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Covenant Orientation

North Park Theological Seminary is the seminary of the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC). Though ministers are not required to earn a degree from North Park, the ECC does require women and men seeking credentials (licensing, commissioning, or ordination) for ministry to complete a few courses to be oriented to the foundations and theology of the denomination. We offer a variety of ways to fulfill these orientation requirements, including master's degree programs and a certificate option.

Degree from North Park Theological Seminary

A degree from North Park Theological Seminary may fulfill the entire orientation requirement for various levels of credentialing. Degree-seeking students planning to serve in the Evangelical Covenant Church must complete the following as part of their degree programs:

  • Vocational Excellence
  • Mission and Ministry connecting weekend course
  • Study in the history and theology of the denomination, which may be fulfilled through one of two options:
    • History and Theology of the ECC (HSTY 7300) AND an elective theology course
    • (OR) History of the ECC (HSTY 7511) AND Theology of the ECC (THEO 7501)

One-Year North Park Seminary Covenant Orientation

One academic year of study-in-residence (24-30 semester hours) at North Park Theological Seminary may also fulfill the Covenant Orientation requirement, as long as the following courses are included during a student's program as a whole:

  • Vocational Excellence
  • Mission and Ministry, either as the connecting weekend course or the traditional Covenant Orientation course
  • Study in the history and theology of the denomination, which may be fulfilled through one of two options:
    • History and Theology of the ECC (HSTY 7300) AND an elective theology course
    • (OR) History of the ECC (HSTY 7511) AND Theology of the ECC (THEO 7501)

Students completing 30 or more hours at North Park may transfer credits from another seminary toward a North Park Theological Seminary degree, or credits received during the year of orientation may be transferred to another seminary.

Those seeking Ordination to Word and Service who already hold a secular master's degree may complete their required 30 hours of theological study at North Park, simultaneously fulfilling their educational and orientation requirements. These students will also need to take the foundational courses for credentialing (listed below) and also demonstrate 13 semester hours in an area of specialization such as youth, camping, or leadership/administration.

Foundational Courses for Credentialing

In order to be credentialed by the ECC, a pastor needs a minimum of four specific graduate level courses in theological studies. North Park Theological Seminary offers a 12-credit certificate in foundational courses for credentialing candidates.

Vocational Ministry in the ECC

All matters regarding ordination, transfer of ordination, and licensure are the responsibility of the Evangelical Covenant Church's Ministerium and Board of the Ordered Ministry.

Covenant Orientation