Professions of all kinds recognize “certifications.” Accountants are CPAs. Engineers are CPEs. Leaders in the church can get extra training to be professionally certified as well. Professional Certification is recognized by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) and requires a total of five courses -- Teaching the Bible, Teaching and Learning, Leadership and Administration, Teaching Theology, and United Methodist Studies. Most students from our conference attend classes at Perkins School of Theology at SMU. The students come from all over the country and serve as a learning community that extends beyond the time in class. The Texas Conference Christian Educators Fellowship (TCCEF) has a long history of supporting students in their certification studies through a scholarship program. After completing the required courses, The Texas Conference Board of Ordained Ministry members shepherd students through the final steps of interviews, recommendations, and simple paperwork to be recognized by the conference. Our churches are strengthened by having staff and laity who are theologically trained, practically equipped, and encouraged and inspired to serve in ministries ranging from children, youth, adult and other spiritual formation expressions.
In their ongoing effort to equip as many people for ministry as possible, Perkins School of Theology has revamped the course schedule for Christian Education and Children’s Ministry Certification courses, making it easier to complete the required courses in a shorter amount of time. Youth Ministry certification follows a similar schedule. This year, for the first time, students in all three programs will take the basic courses together. This is an excellent time for lay leaders, church staff and clergy to enter the process and meet their professional, ministry, and personal goals.
In 2020, two courses will be taught in the same year –Teaching the Bible (morning) and Teaching and Learning (afternoon). UM Studies is a hybrid online and in-class course that is offered every year. We do not recommend doing all three in one year. The days for the morning and afternoon sessions are Sunday – Friday, January 5 – 9, 2020. Perkins reserves a block of hotel rooms at a discounted rate for students. Lunch is included in the tuition. Registration is open now for the best early-bird prices. You can find lots of details on this link.
Teresa Rossy, director of Grow Ministries at Chapelwood United Methodist Church in Houston is the director of the program at Perkins. She is assisted by Barb Horsch, from Gibson City, Illinois, who is also a graduate of the program.
At the October meeting of Texas Conference Christian Educators Fellowship, Teresa Rossy will lead a program explaining the benefits of professional certification, both for the individual and for churches and other ministries. She will describe the program, answer questions, and share her story of transformation through participating in certification courses and the community of educators in the Texas Annual Conference. Wednesday, October 9, 12:00 p.m., St. Paul’s UMC Go to www.tccef.org for details.