Welcome to the online learning site for the Great Plains Conference of The United Methodist Church.

Upcoming courses are listed below in alphabetical order.

To register, visit the Great Plains Certified Lay Ministry Courses page. Your username, password, and login instructions will be emailed to you a few days before your course opens.

Book lists for upcoming courses are available as part of each course description below.

    Available courses

    Designed for United Methodist Certified Lay Ministers, this course serves as an introductory overview of the major themes of evangelism and church growth for small membership congregations.

    Course dates: Aug. 6 - Sept. 2, 2018

    The Leadership and Administration course is designed to guide students to see themselves as both leaders and managers, as well as administrators in the church.

    Course dates: TBA

    PDF fileLeadership and Administration course textbooks

    This course offers an understanding of United Methodist mission theology as well as some mission education program ideas and methods to pastors, lay and ordained, through a partnership with annual conference board/committee/teams on Global Ministries, with an organized opportunity for reflection on mission and mission theology from the United Methodist perspective.

    *NEW FORMAT* Intensive weekend session followed by online work

    Course dates: TBA

    PDF fileMissions and Social Concerns course textbooks

    Designed for United Methodist Certified Lay Ministers (CLM). This course is designed to help CLM students learn how to engage in a critical reading of the biblical text. The course by its nature will focus on readings from the New Testament. It is impossible to cover in detail every aspect of the New Testament. Hopefully, this course will be one step on a life time of learning.

    This course also assumes a basic working knowledge of the New Testament (what are the four gospels, what are the epistles, who Jesus is and why he is important, who Paul is and why he is important, etc.). This course will also teach the students to ask the deeper questions not only of their own biblical understanding, but to also to lend a richer and more informed voice to their biblical teaching and preaching.

    Course dates: Jan. 8 - Feb. 4, 2018

    PDF fileNew Testament course textbooks

    This course helps United Methodist Certified Lay Ministers (CLM) students learn how to research an Old Testament Bible Passage (exegesis) using research tools (hermeneutics) that helps them write a sermon that is grounded in the Bible passage they are using to preach a sermon.

    Course dates: June 4 - July 1, 2018

    PDF fileOld Testament course textbooks

    This pastoral care class focuses on pastoral care as a leadership function utilizing listening skills, pastoral presence during times of crisis, and engagement of a rudimentary approach to family systems.

    Course dates: May 7 - June 3, 2018

    PDF filePastoral Care course textbooks

    Designed for United Methodist Certified Lay Ministers (CLM). This course is designed to help CLM students learn how to prepare a sermon that delivers the good news. This course also assumes a basic biblical knowledge and ability to exegete the biblical text. It would be helpful to have had at least the Old Testament or the New Testament class.

    At the culmination of the class the student will deliver a sermon to the class, the instructor, and some well-established preachers. The student will then receive helpful feedback for their preaching.

    The class is limited to a maximum of 10 students to allow plenty of time for student presentations. The goal of this class is to have preachers who can proclaim the Good News to a congregation.

    Course dates: Apr. 2-29, 2018 with a one-day face-to-face meeting on Sat., April 28, location TBA

    PDF filePreaching course textbooks

    Participants will know and become conversant with the basic principles of United Methodist doctrine and theology.

    The objectives of this course are to:

    • Help students assess their own faith journey in the context of United Methodist doctrine and theology.

    • Provide a basic understanding of the elements of United Methodist doctrine and theology.

    • Provide the opportunity for students to be in online conversation with the instructor and other students about their understandings of United Methodist doctrine and theology.

    • Assess and evaluate their growth in understanding United Methodist doctrine and theology.

    Course dates: Nov. 5 - Dec. 2, 2018

    PDF fileUM Theology and Doctrine Books and Resources

    United Methodist History for Certified Lay Ministers will introduce participants to major themes in United Methodist history.

    Course Dates: July 9 - Aug. 5, 2018

    PDF fileUnited Methodist History course textbooks

    The Worship course is intended to help Certified Lay Ministry (CLM) students accomplish the following:

    1. Understand that designing and leading corporate worship is to be guided by the Holy Spirit.
    2. Gain knowledge of the elements and order of worship outlined in The United Methodist Book of Worship.
    3. Understand the importance of spiritual disciplines used in designing Spirit-led worship through Scripture, prayer, contemplation, other texts, singing.
    4. Develop practical applications for designing and leading thematic worship.

    Course dates: Sept. 3-30, 2018

    Online meetings: Class meets online each Tuesday evening at 7:00 p.m. Central time. A high-speed internet connection and a webcam are highly recommended.

    PDF fileWorship course textbooks

    Resources for teaching on Moodle