pastor scholar program

Recharge, refresh, and renew yourself for ministry and life in the Pastor Scholar Program. Study with Boston University School of Theology’s world class faculty and dedicated students in an intellectually challenging and spiritually rewarding atmosphere. Pastor scholars can take regular Boston University School of Theology courses for continuing education credit. Tuition for the semester is $150 per course.

Registration dates:                    

  • Fall semester: May 20 – August 1; 
  • Spring semester: November 15 – December 15

2018 Fall semester starts on Tuesday, September 4, 2018.


Select School of Theology courses are open to Pastor Scholars with the permission of the professor. Go to Fall ’18 Schedule. Final. 6-27-18 for the up-coming semester. Courses not available to pastor-scholar or BU Evergreen students are: first-year courses for MDiv and MTS students (Intro to Christian Traditions, Christianity Engaging Modernity, Intro to New Testament, Hebrew Bible, and Stewarding), contextual education courses, doctoral seminars, directed studies, and travel seminars.


Pastor scholars attend their chosen course regularly, do all course reading, complete any additional requirements stipulated by the professor, and participate in classroom activities and discussions. The extent to which Pastor Scholars take exams or hand in assignments is left to the discretion of the professor.  At the end of the semester, Pastor Scholars submit a 1,500 word essay to the Office of Community Life and Lifelong Learning on one aspect of the course that is particularly relevant to their own life and work. Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) will only be granted when the essay is received.

Courses may not be joined after the second full week that the class has met. Language courses may be taken by pastor scholars, but only with the expectation that all course requirements will be fulfilled. Language courses require a whole academic year commitment.

Ordination Credit

Individuals seeking to take a course to meet United Methodist ordination requirements (specifically, the 9 courses that comprise the UMC Basic Graduate Theological Studies (BGTS) courses – Old Testament, New Testament, theology, church history, mission, worship/liturgy, evangelism, UM Polity, and UM history and doctrine – may not do so through the Pastor Scholar program, but must instead take the course as a “special student” so that the work completed may appear on an academic transcript with a grade. The same is true for students in other denominations or traditions who are taking a course to meet ordination requirements. All of the required work for the course must be completed as with a regular seminary course. The application for admission as a special student is streamlined. Please contact the Admissions Office at For persons pursuing ordination and taking courses required for UMC, UCC, Episcopal, or UU ordination, STH is able to provide 70% tuition scholarships, thereby greatly reducing the total cost of each four credit course. UMC Students should also check into the possibility of receiving a United Methodist GBHEM grant for part-time study leading to ordination here. That grant, if received, would be applied to the total original tuition charge.


This program is available by application only to those who show sufficient preparation and interest to carry out the work of the class. Pastor scholars will usually have a masters degree or its equivalent.


Pastor scholars can earn up to three CEU’s per course for their regular participation. Academic credit may not be gained, earned, or accrued. Courses taken as a pastor scholar cannot be applied to a degree program and do not appear on a BU transcript. At the satisfactory completion of all program requirements for that course, pastor scholars receive a certificate of completion attesting to the CEUs they have earned. The Pastor Scholar program is an invitation to a community of learning, not a degree program.


Interested pastors, counselors, denominational staff, Christian educators, and other church professionals are invited to apply. Students who were not in good academic or financial standing with Boston University School of Theology, who are currently on leave of absence from the school, who have withdrawn themselves, or who have been withdrawn by the School of Theology in prior semesters are not eligible without approval from the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.

If you would like to apply to the Pastor Scholar program, please fill out the application and email it to the program administrator Valentina Pride at

Pastor Scholar Application