The excellence in ministry to which God calls ministers requires a lifetime of study and learning. Though the Bible remains constant, methods of understanding and communicating it are constantly changing. The theology of the church changes very little in a person’s lifetime, but different emphases arise to meet the needs of a changing culture. To be a good steward of the ministry will require lifelong learning.
Manual 527.6 says, “Once a minister has fulfilled the requirements of a validated course of study for ministry, he or she will continue a pattern of lifelong learning to enhance the ministry to which God has called him or her. A minimum expectation is 20 hours of lifelong learning each year…”
A variety of brokers or providers of continuing education can help you fulfill the expectations stated in Manual 527.6. You may take a course or courses for lifelong learning credit at a college, university, or seminary. You may participate in lifelong learning events provided by Northwest Nazarene University, Nazarene Bible College, Nazarene Theological Seminary, or the ORPAC District. Most hospitals and local or state mental health organizations provide continuing education opportunities that can be used to meet the annual lifelong learning requirement.
- What constitutes a Lifelong Learning Hour? Generally, a Lifelong Learning Hour is one (1) 60-minute hour of engagement in a qualifying learning experience. For example, by participating in a qualifying 2-hour workshop a minister completes two hours of Lifelong Learning.
- What kind of event or opportunity qualifies for Lifelong Learning Hours? Nazarene colleges and universities, regional and district offices, and the Global Ministry Center endeavor to provide quality Lifelong Learning opportunities to our ministers. However, there are a multitude of other opportunities that qualify for Lifelong Learning Hours, including online events (such as classes, webinars, live-streamed or archived conference sessions, etc.), classes or presentations available for participation through video-conferencing, and face-to-face classes or special educational events (such as a preaching conference, or a session on pre-marital counseling presented by a community organization, etc.). You can also read Grace and Peace Magazine for up to 4 LLHs per year. A Lifelong Learning event does not have to be religious in nature; however, each learning opportunity in which a minister participates should contribute meaningfully to his or her overall development plan. Report your lifelong learning hours as pertaining to one of the following four categories.
Content – the biblical, theological, and historical knowledge necessary for ministry;
Competency – the development of skills for ministry;
Character – the strengthening and enriching of the minister as a person; and
Context – the deepening of the understanding of the ministry environment.
If you have any questions about Lifelong Learning Hours, please email [email protected].