General Information

HISTORY — This License to Preach School has a unique tradition. While it has roots reaching back more than 60 years, the present school was established in 1956 as an alternative to the correspondence course to fulfill the educational requirements for the former License to Preach. This school is one of the few residential schools in The United Methodist Church where a candidate could complete the education necessary for the first step into ordained ministry. Presently this school provides candidates preparing for ordained ministry the opportunity to complete the required studies for the License as a Local Pastor.

PHILOSOPHY — The basic foundation of this school is that experienced pastors who are active in local churches have the necessary knowledge and skills to help prepare candidates for ministry. As members of the covenant of ordained United Methodist clergy, pastors of the Annual Conference have a primary responsibility to assess candidates concerning their gifts for ministry. In this way the school shares this responsibility with District Committees on Ministry, Board of Ordained Ministry, and schools of theology for the preparation of persons for ministry.

The primary goal of the school is to prepare the student for immediate pastoral leadership in a local church. The academic emphasis is toward relevance and applicability in the local church. Therefore, the school's educational direction is on practicality, and the studies are unapologetically a 'crash course' on ministry in a local church.

An 11-day intensive school allows for a deep fellowship to develop between faculty and students. The connectional church becomes real when students from various conferences participate daily in study, worship, meals, and conversation.

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS — Persons wanting to enroll in the school must meet two qualifications. First, each person must be a Certified Candidate. Second, the candidate must obtain the signature of his/her District Superintendent on his/her application form as an approval of participation in school. Download the application, complete it and mail it to the registrar with your $50 non-refundable registration fee (refer below to cost breakdown).

Each candidate must submit the application form and the registration fee. The application form and registration must be sent to the registrar. Enrollment is limited. The application deadline is April 30, 2020.

COST — The expense of the school is met by the application and tuition fees of the students and (in some cases) the student's Annual Conference Board of Ordained Ministry.

A registration fee of $50 must accompany the student's application form. Tuition (including room and board) is $750 for in-conference Illinois Great Rivers applicants and $1,200 for out-of-conference applicants. The tuition payment is due by June 3 2020. Textbooks and personal expenses at the school are additional.

All accommodations are double occupancy. Private rooms can be secured for an additional cost of $350. Requests for a private room must be made directly to the Director.

DATES — The dates for the Illinois Great Rivers'  2016 School for License as a Local Pastor are Sunday, July 12 through Thursday, July 23, 2020 . Check in time begins at 4 p.m. on July 12. Housing will be provided at the Baymont Inn, 5871 S. 6th St., Springfield, IL. Further information will be sent as the start of Licensing School nears.  A gathering and orientation will be held on Sunday evening at 5 p.m., with classes beginning Monday morning, July 13. Check-out time is at 11 a.m. on July 23.

Please make plans to be in Springfield at the provided accommodations and in attendance at each class through the entire school session. Classes are held both on Saturday and Sunday.

The Illinois Great Rivers School for License as a Local Pastor is held at the United Methodist Center, 5900 S. Second St. in Springfield. Housing will be at the Baymont Inn. All breakfasts and nearly all lunches will be provided; dinners (except for the last night banquet) are on the student’s own. All provided meals and accommodations are included in the costs noted above.

Please make plans to be on site through the entire school session.

CURRICULUM — The courses will be in the areas of Interpreting Scripture Through Preaching, Bible, Worship, Theology of Methodism in Church History, Spiritual Formation, Discipline, Pastoral Care. The school is in session for 11 days with some classes meeting only some of the days and others meeting every day. Each class is based on a pass/fail evaluation. In order to successfully complete the school, the student must pass every course. Evaluations for each course will be forwarded to the student's District Committee on Ministry, Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, the Division on the Ordained Ministry (Nashville), Bishop and the student.

The student is required to stay on-site the entire period of the school. Because of the academic intensity of the curriculum, family members are asked to not come to visit students. The end of school banquet and graduation, however, are open to family members. The cost per family member for the banquet will be $10.

Required text books can be purchased through Discipleship Resources, Cokesbury, or

If you have any questions concerning a specific class, please contact the instructor directly. If you have questions concerning the school, please contact the Director.

CONTACT INFORMATION — Patty Johansen, 818 Vermont St., Quincy, IL  62301-3048.  217-222-7468.