Certificate in Older Adult Ministry

CRCDS is approved by the United Methodist Board of Higher Education & Ministry to offer courses for the United Methodist Professional Certification Program in Older Adult Ministry.

Purpose: Older adults (people age 65+) represented 14.1% of the total U.S. population in 2013 and is expected to grow to 21.7% by 2040. The Certificate in Older Adult Ministry equips clergy and laypeople to serve this active, engaged, vigorous part of the the Body of Christ. Additionally, the CRCDS Certificate fulfills the requirements for certification in older adult ministry by The United Methodist Church, but the program is not limited to United Methodist students.

Certification is The United Methodist Church’s denominational credential and recognition that an individual has been called, made a commitment to serve, and has fulfilled the required standards for academic training, experience, and continuing study to serve with excellence in this area of specialized ministry. CRCDS provides the education and grants a “certificate”, but the student must also work with the United Methodist Board of Higher Education to obtain and maintain certification. More information on the United Methodist requirements may be downloaded here.

This certificate program may also be incorporated into the Master of Divinity and Master of Arts studies for those wishing to obtain both a degree and specialized training for older adult ministry.

Eligibility: Admission to the certificate program requires a completed bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a minimum GPA of 2.75/4.0.

Curriculum: Certification with The United Methodist Church requires two years working in older adult ministry and 5 three-credit courses in the following areas:

  1. Theology for the Practice of Ministry
  2. Biblical Foundations for Ministry
  3. United Methodist Studies*
  4. Planning a Comprehensive Ministry with Older Adults
  5. An additional course in older adult ministry

To obtain a CRCDS Certificate in Older Adult Ministry, students must complete an additional elective course for a total of six courses.

*Note: Students who are not United Methodist or who are not seeking certification from the United Methodist Board of Higher Education may substitute a course in theology or church history.

Tuition: Tuition is $750 per course for individuals taking these courses as solely certificate/certification courses. Tuition for Master of Divinity and Master of Arts students completing the certificate as part of their master’s degree remains at $1795 per course.

Financial Aid: There is no CRCDS financial aid available for certificate/certification students. However, The United Methodist Board of Higher Education offers United Methodist students pursuing certification grants up to $225 per semester hour for the three-credit courses. Please download a scholarship application form at this link and submit it to the CRCDS Financial Aid Office.

Application Instructions:

  • Submit a completed online application form and the nonrefundable $35 application fee.
  • Submit recommendations from 2 people who are in a position to assess your academic/professional ability. Recommendation forms may be downloaded here.
  • Submit official academic transcripts from all post-secondary educational experiences to the CRCDS Admissions Office

Additional Instructions for United Methodist students wishing to enroll in the Professional Certification in Older Adult Ministry with The United Methodist Church:

Application Deadlines: July 1 for Fall Term or December 1 for Spring Term

Applications received after these dates will be reviewed on a space available basis

The current CRCDS Academic Catalogue may be viewed at this link.