Currently there are dozens of United Methodists affiliated with Southern Seminary, as both full- and part- time students. The first full-time United Methodist faculty member (Rev. Dr. Daniel M. Bell, Jr.) was appointed in 2000 and serves as the Director of Methodist Studies. The seminary community is intentional about fostering an environment where United Methodists are nurtured in the culture and traditions of United Methodism.
United Methodists participate fully in the life of the seminary. United Methodist worship resources are regularly used in the daily chapel services. Several times during the course of the academic year, a United Methodist Eucharistic liturgy is celebrated. United Methodist students are placed in United Methodist setting for field education, allowing students to gain ministry experience in the real world through a UMC congregation.
Southern Seminary is recognized and approved by the University Senate of The United Methodist Church. Therefore, courses and degrees completed at here are recognized by The United Methodist Church.
LTSS is the only approved UMC seminary in South Carolina, and is only blocks away from the SC Annual Conference headquarters. The seminary has a long-standing relationship with the conference, and our graduates have a history of being highly successful when presenting before the UMC board in the ordination process. Graduates are well-respected in the SC Conference and many go on to serve in prominent positions throughout the conference.
Each year, Southern Seminary hosts a dinner and connects with prospective students, alumni, and friends at the SC Annual Conference.
The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, 2004 stipulates in ¶324.4a "Qualifications for Election to Probationary Membership and Commissioning":
"Candidates for deacon and elder shall have completed a minimum of twenty-four semester hours of graduate theological studies in the Christian faith. These graduate theological studies must include the areas of: Old Testament; New Testament; theology; church history; mission of the church in the world; evangelism; worship/liturgy; and United Methodist doctrine, polity and history. These courses can be included within or in addition to a seminary degree."
In addition to these disciplinary requirements, the South Carolina Conference has set additional educational requirements in its policy guidelines. Among these are the requirements that candidates take a course in "Black History or Black Studies" and "Women's Studies." For more information, see the SC Conference Office of Clergy Services website.
These requirements can be met through Southern Seminary. Contact the Registrar for a schedule of course offerings.
Note that it is the candidate's responsibility to consult both the Discipline and the appropriate Conference guidelines regarding the educational and other requirements that pertain to his/her particular situation.
South Carolina Conference - www.umcsc.org
United Methodist Church - www.umc.org
United Methodist Reporter - www.umportal.org
Wesley's Works - http://www.ccel.org/w/wesley/