Education, Training & Retreats

Ministry Exploration Summit

If you are just beginning to explore your call to ministry, plan to join a New England Conference Ministry Exploration Summit. A summit is a gathering of folks in the early stages of candidacy or discernment as well as experienced Clergy and Laypersons from the different ministry paths. Anyone interested in lay, licensed or ordained ministry is welcomed and encouraged to join one of these events. Participation in a Summit is required to become a Certified Candidate or a Certified Lay Minister. Participation in a summit fulfills the "Orientation to Ministry" requirement. Summits are offered twice each year (usually January and August).

Ministry Exploration Summit Facts
Next Summit:
  August 25-26, 2017, in Manchester, NH
August 2017 Mail-In Registration Form 

August 2017 Online Registration
(with credit card payment option)
August 2017 Email Registration E-Form

The registration fee of $150 covers all meals as well as one night's hotel stay (double occupancy).
Contact the BOM Registrar, or (603) 892-0359

Local Pastor Licensing School

The New England Conference offers Local Pastor Licensing School once per year. To register, read the Brochure and Registration Form and return the completed form to the Registrar. Your District Superintendent must sign.

Licensing School Registrar:  Deborah Venator, or (603) 892-0359

The 2018 dates and registration will be available approximately October 1, 2017.
Informational Brochure - LPLS 2017
2017 Local Pastor Licensing School (LPLS) Dates:
(1) Full Week Session: January 8-13, 2017 at Rolling Ridge Retreat Center, North Andover, MA
(2) Saturday Sessions: February 4, February 11, and March 4, 2017 at Wilmington UMC (MA)
Registration for the 2017 Local Pastor Licensing School is closed.
Questions? Contact the LPLS Registrar, or (603) 892-0359

New Pastor Orientation

If at least one-third of a Master of Divinity degree has been completed, the licensing school requirement is fulfilled by attending the New Pastor Orientation (instead of Local Pastor Licensing School). If you have already completed Local Pastor Licensing School, you do not need to attend the NPO unless your dCOM has required it. The New Pastor Orientation is held once per year, in late May or June.

2017 New Pastor Orientation (NPO) Dates: June 1-2, 2017
Registration Form & Info
Contact the Registrar, or (603) 892-0359.

Course of Study

The Course of Study (COS) is the required continuing education for Local Pastors. These courses must be taken from an approved school. Please see the school lists below. There are 20 required courses which can be seen in this COS Chart.

COS policies from GBHEM (Jan 2017)
GBHEM COS Offerings & Information (Registration for August 2017 courses will begin June 1, 2017).
COS Facebook page for information from GBHEM
New England Satellite COS in Maine, September & October 2017

When: September 8-9 and October 13-14, 2017
Where: Brunswick, ME at the Brunswick UMC. 
COS Courses offered are CS-224 and CS-324
Registration Form & Info

Local Pastor (LP) Registrar for the New England Conference:

Pastor Richard Rego
79 Townsend Ave
Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538
(207) 633-2131

COS Registration Signatures Please note that COS registration does REQUIRE the proper signatures for registration. Please see the recent statement of the COS policies regarding permission to take and receive credit for COS courses. After your DS has signed your COS registration form, send your form to the New England LP Registrar using the contact information listed above. If you would like the LP Registrar to mail your registration on to the school or back to you, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope in your letter. You may send your form electronically using email and the LP Registrar will email the signed form back to you.

COS Scholarships
Scholarships for Local Pastors taking Course of Study are limited to $250 per course for a maximum of two courses per year (maximum total of $500 per year). If your COS school required you to pay the full tuition upfront, send your grade report/transcript to the LP Registrar (contact info listed above) along with a note requesting the scholarship.

COS Progress As per the BOD, until the COS curriculum (20 courses) is completed, part-time local pastors should take two courses per year and full-time local pastors should take four courses per year. If this schedule is not possible, a local pastor should discuss this with their dCOM. If there is a reason adequate progress cannot be reasonably made, the dCOM may submit a request to the BOM for a 1-year extension. This is an annual request and, therefore, must be re-submitted if the issue persists into another year. COS Extension Form - dCOM to BOM

Local Pastor (LP) Committee Chair: Rev. Karen Peters,, 18 Cedar St., Marblehead, MA 01945. If you have any questions or suggestions related to being a Local Pastor in the New England Conference, please contact the LP Chairperson.

Graduate Theological Education

Provisional Leadership Academy

The provisional member's ministry during the residency period establishes lifelong patterns.  This is a time when excellence in ministry is modeled and nurtured by clergy mentors, teachers, and supervisors.  The expectation is that patterns of excellence fostered through mentoring, continuing theological education, covenant groups, and supervision will yield effectiveness in ministry.  Additional information on each of these areas can be found in the Provisional Leadership Academy Guide, prepared by the Board of Ordained Ministry.
For more information regarding the PLA, please contact Committee Co-Chair Steve Garnass-Holmes (

Continuing Education for the Ordained

Information about continuing Ed for Ordained persons can be found at this link.