Campus View
News for friends of MTSO
November 2022

United Methodist ordination

MTSO offers unprecedented advantages for UM students

MTSO now offers a remote-learning option for virtually every academic course, giving students the opportunity to attend classes on campus or fully online. For students seeking ordination in the United Methodist Church, however, there is an additional wrinkle: The denomination requires that those seeking United Methodist ordination earn at least one-third of their seminary degrees through campus-based attendance.

There’s good news for those students: MTSO works diligently to offer them multiple options for meeting UM requirements while providing maximum flexibility in scheduling classes.

Any one of the following options – or some combination of them – can be used to satisfy UMC requirements for campus-based courses at MTSO:

  • Attending two semesters in person. It is likely courses during those semesters can be covered by coming to campus only on Tuesday each week.
  • Attending week-long residential intensive courses during Summer Terms.
  • Attending week-long residential intensive courses during January Terms.

“At no point in our history has earning a degree that meets United Methodist ordination requirements fit into students’ budgets and busy lives as well as it does today,” said MTSO Director of Enrollment Management April Casperson. “We are able to work with ordination candidates to cover their full tuition and to create a schedule that makes space for living their lives.”

A more detailed explanation of options for fulfilling on-campus options required for ordination is at Prospective students also are encouraged to contact admissions staff members at


Luke Powery, Duke’s dean of the chapel, will lead Schooler

Luke Powery, dean of Duke University Chapel and associate professor of homiletics at Duke Divinity School, will lead MTSO’s 2023 Schooler Institute on Preaching. The institute will be held Monday and Tuesday, March 27 and 28, on the MTSO campus.

A national leader in the theological study of the art of preaching, Powery regularly delivers sermons at Duke Chapel as well as at churches throughout the United States and abroad. He is often a keynote speaker and lecturer at educational institutions, conferences, symposia and retreats.

Among the books Powery has authored are Spirit Speech: Lament and Celebration in Preaching and Dem Dry Bones: Preaching, Death, and Hope. He is co-author of the textbook Ways of the Word: Learning to Preach for Your Time and Place.

Powery received his Bachelor of Arts degree in music with a concentration in vocal performance from Stanford University, his Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, and his Doctor of Theology from Emmanuel College at the University of Toronto.

Thanks to the generosity of the Schooler Family Foundation, the Schooler Institute is offered to the public without cost. Advance registration is required and will be open in coming weeks.

NOV. 14 and DEC. 8

Two Admissions Info Sessions remain in 2022

MTSO offers 45-minute virtual Info Sessions as an opportunity for those considering graduate degrees to get an overview of the school. Those who attend will learn about our five degree programs, our generous scholarships and the unique educational community that thrives on our beautiful hillside campus.

Remaining 2022 Info Sessions will be held Monday, Nov. 14, and Thursday, Dec. 8, at 2 p.m. Eastern both days. Zoom registration is available here.

For those who are interested in exploring opportunities to attend MTSO but unavailable for Info Sessions, our admissions staff is always happy to share a personal conversation. An easy way to set up a productive chat is by visiting our information request page. Alternatively, you can reach us via email at or phone at 800-333-6876.


October brought Lilly-funded gatherings on campus

With funding from a pair of $1 million Lilly Endowment Inc. grants, MTSO hosted two significant events in October.

Students, faculty and staff from historically Black colleges and universities gathered on campus Oct. 17-19 for an invitation-only Food Justice and Food Sovereignty Retreat. The event was part of MTSO’s project “Connecting Pathways: A Multi-Faceted Approach to Strengthen and Sustain Current and Future Faith Leaders,” funded through Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative.

With leadership from Rev. Dr. Heber Brown III, founder of the Black Church Food Security Network, HBCU and MTSO participants discussed how churches and schools can be pathways for food justice and food sovereignty. The retreat included time in the Seminary Hill Farm greenhouse, where participants helped to plant strawberries and spinach.

Invited pastors came together Oct. 27 and 28 for a Conference on Trauma and Community Wellbeing, part of MTSO’s project “Spaces for Thriving: Cultivating Authentic Pastors for Small Membership Churches and Communities of Color,” which is funded through Lilly’s Thriving in Ministry initiative.

The conference included four presentations around trauma, as well as worship and small-group discussions.