Online Certification Institute

The General Council on Finance and Administration of The United Methodist Church sponsors an online certification institute. The Institute provides outstanding advanced professional training and enrichment for United Methodist church administrators. A participant who completes the program and meets the General Council on Finance and Administration requirements is eligible to apply for certification as a Professional United Methodist Church Secretary. The course begins in June 2024 and runs until August 15, 2024, and culminates with completing a group assignment to become certified. Our deadline has been extended this year to June 13, 2024. Please register right away!


Certification Scholarship Fund Application

Class of 2022 Certification Presentation Videos

Who should attend?

All United Methodist church administrators, administrative assistants, general agency office personnel, episcopal, district and annual conference office personnel are encouraged to enroll.

Certification Eligibility

Membership in National PAUMCS is required to enroll in the course (annual dues $50). To become a member, please contact Gail Douglas-Boykins at or for more information on becoming a national member, or go to

How will you and your church or organization benefit?

The Online PAUMCS Institute is designed to stimulate professional growth and development of each individual. Participants are introduced to business concepts required for understanding the financial operations of the church as well as relationships with the pastor, church employees and members of the congregation. Studying such concepts with professors selected from a strong business school faculty and other experts in the denomination encourages administrators to become better informed and more effective church administrators.

The experience of learning with local church administrators and networking with others in similar office settings provides a broader understanding of the connectional United Methodist church. Church administrators learn the functions of district, conference, agency and episcopal offices, while these various office personnel learn about the many responsibilities of a local church secretary. It is a place to see how all members of the church body are in ministry together.

Why become certified?

The 1988 General Conference officially adopted the following legislation:

The General Council on Finance and Administration shall have the authority and responsibility to provide guidance and consultation for continuing education of church secretaries, including establishment of training and certification programs, and to provide assistance to the Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries. (2012  Book of Discipline, ¶ 807.19)

Certification recognizes your accomplishment of successfully completing professional training. It enhances your position as a true professional and stimulates the need for continuing education to augment your ministry in the church.

What is the cost?

Registration fee for the online Institute is $300. Registration fee scholarships for the Institute are available on a limited basis by written request. This does not include the cost of PAUMCS membership.

How long does the course take?

The course is designed to be self-paced.  Each participant has 2 months to complete the course work and group project.  We have seen people complete the course in 2 weeks, and others take the entire 2 months.

How do I register?

Click Here to Register

For more information, please contact Tammie Ruffle at

Advanced Certification

 The 3-day Advanced Certification Class will be held in Nashville, Tennessee August 2025, dates to be determined. Beginning on Sunday evening, with fellowship and orientation. The sessions will conclude on Wednesday noon.  Cost is $300 which includes one dinner, 3 lunches, snacks/drinks during the course. Registration will open April 1, 2025.

Individual students will build on their leadership and personal development skills, while group practices will focus on adding value to The United Methodist Church global connection and structure.

Class members must be a certified PAUMCS member in good standing.

Class size is filled on a first come first served basis. 

Register Here

This year’s topics include:

  • Interviewing Techniques
  • Values and Your Personal Work Code
  • Self-Awareness and Interpersonal Relationships
  • Church Safety Issues
  • IT Security
  • Expanding our Ministry with Communications
  • Virtual and Hybrid Event Planning
  • Breakaway Churches and Trust Clause Issues


Certification Scholarship Fund Application

Continuing Education (CEU)

Do you want to earn Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credit for a workshop, retreat or event your chapter is planning? Are you, as an individual PAUMCS member, planning to attend a seminar or class for professional growth and development? Follow the guidelines below to receive CEU credit.

Submit your request for CEU approval to the Professional Training and Standards (PTS) Chairperson, Judy Gross, at least 30 days prior to the workshop, retreat, event, seminar, or class. This allows the PTS Committee time to review the information and for the Chairperson to be in contact with you should there be any questions or concerns regarding the information submitted.

  • Include detailed information about the event: topic(s), dates, times and location, the actual time you will be in sessions (contact hours), an outline or schedule, speaker(s) credentials and/or qualifications. Submit event information by email. This will help to expedite the process.
  • The PTS chairperson will notify you after your request has been reviewed and approved by the PTS committee.
  • Send a copy of the CEU completion certificate for each certified secretary to the PTS Chairperson as soon as possible following the event.

Questions about the process may be addressed to Judy Gross, PTS Chair.

One CEU is defined as ten contact hours of participation in an organized continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship, capable direction and qualified instruction. Business Meetings, Worship Services, Devotions, breaks, meals, snacks, and fellowship/gathering times are not to be considered. Contact hours of less than 10 but not less than five, will be granted .5 CEU. (example: an eight-hour workshop/seminar would equal to .5 CEU.)

Questions? Contact or call (615) 369-2413.

Already certified?  Click here to learn how to renew your certification.

Information on Continuing Education Credit