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The Course of Study

What is the Course of Study?

The educational preparation required of all Nazarene ministers who seek to be licensed and ordained is called the Course of Study. The course of study curriculum is designed to develop the range of abilities needed for effective ministry. Each course of study must be approved and validated by the General Board and Board of General Superintendents. Those preparing for ministry must complete a validated Course of Study program and must adhere to the specific guidelines of the region on which they hold membership in the Church of the Nazarene. The requirements for education and ordination on the Asia-Pacific Region can be found in the Asia-Pacific Region Sourcebook on Ordination & Ministerial Development.

Who can enroll?

Anyone can enroll, but the program is especially designed for those who will serve as clergy. Those who do not have a specific call to be ordained or serve as clergy are encouraged to take courses for personal enrichment and more effective ministry in their local churches.

What are the requirements for admission into the course of study?

There are different ways to be enrolled in the course of study, depending on the policies of a local district or Field. Generally, a pastor’s recommendation is needed. In most cases, there is no formal educational requirement. We want our ministry preparation to be accessible to everyone, no matter their educational background or experience.

How is it delivered?

  1. Through an educational institution within the Church of the Nazarene.
  2. By extension classes held in churches, district centers, or other meeting locations.
  3. By online courses through some institutional providers.

How much does it cost?

Each local situation will be different, so students should consult the hub educational institution, district, or pastor. Costs are kept at a minimum in order to cover expenses.

What courses are required?

The Asia-Pacific validated Course of Study is made of 24 courses. The names of these courses may be slightly different, depending on the Field and language. You may click on any course to be taken to a website with the syllabus and learning materials.

Number Course ID Course Name
1 B101 Introduction to the Bible
2 PL101 Formation of Spiritual Discipline
3 B102 Wesleyan Interpretation of Scripture
4 DS101 Discipleship
5 B103 NT Exegesis: The Four Gospels
6 CP101 Church Planting Skills
7 TH101 Foundational Theology 1
8 TH102 Doctrine of Holiness
9 AD201 Nazarene Identity
10 B204 NT Exegesis: 1 Thessalonians
11 CH201 Church History 1
12 PL202 Pastoral Life (the life of the pastor)
13 B205 OT Exegesis: Pentateuch
14 CO201 Communicating Christ
15 TH203 Foundational Theology 2
16 PL203 Community Engagement
17 CR301 Intro to the Religions of Asia and the Pacific
18 BT301 Biblical Theology of Leadership
19 B306 OT Exegesis: Wisdom Literature
20 PT301 Intro to Pastoral Theology
21 AP301 Intro to Apologetics
22 B307 NT Exegesis: 1 John, 1 Peter, James
23 CE301 Christian Education
24 CH302 Church History 2


How long does it take to get through these courses?

The minimum time is three years full-time study. The Manual 532.4 states that once a person gets his or her first district license, he or she has ten years to complete the course of study. 

What resources are available for teachers and students?

The Asia-Pacific Region is developing learning resources for the above courses. As these are produced, they may be found at this website: http://www.equippingforservice.org. Please look under the tab called “Course of Study.” There are links on this website to additional resources from the USA/Canada Region and the Africa Region.

Can other courses be added to the above 24?

No, this curriculum has been approved and validated by the General Superintendents and General Board. It may not be altered. Minor changes and contextualization within the 24 courses is possible, for example, special class topics or assignments that meet the need of local situations.

Can non-Nazarene teaching materials be used for the courses?

It is possible to use non-Nazarene material as long as it fits the course topics and outline. The first choice should be material written by Nazarenes or other Wesleyan-holiness authors. When this is not available, teachers must use caution and wisdom to ensure doctrinal coherence.

Who can teach in the course of study?

The preference is for ordained Nazarene clergy with ministry experience (minimum of three years) and educational qualifications (usually at least a Bachelor’s degree). Any exceptions to this should be coordinated through the district superintendent, Field Education Coordinator, or Field Strategy Coordinator.

How long does it take to complete one course?

As a general guideline, there are about 40 learning hours per course. These can be sub-divided into class meeting times, assignments, group projects, or reading assignments. Some locations may have different requirements.

What types of assignments are required?

This will depend on the particular course. Every course will have four target locations for assignments: 1) students do their own personal study, 2) students interact with other students in small groups and cohorts, 3) students interact with local churches, and 4) students engage the community. One important assignment for every course is reading the Bible and writing a small reflection journal. By the time students finish all 24 courses, they will have read and journaled the entire Bible.

Who is involved in the learning process?

It is very important that students be assigned mentors with whom they can meet on a regular basis, at least once every 3-4 months. Preferably, these mentors will be ordained pastors who can encourage students and model ministry for them.

Do the classes have to be in English?

Absolutely not! Translation of course material into local languages is strongly encouraged. If any material is translated, teachers are encouraged to share this material with others who may teach the course in the future.

Other Items for Leaders:

  1. Accurate records must be kept by the student, District Ministerial Studies Board, and educational institution.
  2. Teachers should work closely with local pastors and churches, encouraging students to be active in ministry while they learn.