Women who are enrolled in one of Wesleyan's online degree programs can pursue ordination as elders without taking the traditional seminary route.

A new partnership between Wesleyan College and the United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) will offer college credit for women who are enrolled in GBHEM's pastoral training program, the Course of Study. The Course of Study is designed for those who wish to serve as local pastors in The United Methodist Church and possibly pursue ordination as elders without taking the traditional seminary route.

Women who are enrolled in one of Wesleyan College's online degree programs (Business Administration, Accounting or Applied Psychology) and in the Course of Study program may earn 36 credits toward their Wesleyan degree upon successful completion of the entire Course of Study. Credits are assigned as follows:

  • 21 credits for equivalent courses in Religious Studies, leading to a minor in Religious Studies.
  • 15 additional general elective credits upon successful completion of the entire Course of Study with concurrent ministerial service.
  • In addition, three general education course requirements will be met when the Course of Study is completed (writing, speaking and exploring historical events).

All Wesleyan College courses required for graduation will be taught in an online format. This opportunity will allow more women - many who may work full-time or are of non-traditional college age - to complete their degree in a flexible format.


Interested students must Apply to Wesleyan College’s online degree program. A student can receive transfer credit for a maximum of 90 semester hours. Credit from a junior college may not exceed 60 semester hours. Credits earned in a quarter system are converted to semester hours by multiplying the quarter credits by .667. Wesleyan requires a minimum of 120 credits to graduate with a baccalaureate degree.


Following their completion of the Course of Study, local pastors may continue their preparation for full conference membership and ordination as elders through the Advanced Course of Study program. 

Interested students can learn more about the program and its requirements and apply to Wesleyan College’s online degree program or contact Enrollment Coordinator Jessica Tucker: jtucker@wesleyancollege.edu or (478) 757-3994. 

For more information about ordination through the Course of Study, contact Rev. Shannon Conklin-Miller, GBHEM’s associate general secretary for the Division of Ordained Ministry at sconklin-miller@gbhem.org or 615.340.7417.


Methodist crossWesleyan College is affiliated with The United Methodist Church and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award the baccalaureate degree, the master of education in early childhood education, the master of business administration, and the master of arts in industrial-organizational psychology. Wesleyan College is approved for listing by the University Senate as an institution that is affiliated with the United Methodist Church.

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