Students preparing for ordination should become aware as early as possible of any specific educational requirements their denomination or judicatory may expect them to satisfy in the course of their M.Div. work (e.g., in the biblical languages or in denominational history, doctrine, and polity) and to explore, with their academic advisers, how best to deal with these expectations.
The United Methodist Church
The requirements of The United Methodist Book of Discipline (par. 326, 1996 ed.) concerning work in United Methodist history, doctrine, and polity may be met by satisfactorily completing the following three courses: HX-6365, United Methodist History (3 term hours); ST-6034, United Methodist Doctrine (1.5 term hours); and CA-6013, United Methodist Polity (1.5 term hours). These courses are not required for the M.Div. degree; they are provided as a means of satisfying these requirements of the church in the context of the M.Div. program. The Book of Discipline also indicates that these requirements may be met in ways other than through regular course work, and students may wish to explore these other options.
The United Methodist Church revised its system for ordination at its General Conference in 1996. The provisions for education and preparation for all forms of professional status in ministry are expressed in detail in the books The Christian as Minister, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, The United Methodist Church, Nashville, Tennessee, 1997; and Ministry Inquiry Process, GBHEM, The United Methodist Church, Nashville, Tennessee, 1997.
The Episcopal Church
The Office for Ministry Development of the Episcopal Church describes Ordained Ministry as follows: “Discerning a call to ministry is done in community with others who know you and can reflect with you about your gifts and talents. These persons include clergy from a local or home congregation, chaplains at schools, members of the Bishop's staff or trusted friends. Each diocese structures its ordination process based on national canons and local context. In addition to the role of Commissions on Ministry many dioceses provide for discernment to take place in the Episcopal congregation or other community of faith to which you belong. Decisions about where your formation and education for ministry can best take place are made in consultation with the bishop of the diocese and the Commission on Ministry. “ In response to those needs, Perkins School of Theology offers a Certificate in Anglican Studies designed to meet rigorous standards of academic and spiritual preparation expected of clergy in the Episcopal Church as well as the larger Anglican Communion.