United Methodist Studies

Boston University School of Theology was founded in 1839 as the first Methodist seminary in the United States after its New England founders agreed on the need for a theological institution “based on the principles of Christianity, as exhibited in Wesleyan Methodism.” As one of 13 United Methodist theological schools in the United States, Boston University School of Theology is committed to equipping leaders for the future of the United Methodist church through strong faculty mentors, ordination guidance and scholarships.

Ordination Requirements: Students pursuing ordination should work closely with their advisors and their denominations or congregations to be sure that all course requirements are fulfilled. United Methodist students should take the time to be in conversation or have a meeting with their district superintendent or member of the District Committee on Ordained Ministry (DCOM). Please consult your advisor or the Academic Dean if you have questions about your path to ordination.

While students are responsible for being aware of their own conference ordination requirements, the School of Theology offers all of the courses required by the Book of Discipline for ordination whether as a deacon or elder. The school requires MDiv students to take two courses each in

  • Hebrew Bible (6 credits)
  • New Testament (6 credits)
  • Theology (6 credits) and Church History (6 credits). The course sequence “Intro to Christian Traditions” and “Christianity Engaging Modernity” required in the first year of study combine Theology and Church History in a unique way and provide 3 of the Theology and 3 of the History credits mentioned in the previous sentence. By the end of that sequence, students will have taken the equivalent of an Intro to Church History course and an Intro to Theology course. MDiv students are then required to take an additional course in church history and an additional course in theology, bringing the total for each discipline to 6 credits.

In addition the school offers the following, which can be taken at any time during a student’s degree program (no prerequisites):

  • TC-723 United Methodist Polity and Ministry (3 credits) and TH-821 The History and Doctrine of the United Methodist Church (4 credits) [please note: the UMC requires 2 credits each in Polity, History, and Doctrine; at STH, we organize those into two courses that satisfy those three requirements]
  • TC-835 Evangelism and Contemporary Cultures
  • TM-815 Christian Mission
  • TC-817 Introduction to Christian Worship

United Methodist Ordination Scholarships – MDiv, MTS, and MSM (only those without a prior MDiv/MTS) students pursuing ordination as an elder or a deacon in the United Methodist Church are given 100% tuition scholarships upon admission into their degree program provided that they submit a signed letter from a District Superintendent, Board of Ordained Ministry member, Candidacy Mentor, Bishop, or Annual Conference-level Ecclesiastical Superior specifically stating that the student is registered with the GBHEM as admitted to candidacy for ordained ministry in the UMC.  The letter should be sent to the Admissions Office as part of the application process or, if candidacy begins after admission, to the Financial Aid Officer for processing. The letter must be on official letterhead. PDF copies of signed letters are acceptable. STM, D.Min. and Ph.D. students are not eligible.

Faculty and Alumni: The School of Theology includes a number of faculty, staff and alumni who are United Methodist and who provide leadership in The United Methodist Church including boards, agencies, and local churches.

United Methodist Faculty at STH

For more information on Methodist Studies at Boston University School of Theology, please contact Dr. Bryan Stone, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (bpstone@bu.edu), Dr. Wanda Stahl, Director of Contextual Education and Congregational Partnerships (wstahl@bu.edu), or Dr. Cristian De La Rosa, Director of Contextual Education and Community Partnerships (cdlrosa@bu.edu).