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Methodist Seminary Schools

by Celesta Letchworth

A variety of educational opportunities exist for those who are pursuing a ministry in the United Methodist Church. There are 122 seminaries on the denomination’s University Senate approval list for training clergy. Thirteen of these institutions are considered official United Methodist seminaries. The denomination's Ministerial Education Fund supports these 13 institutions and offers scholarships to their students.

Northeastern States

Boston University School of Theology is the oldest Methodist seminary in North America. Located in the heart of “Beantown,” it is the founding school of Boston University. With an emphasis in social action, the seminary has attracted students such as Anna Howard Shaw and Martin Luther King, Jr. Drew Theological School is part of Drew University, situated on 186 wooded acres in Madison, New Jersey. The official United Methodist Archives are housed on Drew’s campus, including over 150 original letters of John Wesley and his family. Wesley Theological Seminary has two locations in the District of Columbia. The northwest campus is adjacent to American University and the newer campus is downtown at Mount Vernon Square. Seminary students from across the country may apply for Wesley’s National Capital Semester for Seminarians, dealing with ethics, theology and public policy.

Southeastern States

Candler School of Theology is part of Emory University, 6 miles from downtown Atlanta. They offer a unique dual master’s degree in theology and bioethics in conjunction with the university and the Center for Ethics. Gammon Theological Seminary represents the United Methodist Church in the Interdenominational Theological Center, a consortium of African American theological schools. Also based in Atlanta, the seminary is a well-known resource for ministering to the African American community’s spiritual life and socioeconomic difficulties. Duke Divinity School is part of Duke University’s West Campus in Durham, North Carolina. Seminary students have access to all university facilities and events, including the Blue Devil basketball games.

Midwestern States

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary cherishes the traditions of the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church. After these two denominations merged, the seminary was formed from the merger of Garrett Theological Seminary and the Evangelical Theological Seminary, both located in the Chicago area. Saint Paul School of Theology’s campuses in Greater Kansas City and Oklahoma City connect through video-equipped classrooms. Since the Oklahoma campus is partnered with the Oklahoma United Methodist Indian Missionary Conference, students have unique opportunities in Native American ministries. Methodist Theological School in Ohio is located in Delaware, Ohio, 30 minutes from downtown Columbus. Students can specialize in various programs such as Black Church and African Diaspora Studies, Ecology and Justice, and Small Group Ministry. United Theological Seminary was an Evangelical United Brethren Church seminary until 1968 when the denomination merged with the Methodist Church. Located in the suburbs of Dayton, Ohio, the seminary is home to the Center for Evangelical United Brethren Heritage.

Southwestern States

Iliff School of Theology sits at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, 6 miles from downtown Denver. In keeping with its reputation for commitment to diversity and positive social change, faculty members include non-Christians and students can add an emphasis in Justice and Peace Studies to any master’s program. Claremont School of Theology’s students learn in an atmosphere of religious diversity. The campus’ location is also diverse. Located in southern California, known as the country’s most diverse region, the town of Claremont is also home to numerous colleges, research centers and think tanks. Perkins School of Theology is part of Southern Methodist University, home of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. Faculty members commute from the seminary’s Dallas location to its extension programs in Houston and Galveston.

About the Author

Celesta Letchworth started writing professionally in 1982 as a technical writer for a computer department. She has since had articles appear in "The Chorister," plays published by Lillenas Publishing Company, and has sold greeting card ideas to Dayspring. Letchworth holds a Master of Music degree from Southern Methodist University.

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