DWU to partner with higher ed board to offer college credit

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MITCHELL, S.D. – United Theological Seminary is excited to promote a new path to earn college credits for Course of Study.  The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) is partnering with Dakota Wesleyan University to provide 24 college credits for those who have, are, or will be completing the United Methodist Church’s Course of Study program with any of GBHEM’s COS affiliates. United Theological Seminary is a proud COS Extension School that offers the Course of Study. Students completing COS with United will now be able to receive undergraduate credit toward their associate or bachelor’s degree at Dakota Wesleyan University.

Beginning next fall, DWU will provide college credit to scholars who have completed COS in the past or those who are currently enrolled in a COS program. Credits will be granted and can be applied toward DWU’s online degree programs. Scholars can choose to complete an online associate or bachelor’s degree in either Nonprofit Administration or Organizational Leadership.

The Course of Study is a 20-course program that educates licensed local UMC pastors. GBHEM oversees dozens of locations that offer the COS program. DWU will grant credit for scholars who have, or are currently, completing COS from any approved COS program.

Dr. Peter Bellini, director of non-degree programs at United, appreciates how DWU’s degrees in Nonprofit Administration or Organizational Leadership complement the ministry goals of COS students and graduates. “Many of our Course of Study students do not have an undergraduate degree but have always dreamed of one day achieving such a goal. Dakota Wesleyan University is providing an excellent opportunity for COS students to attain that dream at a reasonable cost,” Bellini said. “I am so excited for our students to be able to expand their ministries and go further in their education with this new collaboration.”

DWU, a private, liberal arts university associated with the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church, is one of only three colleges nationwide to offer this credit option. DWU’s added benefit is that the university offers 24 credits for COS and will apply those toward a completion pathway. The number of credits and the ease of degree completion, completely online, is what makes DWU unique. DWU and United also partner on a combined MDIV/MBA degree for United scholars pursuing advanced study.

Fredel Thomas, vice-president for enrollment and marketing at DWU, is excited to add the option to the university’s robust online program offerings. “Any time DWU is able partner with an organization to allow scholars to earn college credit for work they have already done or plan to do, it’s a win-win-win for each of us. These scholars work hard to complete the Course of Study and to fully serve their congregations. The added benefit of a degree opens many doors,” she stated.

For more information, contact Trista Sears, Course of Study Coordinator, at or (937) 529-2280, or Missy Leuthold, Adult & Online Enrollment Coordinator, at or (605) 995-2688.