Where to begin

To enter the candidacy process, first talk with your minister and read The Christian as Minister. (Your pastor should be able to provide you with a copy of this book.) Then check our Candidates' Page to see the steps and who to contact. You can also attend a "Living Into My Yes" online inquiry session, where you'll be able to ask questions and develop a plan for your next steps.

To formally apply, you'll need to write a letter to your District Superintendent outlining your call to ministry. Once you're a candidate, you'll be assigned a mentor, an ordained person who will guide you through the process. 


Elders need a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from a seminary approved by the church. Deacons may also receive a M.Div., or they can obtain a Master's degree in their work field or a professional certification plus 27 theological study hours. Local pastors complete the Basic Five-Year Course of Study.

Scholarships and Loans

First, contact the financial aid office in the schools you're interested in, since many institutions offer scholarships. You can also find loans and scholarships available through GBHEM by visiting the Loans and Scholarships page. Our annual conference through the Board of Ordained Ministry (BOM), also helps candidates during the candidacy process and beyond. Check here to find out the details. Oh, and a helpful hint: more scholarships are available for certified candidates!