Ministerial Continuing Education

Highly effective, inexpensive online program designed to provide high-quality continuing education for ministers of all churches and denominations.

Meets Life-Long Learning Requirement

Supports Personal and Professional Growth

Program Not Eligible for College Credit

Ministerial Continuing Education Program

Nazarene Bible College's (NBC) Institute for Ministry Enrichment (IME) has created a highly effective, inexpensive online program designed to provide high-quality continuing education for ministers of all churches and denominations.

IME created the ministerial continuing education program to meet the need of those in ministry everywhere to upgrade their skills and keep pace with the growing demands of shepherding a modern congregation.

This certificate program meets the annual 20-hour life-long learning requirement that an increasing number of churches are demanding to keep ministerial credentials valid.

The Need for Ministerial Continuing Education

We live in a wonderfully dynamic world that constantly provides new challenges and opportunities. Congregation members are better educated than ever before, which renders them both easier and more difficult to engage as they adjust their lives to cope with their fast-changing environment.

Ministering to parishioners who are currently more accomplished and aware than in the past brings a unique set of challenges. On the one hand, it is easier to communicate intellectually. On the other hand, the laity of today is far more discerning, demanding, and critical.

Nearly all professional organizations require continuing education to ensure that members keep up with developments to provide effective services. Moreover, today's pastors have a more demanding job than nearly any other profession.

Ministers often struggle with balancing family life, self-care, and all the aspects of running a ministry while keeping their message relevant and engaging for parishioners dealing with sweeping social and personal changes.

Who could have foreseen the effects of the internet and social media, the opioid crisis, gender and sexuality issues, or COVID-19? Nevertheless, our pastors are on the front lines, dealing with the ramifications of these developments.

The online IME ministerial continuing education program:

  • Recognizes the need for ministers to continually upgrade their knowledge and skillset in response to the changing needs of congregations
  • Provides guidance and resources for the ongoing growth of our clergy so they can continue to lead
  • Acknowledges the issue of pastor burnout and stress on family members

Continuing education is as vital for ministers as for doctors, attorneys, and educators. The problem has been finding a high-quality program that's reasonably priced and conveniently available with minimal disruption to the pastor's life.

In response, NBC has created IME and the high-quality, inexpensive, ministerial continuing education program that enables ministers everywhere to thrive. Graduates will be able to implement better self-care and meet the constantly developing needs of modern congregations.

Program Overview

NBC, working through IME, has designed the ministerial continuing education program specifically for ministers of all churches and denominations. The program fulfills the requirement of completing 20 hours of authorized class/learning time to keep ministerial credentials current and assist professional advancement and effectiveness.

Experienced practitioners teach all classes. Many have over 25 years of practical ministry experience, and several are published authors of books on professional development available at Foundry Publishing and other online publishing firms.

Students can expect to spend approximately five hours each week for four weeks to complete each class. One class fulfills the 20-hour life-long-learning annual requirement.

IME offers classes on pastoral self-care and congregation care. Here are some of the courses currently available.

Self Growth Courses

  • Heart of a Great Pastor
  • Heart of a Great Pastor II
  • Pause Recharge Refresh
  • Becoming A Leader
  • Leader Coach
  • Refresh Revive Renew
  • Keys to Effective Bivocational Pastoring
  • Emerging Understandings of Ministry
  • How To Have Personal Spiritual Retreats
  • Securing Your Financial Future
  • Total Quality Life
  • Rethink Your Life
  • Pastors at Greater Risk
  • The Pastor and Taxes
  • How to Survive the Ministry
  • Married to a Pastor
  • For Kids' Sake — Win the Tug of War
  • Learning to Be Last
  • Rethink Your Life
  • Lead To Succeed
  • Pastors at Greater Risk

Congregation Care

  • The Pastor of a Multi-Cultural Church
  • Advent Preaching and Other Special Days
  • Introduction To The Exciting World of Narrative Preaching
  • Discovering Narrative Stages: Narrative Sermon Construction
  • The Five Star Church
  • Creating a Climate of Evangelism
  • Managing Conflict
  • Holiness Becoming Like Christ
  • Creating Peace Making and Not Peace Keeping
  • Lead To Succeed
  • The Vibrant Church
  • The Shepherd Covenant for Pastors
  • The Literature of Lament: Biblical Resources for Lent
  • The Healthy Church — A Dynamic Force
  • First Century Palestine — The Culture of Christ
  • The People Principle
  • Prayer Power
  • Exegeting Your Congregation
  • Holiness Becoming Like Christ

These highly effective classes are subject to change. Please check the current schedule.

Class Size

IME classes are usually smaller than regular NBC courses, leading to a more intimate atmosphere. Even these smaller class sizes foster great opportunities for student input and sharing. We aim for a class size of fifteen or fewer students.

The minimum class size is five, but instructors will often choose to teach with fewer students to accommodate those enrolled. The decision regarding proceeding with fewer than five students is up to the instructor.

Course Materials

IME course material costs are minimal. Textbooks are usually paperbacks produced by the Foundry Publishing and other online publishing firms.

Access to the NBC electronic library and research resources is free for all IME course enrollees. You will learn how to use these resources during orientation. The user name and password you receive by email during registration will grant you access.

Other materials can include texts, articles, websites, and input from the instructor and other students.

Online Orientation

IME's one-week orientation class will help you set up your computer and prepare for learning in the online environment. The goal is to eliminate any possible confusion and equip you to enjoy an easy, successful experience.

IME requires all new students and students who have been inactive for more than 12 months to complete the one-week orientation class costing only $25 at the beginning of the first term. Our system will not allow new students to register for a regular class until they first register for orientation.

You will receive basic instruction on system navigation and our web-based discussion program. You will also learn how to use the research tools. After taking the orientation class once, you will not need it again unless:

  1. You purchase a new computer or start using a new security service. In those cases, you may need help adjusting the settings so they do not interfere with our programming.
  2. You have been inactive for more than 12 months. A year is long enough to forget important aspects of your online class procedures. The refresher course ensures that you will be prepared, avoid technical difficulties, and enjoy a pleasant, effective learning experience.

Orientation Exceptions

You can obtain an exception if you are currently enrolled and active in an NBC online education program. Being granted an exception will require special assistance to bypass the new student orientation requirement. Please call us at (719) 884-5143 for help.

Program Credit and Grading

Instead of using college credits, the IME ministerial continuing education program uses lifelong learning hours. Each class fulfills the 20-hour annual requirement to keep ministerial credentials current.

  • Registration Process

    After you have completed registration and have made payment, you will receive an email containing your permanent username and password, enabling you to access your IME courses.

    You can start your registration process here.

  • Lifelong Learning Hours

    All pastors need to do for certification is complete one online course lasting four weeks. NBC defines a lifelong learning hour as involvement in a continuing education event. That education event can be Meetings, Seminars, Symposia, or Short courses

    To be included, the education event must meet the specific objectives of lifelong learning.

  • Not for College Credit

    Continuing education classes are not designed for college credit, and they will not appear on your official college transcript. IME will keep records in the registrar's office and the online department of every lifelong learning class completed.

    You will find more information on classes earning college credit at or

    Because of an internal billing issue, every IME syllabus states, “Credits: 2”. Those two credits are equivalent to 20 lifelong learning hours. Upon course completion with a passing grade, you will receive a certificate of completion showing you have earned 20 lifelong learning hours.

  • Grading

    Grading uses the pass/fail system. Pass means completed. Fail means not completed — less than 70%.

  • Certificate

    Each student will receive an IME certificate stating they have completed an IME course for their records. For Church of the Nazarene pastors, NBC will also report the completion of the lifelong learning hours to the Department of Clergy Development.

    Pastors of other denominations or organizations should make a certificate copy to send to the appropriate agency.

Program Cost

NBC is dedicated to providing pastors with the quality continuing education they need at an affordable price while remaining comfortably at home.

Compared to our inexpensive online courses, seminars can be quite expensive and disruptive. Nearly all seminars providing twenty hours of life-long credit require three or four days to complete. Additionally, you will have to pay for travel, hotel, and meals. The total could easily come to well over $1000.

Each IME class and access to accompanying resource materials is only $160 (or $60 if a Nazarene Pastor Scholarship is applied) plus the price of your study text which is nearly always a paperback book. Whenever possible, the book's author will be your course instructor.

Access to NBC's electronic library and research resources for twelve months usually costs $150, but you will get it free from the start of your IME class. NBC will extend your complimentary access for twelve months each time you take an additional IME class.

Nazarene Pastor Scholarships

Nazarene pastors will receive a $100 scholarship bringing their cost down to $60 plus the price of the course textbook.

Canceled Classes and Refunds

In some circumstances, described below, IME does provide full refunds or awards financial credit to apply to future classes.

Canceled Classes Because of Low Enrollment

You have three options if, because of low enrollment, the instructor cancels a class for which you have registered and paid.

  1. Choose another class that is in session.
  2. Request a full refund for the class and re-register the next time it is available. You will not be required to retake the orientation class if you have already completed it and re-register within 12 months of finishing orientation.
  3. Leave the funds in your IME account to use in a future class of your choice. If you allow your money to remain in your account, you will continue to enjoy access to the research tools for twelve months from the date you completed orientation or, for returning students, from the date you became actively enrolled in an IME class. Please remember that you must re-enroll in an IME class within twelve months to avoid retaking the orientation class.

Canceling Before Class Begins

The tuition and fees you have already paid will remain in your student account to use in the future class of your choice if you cancel after registering and paying but before your first class. You must contact your advisor to request a cancellation before the first class.

Canceling After Class Begins

IME will not refund your tuition or fees if you cancel after the class has begun. Please notify the instructor, and you will receive a final grade of no credit (NC). You will not receive an IME certificate for lifelong learning hours.