Continuing Education

Why Continuing Education for Pastoral Leaders?

Continuing education for pastors is very important for a number of reasons. An important article called “Why Continuing Education?” underlines the need for continuing education for pastors in local churches. 

John Osborn wrote,

It’s not only physicians who are caught up in the knowledge explosion. Ministers are too. The minister is constantly called upon to face new conditions and problems demanding fresh knowledge and increased skill. Often he faces an active, aggressive, highly educated laity. They sometimes challenge the preacher more than he challenges them. They want him to update himself. They want increased performance, better preaching, more efficient pastoral care, and greater capability in running church organization. In fact, I firmly believe that the minister is expected to do more things, and do them well, than is any other professional.

Because SDBs have prioritized the need for healthy pastors and churches, continuing education for our pastoral leaders is essential.  Questions often arise surrounding continuing education for pastors and leaders.  Some of the most common questions are answered below.

Is continuing education required for all SDB pastors?

No. However, if you are an accredited SDB minister, you are required to complete 3 CEUs every 5 years to be eligible for renewal of that accreditation. (1 CEU is earned for approximately every 10 hours of instruction/program received.)

What qualifies as continuing education for pastors?

Most courses that provides spiritual development, theological training, or practical skills for ministry would eligible to receive credit towards the renewal of a pastor’s accreditation. A variety of experiences might qualify, including classes at a Bible College or Seminary, our Summer Institute, Pastors Conference, or a variety of other Conferences or events.

If you have questions about whether an experience you are considering would qualify, please contact the Director of Education, Nick Kersten (email:; phone: (608) 752-5055 ext. 1006).

Is financial assistance available to aid pastors in their continuing education?

Possibly. If you are serving as a recognized pastor of a SDB church, you might qualify for some assistance through our Continuing Education Fund. Fill out this form and send it to Nick Kersten by mail or email if you would like to be considered for financial assistance.  

In addition to the assistance provided by the General Conference, we encourage local churches to include continuing education for their pastor regularly in their budget to aid in the growth of their pastoral leaders.

If I have completed a continuing education experience, how can I be sure it is counted for the renewal of my credential?


If you have completed an educational experience, please fill this form out and submit a program or description of the learning experience and how you benefitted from the learning then submit it to Director of Education, Nick Kersten by mail or email.  Once forms are completed and submitted, credits will be awarded based on the experience report.

For any further questions concerning continuing education for pastoral leaders (including funding and CEUs), please contact Director of Education, Nick Kersten.