New Agreement Reduces Cost for Covenant Orientation Students

A new agreement between the Evangelical Covenant Church and North Park Theological Seminary will streamline the process for ministers who are seeking credentials in the denomination and reduce their costs by approximately $2,000.

Under the agreement, the seminary will now handle administrative responsibilities for the Covenant Orientation program, which prepares students who did not attend North Park Theological Seminary to be credentialed in the Covenant.

Students learn what makes the Covenant unique as they complete four orientation courses at the seminary: Vocational Excellence, Covenant History, Covenant Theology, and Mission and Ministry. Students also are expected to attend multiple Covenant events and work with an adviser.

This spring semester 2021 welcomed 36 new orientation students. More than 425 Covenant pastors are enrolled in the program. Due to the pandemic, courses are now all fully online.

Previously the program was administered by the Covenant’s Develop Leaders mission priority; the seminary provided the courses. The Covenant will continue to have primary responsibility for providing guidance on course content and faculty.

The agreement will reduce the base tuition from $5,030 to $2,900 for clergy, said Luke Palmerlee, director of seminary operations and the Covenant Orientation director for the seminary.

“We hope this shift in administration will enable processes to be further streamlined to keep costs manageable for students, while still maintaining the same quality education,” Palmerlee said. “North Park is excited to be part of welcoming these pastors to NPTS and their new ministerial home in the Covenant.”

A joint steering committee led by Lance Davis, executive minister of Develop Leaders, oversees the program, which is administrated by Danielle Ng, the denomination’s director of credentialing, and Palmerlee.

“Covenant Orientation is such an important program because it transmits the denominational character to new pastoral leaders,” Ng said. “It’s an honor to work with NPTS on program development.  We are pleased that we have been able to respond to the needs of pastors—especially through the tuition reduction and the online course offerings.”

“We are delighted to offer this master’s-level certificate in partnership and collaboration with the ECC,” said seminary dean David Kersten. “Special thanks to President John Wenrich and Lance Davis for their support and leadership in this project.”

For more information and how to enroll, contact Luke Palmerlee at lrpalmerlee@northpark.edu or call (773) 244-5240.

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