Course of Study

The Basic Five-year 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 2016 Book of Discipline, states that local pastor should make adequate annual progress towards completion of their educational requirements. The Florida Conference requires a C or better grade for coursework completed. The Florida Conference has set the following definition for “adequate progress.”

  • For local pastors who are completing Course of Study, adequate process is contingent on the percentage of the appointment.
    • Part-time local pastor – two classes per year
    • Full-time local pastor – four classes per year
  • Four classes are the maximum number of Course of Study classes that can be completed in an academic year. An exception of one additional class in a year may be requested by a student. Such a request may be granted by the COS school on a case by case basis, only after approval of the request by the district superintendent, conference registrar, director of the COS school, and the Division of Ordained Ministry (General Board of Higher Education and Ministry).
  • Local pastors who are retired, are appointed, and have not yet completed the Basic Course of Study must continue with Course of Study classes.

5 Year COS Plan

COS Course Goals

Regional Course of Study Schools

Extension Course of Study Schools

Other Languages Course of Study Schools

Please Click Here for more information from GBHEM on Course of Study.

You can also view their Facebook Page by Clicking Here.

For information about Emory COS please Click Here.

The Florida Satellite School is a program sponsored by the Emory Course of Study School and endorsed by the Florida Annual Conference and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

All classes offered through the Florida Satellite School are hybrid classes. This means that 15 contact hours are conducted in a residential format over the course of one weekend (Friday and Saturday). The other 5 contact hours are conducted online before and after the class meets in person. Classes are offered throughout the state during the course of the year. 

The Florida Satellite School is designed for part-time local pastors who have met the following requirements: 

  • a certified candidate for ministry
  • completed the requirements for licensing as a local pastor
  • received endorsement by the Annual Conference Board of Ordained Ministry

Supply pastors and those eligible for, but not currently under, appointment may attend if endorsed by their District Superintendent and their Annual Conference. Full-time local pastors are not eligible to attend an extension school or a satellite school and must attend a regional school.

Worship is a vital part of our time together, thus we will begin with worship on the first weekend of each session and worship together again time on the second Saturday at 1:00 pm and then return to class until 5:00pm. Registration will begin at 5:00pm on the first Friday of each session, followed by worship at 5:30pm.

Visit the Florida Schedule and Syllabus page for a full list of class offering, assignments, and class dates.

Licensing School and Course of Study Contact at Candler School of Theology, Emory University:
Amy Walker
Licensing School and Course of Study School
(404) 727-4587

For information about Duke COS please Click Here.

Effective September 2018, both Weekend and Summer Course of Study will be transitioned to a hybrid format.

What does this mean for you? It means you will receive the same great education in a format that requires less travel and time on campus. Rather than delivering all 20 contact hours of a course in a classroom on campus, hybrid courses will meet for 8 hours online and 12 hours in-person on campus. The online portion of the course will take place for the two-week period before and the two-week period after the residency (4 hours before the residency and 4 hours after the residency). Online instruction will include features such as recorded lectures, engaging with your classmates on discussion board posts, and meeting with your class via web conferencing.

Weekend Course of Study participants will be required to be in residence for one weekend (Friday early afternoon - Saturday late afternoon) rather than three weekends. The residency weekends for the 2018-19 program will be: September 14 -15, November 9-10, January 18-19, and March 22-23.

Summer Course of Study participants will be required to be in residence for one week (Sunday evening - Friday) rather than two weeks. The residency weeks for the 2019 program will still take place in July. We are working to confirm the dates and details.

We will keep the Course of Study web pages updated as we roll out this new format:

Duke Course of Study Contact:
Barbara Campbell
Staff Assistant for Course of Study

Other COS Options:

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Methodist Theological School in Ohio

Saint Paul School of Theology

Transcripts and Records

COS Regional and Extension Schools will maintain student records and report them following each session to the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and to your Annual Conference.  Students can obtain a copy of the transcript by emailing The COS Office does not issue transcripts; those are only issued by GBHEM.

Contact Us

The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church

450 Martin L King Jr Ave
Lakeland, FL 33815

(863) 688-5563 or toll free (800) 282-8011