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Licensing School

Virginia Conference Board of Ordained Ministry
Licensing School Student Information

Thursday, May 18 – Thursday, 25, 2023
In-Person Event with Online Coursework required before arrival

The Virginia Board of Ordained Ministry will host a Licensing School from May 18 – 25. Classes will be in-person at Eastern Mennonite Seminary. Participation is mandatory at all events for clergy who are entering their first appointments -– licensed local pastors, provisional elders and provisional deacons. 

Registration is by invitation only. Please contact your District Superintendent for information on how to register if you have found this page through a web search.

Below you will find samples of the syllabus and other documentation related to Licensing School from 2022. Please check back periodically as we will be updating this information for 2023.

Virginia Licensing School Student Packet 2023 (available soon)
This packet includes detailed student information – a list of course meetings, textbooks needed for Licensing School and sermon submission guidelines.

2023 Licensing School Schedule 
This document contains all assignments, due dates, and materials you need to complete the requirements for licensing school. We recommend that you download this file to your desktop. The second page is the Table of Contents and you will notice it has hyperlinks so that you can move through the pages of the syllabus more easily.

Details for Licensing School Thursday, May 18- Thursday, May 25, 2023

Official Invitation

In order to attend Licensing School, you must receive an invitation from the District Superintendent or the Board of Ordained Ministry.

The 2023 Session of Licensing School is scheduled to take place in person at Eastern Mennonite Seminary: 1181 Smith Avenue, Harrisonburg, VA 22802.

Participation is mandatory at all events for clergy who are entering their first appointments–licensed local pastors, provisional elders, and provisional deacons. Please read on for more details.

COVID-19 Protocols

The Licensing School planning team is considering pandemic conditions and is monitoring trends regarding COVID-19. The team will send updates as the dates for Licensing School approach.

Registration Link

coming soon


Friday, May 6th, midnight. This deadline is non-negotiable in order to forecast appointments as well as needs for licensing school.


The cost to students in the Virginia Conference: $275

The cost to students has been subsidized with a generous gift from the  Board of Ordained Ministry.

The cost for students attending from other conferences: $550

The online registration site will accept payment by credit card or printed invoice to pay by check. If a candidate expects to receive scholarship money either from their district or from their church additional instructions can be found on the website.


As mentioned above, in person, Eastern Mennonite Seminary: 1181 Smith Avenue, Harrisonburg, VA 22802


On-Line Course Work

The Book of Discipline requires that Licensing School include 80 hours of teaching, including the basic United Methodist Courses: Educational Ministries, Methodist Doctrine/Polity, and Mission and Evangelism.

In order to shorten the time you have to be away from home, we have moved some of this learning online.  The Center for Clergy Excellence has purchased these courses to be taken on-line for the Licensing School Class of 2023.

Students who have had: Methodist Doctrine/Polity, Mission and Evangelism, and Educational Ministries as part of their MDIV degree may opt out of these courses and complete the attached assignment.

If you are opting out, you must email [email protected] with your alternate assignment.

All pre-course work must be completed prior to your arrival on Thursday, May 18, 2023.

Required Response: Preaching Practicum Assignment
Deadline: Friday, May 12, 2023
You are required to submit and present a sermon for the preaching practicum portion of Licensing School. You may recall in your registration that there was a place to upload your sermon.
● Send your sermon directly to Lyn Harding in the office of Clergy Excellence: [email protected].
● Please identify that you are a Licensing School Student and which assignment you are sending.
● The directions for the sermon practicum are attached.
● Be sure to bring a printed copy of your sermon to Licensing School

Required Work: Clergy Ethics Training
Deadline: Wednesday, May 17, 2023
All persons receiving first time appointments in the Virginia Conference must receive Clergy Ethics training and every proceeding quadrennium. In the Virginia Conference Clergy Ethics training in two parts:
• Clergy Ethics Training part I: Understanding Clergy Ethics:
• Clergy Ethics Training part II: Clergy Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect:
Please take both of these trainings prior to your arrival on Thursday, May 18, 2023. Clergy Excellence will receive notification once you have taken the trainings.

Required Response: Intercultural Development Inventory
Deadline: Thursday, May 17, 2023
On Sunday, May 21, at Licensing School, you will experience a group debrief for the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI).
You will receive a link to take the assessment. After you take the assessment it is essential that you email: [email protected] and let her know you have completed the assessment. If you cannot find your link, Crystal is your point of contact.


Students, staff, and faculty will be staying on campus in Residence Hall. 

All rooms are single occupancy and all rooms include a private bath. Because the Residence Hall can accommodate all participants no additional lodging is being offered by the VAUMC.


The refectory on Shenandoah’s Campus provides multiple options including options for those with special diets and/or health concerns.

Things to Anticipate Moving Forward

Save the Date!
First Time Appointee Just In Time Training and Banquet with Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson
Monday, May 15, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., at the Virginia Conference Center,
10330 Staples Mill Rd., Glen Allen, VA 23060
You will be receiving details for this event in a separate email.

Annual Conference
In the coming weeks you will receive details on the opportunities and requirements for you at Annual Conference, scheduled to take place beginning with the Clergy Session at 2:00pm, Wednesday, June 14 through Saturday, June 17 at 12:00 noon at the Roanoke Berglund Center, 710 Williamson Rd NE, Roanoke, VA 24016. In the meantime, please put these dates on your calendar and be prepared to attend the four days. Details for registration, housing, and more – can be found here:

In preparing for annual conference you will need to purchase a clergy robe. A gentle note that Licensed Local Pastors do not wear stoles in the United Methodist tradition. Vestments must not give the appearance of a stole. Any decoration on the front panels of the robe must be met at the middle leaving no gap. For more information on clergy vestments visit:

LLP Mentoring Groups
The United Methodist Church requires all Licensed Local Pastors receive mentoring in groups organized by district. Groups meet quarterly and follow a guide of topics provided by the VAUMC. Mentors turn in reports quarterly to share progress with the Conference. Clergy Excellence will work to have you assigned to your LLP Mentoring Group by the time you leave Licensing School on Thursday, May 25.


United Methodist Handbook

Clergy Ethics – Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect

Connectional Polity

Worship & Preaching

Theology (PowerPoint Presentation)


Weddings & Funerals

Church Leadership & Administration

Communications (PDF)

Pensions & Health Benefits

Pastoring 101

Pastoral Care

Unity Training Video

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