The Basic Course of Study (COS) is a year-round experiential and classroom learning process. This process assumes cooperation between the instructors during 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. The Course of Study educates and trains Local Pastors in the United Methodist Church.
The Advanced Course of Study (ACOS) provides an additional educational opportunity, but is not required. Per the GBHEM website: "After completing the Basic Course of Study, a local pastor may choose to continue the process toward provisional membership through the Advanced Course of Study. It includes 32 hours of master’s level education in a seminary recognized by the University Senate. It must include studies in United Methodist history, doctrine and polity."
Ministerial Education Funds (MEF) are available at a rate of up to $300 per Course of Study course for certified candidates; for ACOS the reimbursement is up to $400. These funds are reimbursed to the certified candidate/local pastor and once receipts are received by OCE. You must receive a “C” or better to be eligible for MEF funds. If you do not receive a “C” or better, you will not be eligible to receive funds to repeat the same course.
To receive a reimbursement, follow the instructions below:
- Ensure that you are a certified candidate
- Complete the reimbursement form found on page 2 and sign the form
- Submit the following documents to Holly Finley in the Office of Clergy Excellence – email@example.com
- Application for MEF COS reimbursement
- Receipts from registration and course fees
- If your registration is less than $300 per course ($400 for ACOS) then you may submit receipts for related expenses such as books, housing, travel, and food up to total of $300 per course ($400 for ACOS).
Note that food receipts need to be itemized and alcohol is not reimbursable.