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Seminary Academics

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 completing the Covenant Orientation program, master’s degree programs, and a one year in-residence option.

Covenant Orientation Program

The Covenant Orientation (CO) program is administered by North Park Theological Seminary on behalf of the ECC. The ECC’s Develop Leaders mission priority area, along with the ECC’s Board of Ordered Ministry is responsible for oversight of the CO program. The CO program was designed to provide a way for people who are called to serve within the ECC, but are unable to attend North Park Theological Seminary, to fulfill the orientation requirement for Covenant credentialing. CO satisfies the orientation requirement for credentialing in the Evangelical Covenant Church set by the Board of the Ordered Ministry. It is simply one step, often the largest step, in the greater credentialing process. For additional information about these requirements please visit the ECC’s website on credentialing. To start the Covenant Orientation application process please contact your regional conference office.

Courses: The CO program includes four courses in the area of history, theology, ethics, and the mission and ministry of the ECC  and are 10 total credit hours. These courses are taught by experienced faculty and are designed to explore topics from a distinctly Covenant perspective. The four required courses are:

    • Vocational Excellence (ECCO 5010), 1 credit hour
    • History of the ECC (ECCO 5020), 3 credit hours
    • Theology of the ECC (ECCO 5030), 3 credit hours
    • Mission & Ministry (ECCO 5040), 3 credit hours

Schedule: Typically all four CO courses are offered in conjunction with the ECC’s annual Midwinter Conference. Each course will also be offered throughout the year on the campus of NPTS, regionally across the U.S., and occasionally online. For the current course schedule visit the Student Resource page and under the Course Schedules and Syllabi section click on the link for the upcoming semester to view upcoming course offerings (CO courses are typically listed together in a section at the bottom of the schedule page). We are also experimenting with online course offerings.

Cost: For students accepted into the Covenant Orientation program the cost for these courses are billed at 50% of the standard NPTS tuition rate, which as of fall 2021 the standard tuition rate is $560 per credit hour. In addition to the tuition cost there is a $10 per credit hour technology fee. Additional course fees may be added for Vocational Excellence assessment tools required for the class or Midwinter registration fees for courses taking place in conjunction with the ECC’s annual Midwinter Conference.

Below is a sample breakdown of cost per class (at 2021 tuition rates):

    • Vocational Excellence (1 credit) – $340 ($280 per credit hour tuition, plus $10 per credit hour technology fee, plus $50 for vocational assessments)
    • History of the ECC (3 credits) – $870 ($280 per credit hour tuition, plus $10 per credit hour technology fee)
    • Theology of the ECC (3 credits) – $870 ($280 per credit hour tuition, plus $10 per credit hour technology fee)
    • Mission and Ministry of the ECC (3 credits) – $870 ($280 per credit hour tuition, plus $10 per credit hour technology fee)

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 (FLDC 5300)
    • Mission and Ministerial Identity Course (FLDC 7319)
    • 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 (FLDC 5300)
    • Mission and Ministry (ECCO 5040 or FLDC 7319), 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 24 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 12 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.