Northwestern Ohio District Church Of The Nazarene

Ministry and Academic Preparation

The course of study

For those who feel a call to prepare for pastoral ministry, and don’t feel led to pursue an undergrad degree, we offer a series of gateway classes to prepare you for local ministry. This series is called the Course of Study and is an offering of 26 classes that will prepare you academically to serve in a pastoral or ministry role.

To learn more and enroll in the course of study talk to your lead pastor about your call, fill out the Ministerial Course of Study Enrollment Form, and enroll in the Course of Study at Mount Vernon Nazarene University, Nazarene Bible College, or Northwest Nazarene University.

To begin taking classes in the course of study we recommend these three institutions that deliver the course of study via their online systems: Schools that Offer the Course of Study Online .

To learn more about the entire licensing and ordination process click here.

To get the NWO Board of Ministry Guide for Students click here.

Local Ministry License

After you begin the Course of Study and have taken several classes, the next step is to apply for a local minister’s license. This credential is really a “license” to begin learning and growing as a leader and a minister and expresses your desire to allow other mature leaders to build into your life.

The local license is granted by your local church after an interview with your church board. You must be a formal member of the church and be a full contributor in your serving, your giving, and your commitment to Jesus and His church.

To get started fill out the Application for a Local License and give it to your Lead Pastor.

District License

After you have held a local license for one year, and if you have a minimum of eight classes completed in the course of study, you can ask your Lead Pastor to recommend you for a district license.

An Application for a District License must be submitted to the District Resource Center for the Board of Ministry and they will arrange for an interview in March each year.

The Ministry and Discovery Assessment Conference (MDAC)

The Ministry Development Assessment Center is an intensive weekend for district- licensed ministers, designed to assess each leader’s readiness for ordination, as well as help them discover their unique gifting and God-given “superpower”.  

The weekend provides leadership development opportunities, encouragement and direction, and the self-awareness to help each growing minister have a better understanding of their leadership style and the areas needed for growth and greater effectiveness. MDAC is a required step in the journey toward ordination.

Both the candidate and spouse (if married) must participate in the entire weekend event. There is a significant amount of preparation for the event.

An application for both the candidate and the spouse must be filled out ahead of the event, plus three separate assessments for both the candidate and the spouse.

The weekend begins at approximately 1:30 p.m. on Friday and will go through Sunday at approximately noon. To register or get additional information please click HERE.


Ministers who have held a district license for 3 years, have finished the course of study, have served 3 years in a full-time ministry role while district-licensed, meet all the requirements for ordination, and are recommended by the board of ministerial credentials after an interview, can request to be ordained.

An Application for Ordination must be submitted to the district Ministerial Studies Board and they will arrange for an interview in March each year.