Upper Midwest Extension Course of Study School


The Upper Midwest Extension Course of Study School is designed for part-time local pastors from Iowa, the Dakotas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and surrounding states.  The school is part of the Course of Study system of the United Methodist Church and operates under the direction of the Regional Course of Study School at Garrett Evangelical Seminary in Evanston, Illinois.  Classes are usually held on the campus of Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa.  However because of the coronavirus pandemic, Fall 2021 classes will be held via ZOOM.

Licensed local pastors who are appointed to serve part-time are eligible to enroll.  Classes are held on two weekends in the fall and two weekends in the spring.  Advance assignments are part of every course.

Tuition and fees are $275 per class.   Scholarships are available from the Iowa Conference Board of Ordained Ministry for Iowa pastors. 

Questions about the Upper Midwest Course of Study School can be directed to the Registrar, Rev. Carl Phillips (712-370-7963 and carlphillipssvf@gmail.com) or to the Director, Dr. Dennis Tevis (319-572-1940 and gtevis@aol.com).

Registration Deadline for Fall 2021 classes:  July 1, 2021 

Registration Form – Individuals registering for the first time for any Course of Study class must obtain a PID number from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.  To get your Personal Identification Number, email GBHEM at cosregistrar@gbhem.org.

Grant and Scholarship Application– For Iowa Part-time Local Pastors 

Brochure For Upper Midwest Course of Study

UMECOS Handbook and Policies


Fall 2021 Upper Midwest COS Offerings

Classes will meet September 17-18 and October 22-23, 2021 via ZOOM video-conferencing software.  Classes begin on Fridays at 3:30 p.m. and end at 9:30 p.m.  Classes continue on Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m.  

Register before you order your books and begin working on the class assignments. Download the course syllabus and assignments by clicking the appropriate course number/title below.

COS 121  Bible I: Introduction

This course introduces basic Biblical interpretation.  Attention is given to inspiration, formation and function of the cannon and the development of interpretation consistent with the nature of scripture. The importance of the Bible as a witness to the life and faith of ancient Israel and earliest Christianity will be emphasized.  Students will learn to apply historical, literary, and theological approaches to the various types of literature in scripture using Genesis, Hosea and Amos, Mark and Philippians. Dr. John Christianson will teach this course.  

COS 223  Worship and Sacraments (class limited to 15 students)

This course examines worship within the United Methodist Church including liturgy, sacraments and special services.  Attention will be given to the role of the pastor as leader in worship.  The student will construct a worship service and reflect theologically on the use of hymns, media, contemporary music and lay leadership. Dr. Carol McPherson will teach this course.

COS 324  Preaching (class limited to 15 students)

This course focuses on preaching the Gospel from the Old and New Testaments. Students will evaluate sermons for biblical integrity, theological soundness, internal logic and delivery. Students will also develop plans for ordering and delivering sermons in their own congregations.  Dr. Karl Watkins will teach this course. 

COS 521  Bible V: Acts, Epistles, and Revelation

This course focuses on the content and context of these writings and theological emphases of their writers. In addition to Acts and Revelation, Romans, I Corinthians, James, and I John will receive special attention. Students will apply exegesis to preaching and be able to articulate a theology of scripture.  Dr. Dennis Tevis will teach this course.

If you have a question about which course you should take, please contact COS Director Dennis Tevis  (319-572-1940).