superintendents and the Extension School before applying. The following is information about Extension Schools used by most Oklahoma Conference Local Pastors.


Rev. Samuel B. Teague

125 Grapevine

Conway, AR 72034

Phone: 501-329-5357

North Texas

Rev. Duane VanGiesen

P.O. Box 516069

Dallas, TX 75251

Phone: 972-490-3438

  Correspondence Schools

Courses through Correspondence Schools are available, however great care should be taken in taking classes by correspondence as 80% of students who begin a correspondence course do not complete that course. These courses are extremely demanding. Students must be approved by their District Superintendent and dCOM before enrolling in correspondence courses. Form 110 should be used to register for a correspondence course.

  Online Classes

Courses taken online should also be taken with extreme caution as few who enroll complete the courses and these courses are very demanding. Check with the GBHEM web-site for more information.

  Advanced Course of Study

The Advanced Course of Study is a curriculum that enables Local Pastors to meet the educational requirements for provisional membership, full conference membership, and ordination as an Elder in the United Methodist Church. The Advanced Course of Study consists of 32 hours of graduate theological studies on top of the requirements to complete the Basic Course of Study. There are other stipulations that must be met to complete the Advanced Course of Study. Students should consult their District Superintendent, dCOM, and GBHEM before enrolling in the Advanced Course of Study.

  Contact Information
  Rev. Nancy Hamilton:, (405)530-2007

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