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Extension Schools of Christian Ministry

The Church of God European Theological Seminary offers External Studies Programs that under certain conditions are transferable into the residential studies program for undergraduate credit. These studies are offered through the Extension Schools of Christian Ministry / ESCM set up by the National Churches of God in conjunction with the Seminary. The conditions for establishing and operating these schools are listed in a special catalog available through the Seminary office or the national schools. The course offerings and schedules are determined by the Director of the national school in agreement with the Director of External Studies and under the conditions laid down in the ESCM catalog. The following general information and presentation of the programs is from the ESCM catalog.


Mature Christians, who wish to prepare for Christian Ministry or to improve their ministry skills benefit from the courses in Biblical, Historical & Theological studies and Practical Ministries offered by the Extension Schools of Christian Ministry. They are operated under the auspices of the Division of External Education of the European Theological Seminary, under the responsibility of the Director of Extension Schools of Christian Ministry. This study program is distinct from that of the residential study program. However, courses completed at College Level are transferable where applicable into the Seminary's Undergraduate Studies Division.


The purpose of the ESCM is to help the national Church of God congregations across Europe in training workers for Christian Ministry through a course of study that integrates the learning of ministry skills with the foundational studies necessary for Biblical-theological formation. It also serves as a preliminary year for students who wish to prepare for leadership ministries such as pastor, missionary and teacher.


The format of the program is flexible in that it allows course work through distance learning and extension centers. Instruction is offered in a variety of ways such as evening classes, weekend seminars and vacation schools. It is also possible to complete work through the Church of God School of Ministry on the Internet (that is transferable to ETS).


Three programs of training for Church Ministries are offered through the Extension Schools of Christian Ministry. The first requires thirty-six (36) credit units leading to the Foundations Course Certificate. The second is an advanced program that requires thirty-three (33) additional credit units and leads to the Certificate in Church Ministries. The third is a total of seventy-eight (78) credit units leading to the ETS Diploma. Most national schools offer the Ministerial Internship Program or the Certificate in Ministerial Studies (CIMS) program designed by the Church of God General Education Department.


Academic entry requirements for the ESCM Program are limited to a reading and writing knowledge of the language of instruction. However, candidates for College credit must have a High School Diploma or GED Certificate (Graduation from Secondary Education or equivalent, i.e. twelve years total of primary and secondary education). Students who wish to continue their studies in the Seminary's residency program are expected to meet the normal admission requirements for undergraduate studies.


Each candidate to an ESCM-Certificate is required to take part in an Orientation Session that is conducted once a year by the National ESCM Director. It serves the threefold purpose of orienting students to the program of studies, getting acquainted with new students and conducting placement tests.

Course syllabi

Course syllabi are the responsibility of the ESCM Director in conjunction with the ETS Academic Dean. They must be approved in advance in order to warrant compliance with the requirements of the residence program and transfer of credit to ETS.

Evaluation of student learning

The evaluation of learning outcome is carried out by the teachers according to the guidelines of the ESCM manual and under the responsibility of the ESCM Director. Grading and record keeping should be in conformity with ESCM guidelines.

Academic credit

Participants in the program may receive academic credit at Institute or College Level by examination. Satisfactory completion of the Foundations Course at College Level allows entry into the second year of residency studies at the European Theological Seminary if other requirements are met. College level credit requires the completion of extensive self-study. Each credit unit demands from 12-15 hours of self-study. These normally include extensive readings from a course bibliography (up to 200 pages per credit unit), reading reports and one research paper. Institute level credit requires less academic work. The self-study assignments are much more limited. They include small group interaction, reporting and limited reading.

Transfer of Credit

Credit obtained through the ESCM programs at College level is transferable where applicable into the residency program at undergraduate level for obtaining the Diploma in Christian Ministries (3- or 4-year program). Students intending to pursue studies in the residence program should consult the catalog of the residency program, choose a program and carefully select their courses in accordance with the requirements of the respective program.

Term paper requirement

Students who qualify for the Diploma in Christian Ministries need to demonstrate research and writing skills. They are expected to write a 25-35 page (12,500 – 16,500 words) paper on a topic related to their studies in accordance with standard writing guidelines. This paper should demonstrate the student’s ability to integrate theory with practice. A copy is to be kept on file with the student's records by the on-site extension registrar.