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Leadership Development

We Are Called

Candidate Resources

For specific candidacy forms please click here

leadership development candidate resources

Rev. Quaya Ackerman, local licensed pastor.

Scholarships, loans and grants 

The Dakotas Conference of The United Methodist Church provides student aid for certified candidates through seminary and course of study loan or grants, as well as debt reduction relief for new clergy within the conference. Click here for the current student aid guidelines. For more information, please contact the Office of Leadership Development. Here are some of the forms and applications:

Application for seminary loan or grant

Application for course of study loan or grant

Application for ministerial education debt reduction grant

Promissary note (required for seminary and course of study loan or grants)

Merit Scholarship application (scholarships distributed through the Dakotas United Methodist Foundation)


United Methodist Seminaries

The University Senate of The United Methodist Church provides a list of approved seminaries. Online classes are now only approved for those that are taken at one of the United Methodist seminaries.  View the list of approve seminaries here.


Licensing school 

The Dakotas Conference conducts a week-long licensing school. This is the first step of training to become a local licensed pastor. Rev.Val Reinhiller serves as the Dean or Director of Licensing and Lay Ministry School. View information and registration for the Dakotas Conference licensing school.


Course of Study

The Basic Five-Year Course of Study is a year-round experiential and classroom learning process. This process assumes cooperation between the instructors in the Course of Study Schools and the clergy mentors in the annual conferences. Each Regional Course of Study School shall offer all 20 courses of the Basic Five-Year COS and shall seek to meet the needs of both the full-time and part-time local pastors. Normally courses are to be taken in the sequence prescribed by the curriculum. At a minimum, students are expected to take first year courses in the first year of study and fifth year courses in the final year of study. In addition to these basic curriculum courses, the school may provide a communication skills program for students. Other special programs, like part-time local pastor course of study, may be funded at the discretion of the schools or the Division of Ordained Ministry and other programs that meet student needs. Course of Study guidelines