Course of Study students can look forward to several excellent courses this fall at Saint Paul School of Theology.
According to Dr. Lucas Endicott, Regional Director of the program, students will delve into a range of topics including history of the Early Church, how to read and exegete the Bible and current practices in evangelism.
Course of Study is a required continuing education program for licensed local pastors, those who have been certified for ordained ministry and those who are under appointment in the United Methodist Church. Endicott works closely with the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry to lead the Regional COS program at Saint Paul. He also recruits new students and teachers, plans course schedules and facilitates the program for current students.
Since joining the Saint Paul family in March of this year, Endicott has especially enjoyed “encountering students who ask tough questions and think deeply. This hard but important work makes all the difference in how we think, live and act in community.”
Besides the upcoming courses, Course of Study is now integrated into the Populi online portal. This will help COS students connect with the broader Saint Paul community, navigate program progression and complete registration and billing more easily. For the Fall 2021 semester, courses will take place online.
Collaborative Learning from Peers and Experts
The most exciting thing about Course of Study, Endicott says, is that courses are taught by experts in the field, many of whom are practitioners who are actually doing this work day in and day out. Students benefit from engaging content guided by committed instructors, with an emphasis on peer-learning with new and familiar colleagues.
Developed by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry in the United Methodist Church, Course of Study is administered by approved seminaries including Saint Paul. It provides a space where licensed pastors and others can think deeply and critically about theology and the life of the church.
The basic five-year program provides a year-round intensive learning experience for both full- and part-time ministers. Students participate in classroom and experiential learning involving cooperation between Saint Paul instructors and clergy mentors. The result is a solid foundation in theory and practice.
Integrating Technology into the Learning Experience
Starting this fall, Populi will streamline the Course of Study experience, enabling students to access their classes, communicate with instructors and pay online.
Course of Study students often balance many roles and complex schedules, Endicott points out. Populi will bring clarity and make processes involving registering and completing courses much more straightforward. It will also be much easier for students to update their contact information.
Preparing for Effective Leadership
Course of Study enables pastors to further their ministry by wrestling with challenging texts while working with instructors who are experts in their respective fields. Students also glean important insights from their peers who are in similar places in ministry. These provide a space where COS students can excel as they hone their skills.
Thanks to support from the General Board of Higher Education, Endicott explains, students gain access to the best available scholarship in the areas most critical to church leadership.
Endicott is excited to work with the learning community at Saint Paul, where students receive the best tools available for their development. “Ministry is both important and challenging,” he says. “Investing in preparation and education for this work builds muscles Course of Study students will use for years.”
The deadline for fall registration is September 1. If you have questions about Course of Study at Saint Paul, you may call 913-253-5051 or contact program coordinator Jennifer Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.