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Clergy Continuing Education

Education and Continuing Formation for Clergy

“Throughout their careers, clergy shall engage in continuing education for ministry, professional development and spiritual formation and growth in order to lead the church in fulfilling the mission of making disciples for Jesus Christ.”

(¶350.1 of the 2016 Book of Discipline)

Who is required to participate in Continuing Education?
The following persons are required to receive a minimum of 1.0 CEU per year and at least 8.0 CEU’s per quadrennium.
•Full-time local pastors who have completed the Course of Study or an M.Div. degree
•Associate Members under appointment
•Full Members (Deacons and Elders) under appointment
•Certified Lay Professionals 

The following persons are required to receive a minimum of 0.5 CEU per year and at least 2.0 CEU’s per quadrennium.
• Part-time local pastors who have completed the Course of Study or an M.Div. degree
Persons in the above relationships involved in ongoing theological education (including enrollment in Course of Study, seminary, CPE, D.Min. and Ph.D. programs) are fulfilling their CEU requirements by their participation in these programs. 

Provisional Elders and Deacons are fulfilling their CEU requirements by their participation in the Provisional Membership curriculum.

Clergy on Honorable Location, Administrative Location, Leave of Absence, and Medical Leave do not have a CEU requirement.  

Continuing Education Opportunities

Each year the Virginia Conference UMC hosts various continuing education opportunities for clergy. We also publicize additional opportunities.
Check out the 2022-2023 continuing education opportunities.

Funding for Continuing Education Opportunities: Continuing Education and Clergy Development Fund

Each year all active clergy in the VAUMC (not including retired clergy) are eligible to apply for continuing education and Clergy Development Funding. Read the descriptions below to see where you should apply for funding. Email Jessie Colwell at [email protected] for additional questions.

Continuing Education Funds

Continuing Education Funds come from local congregations through the Ministerial Education Fund apportionment. Applicants are received and awarded on a rolling basis. Clergy members can only apply one time a year for these funds (July 1-July 1). A minimum of 0.5 C.E.U.’s or its equivalent must be available at the event, coaching opportunity, pilgrimage, DMin class etc. in order for clergy to be eligible to receive these funds.

How much is available?

$200 (if you make more than $50,000 a year) or $400 (if you make less than $50,000 a year) are available annually for clergy to continue their education.

To apply for Continuing Education Funds go here.

Are you looking to receive continuing education credit?
If you are looking to receive Continuing Education Credit (C.E.U.’S) for an event you are having, or a class you have attended apply here.

Sometimes, clergy have a need of funds over Continuing Education funds to pursue additional education and clergy development opportunities. In these situations, clergy are eligible to apply for a Clergy Development Grant. It is possible to apply for both Continuing Education funds and Clergy Development funds, but the two different applications will need to be completed.

Clergy Development Funds
Clergy Development Grants come from local congregations through the Ministerial Education Fund apportionment. Applications are received quarterly (October 1, 2023, January 1, 2024, April 1, 2024, and July 1, 2024). Clergy members request grants for continuing education and development beyond the scope of what is available in Continuing Education Funds. Grant requests range from $400-$3,000. The selection committee for these grants if the Clergy Effectiveness Committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry. Selections and disbursements occur one month after applications are due. Applicants are notified by the Center for Clergy Excellence. Clergy are eligible to apply for these funds annually (July 1-July 1).

Additional requirements to apply for this grant is:
1) A recommendation from your District Superintendent
2) A recommendation from your SPRC/PPR Chair or Supervisor (if the applicant is in extension ministry)
Both of these recommendations can be sent to the respective people above using this link:

These funds are not available for those completing doctorates or those completing classes for seminary degree.

To apply for a Clergy Development Grant go here.

Reporting and Accountability

Clergy will make an annual report to the district superintendent on continuing education completed during the year. The district superintendent shall review the clergyperson’s continuing education in light of the annual evaluation by the Staff/Pastor Parish Relations Committee or supervisor if in an extension/beyond the local church appointment. In their annual meeting, the district superintendent and clergyperson shall discuss improvements made toward effectiveness in ministry and future needs for continuing education.

If you are awarded funding for a clergy development grant, upon completion of your educational opportunity you are required to fill out the evaluation of learning form before you are eligible to apply for additional funding.

Clinical Pastoral Education 

In order to apply for full membership and ordination you must complete 0.5 units of Clinical Pastoral Education from an Accredited (ACPE) placement.

Check out the upcoming Winter 2023, Summer 2023 Opportunities.

Spiritual Vitality Resources: Check out additional spiritual vitality resources here.

For more information Check Out the Links Below

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