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What qualifies as Lifelong Learning?

Nazarene ministers are to complete at least 20 hours of lifelong learning each year. Lifelong learning involves participating in opportunities that contribute significantly to the development of your abilities and understanding as a minister of the gospel. Conferences, district training seminars, continuing education courses from educational institutions or professional groups, webcasts, reading a professional journal, and joining others in reading and discussing a book are examples of activities that qualify as lifelong learning. Such activities qualify whether accessed online or attended in person. On the other hand, the daily practice of ministry (such as pastoral care or sermon preparation), viewing an informative television program or listening to a presentation at a community gathering normally would not qualify as professional development. Show discretion in selecting valid continuing education experiences. Your district administrators or regional office can assist in determining whether an activity qualifies as lifelong learning.


How many lifelong learning hours do I report for…

  1. How many lifelong learning hours do I report for reading a book?
    As a general rule, report 2 lifelong learning hours for every 75 pages read. This standard helps to keep the focus on the input received rather than on individual reading speed. In this way, readers of the same resource receive the same number of learning hours.
  2. How many hours do I report for reading a book with a peer group/small group?
    When you read a book and discuss its message and meaning for ministry with several peers, the learning value of the experience is far greater than simply reading the book by yourself. Peer group discussion can be held in-person or by using other technology. Report 2 lifelong learning hours for every 75 pages read plus discussion time with those also reading the book.
  3. How many hours do I report for time spent preparing to teach a class in the Course of Study?
    If you teach a class in the Course of Study, report 10 hours for every 30 hours of reading and research in preparing to teach the class for the first time, or for new reading and research intended to substantially enhance a class you have taught previously. The aim of this guideline is to give “credit” for time spent on course development rather than on the administration or teaching of the course.
  4. How many hours do I report for time spent preparing to present a workshop or seminar at a conference?
    Apply the same guideline given for those preparing to teach a class in the Course of Study.
  5. How many hours do I report for time spent viewing a webinar?
    You should report the actual time required to view the webinar in its entirety and only if you were an active participant for the entire webinar.
  6. How many hours do I report for attending a Conference?
    Report the number of hours you actually attend workshops, plenary sessions, conference-related worship services, and so on. Time spent in breaks, free-time, etc. should not be reported as lifelong learning hours.
  7. How many hours do I report for completing coursework in a degree program?
    If you are enrolled and active in a degree program, you are completing many hours of learning. However, for the purpose of reporting lifelong learning, enter the basic information about the degree program in which you are enrolled and enter 20 hours for the total number of hours. Make this entry each year you continue to be enrolled and active in the degree program. It will be clear to your district leadership from the description you provide that you are very active in lifelong learning. To find out more, see these instructions.
  8. How many hours do I report for participating in a mission trip?
    A mission trip can be a significant lifelong learning event. Recognizing that mission trips vary greatly in many respects, the general rule is to award 50% of the total “task-engagement hours”. Travel time, discretionary time, etc. would not be included in calculating task-engagement hours.

What is an event code?

  1. What is an event code?
    An Event Code is a six- or eight-digit code that, when applied, automatically adds almost all of the detail you need to add a lifelong learning event to your registry. This feature is available only for lifelong learning events sponsored by a Nazarene entity such as a district or regional office.
  2. How do I enter an Event Code?
    If you were given an Event Code for a lifelong learning event in which you participated, enter the code in the space provided at the top of the ADD RECORD page. This will add all of the event information with the exception of the number of learning hours. Use the event schedule to calculate the number of hours you actually participated (do not include breaks, travel time, or, in most cases, meals) and then add this number to the record. Then, select “Create” at the bottom of the ADD RECORD page to complete your entry.

    Please note that the information provided will appear in the language used by the individual creating the Event Code even though you may be viewing the site in a different language. If you would like the event detail to appear in a different language than what appears when you apply the Event Code, simply edit the entry.
  3. What if I did not receive an Event Code at the lifelong learning event I attended?
    If you did not receive a code or lost the code, you should skip the “Event Code” option and enter the event details into the record yourself as usual.
  4. How do I create an Event Code for a lifelong learning event?
    An event code can be created only by those given administrative rights to the Registry. For more information, contact your district office or email us at learning@nazarene.org.

Six Best Practices for Lifelong Learners

  1. THINK SMARTER THAN THE MINIMUM
    If you’re focusing on how you’ll complete 20 hours of lifelong learning over a year’s time, you’ve missed the point of lifelong learning! Instead, focus on what you need to enhance your ministry and yourself as minister.
  2. STRETCH YOURSELF
    Look for lifelong learning opportunities that push you into a new area of learning, nudge you out of your comfort zone, and requires that you wrestle with new ideas or gain new skills.
  3. LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES, NOT EXCUSES
    In most settings, there are many opportunities for lifelong learning, whether in-person or online. Look for offerings by your nearest Nazarene college or university, your district or regional office, professional groups in your community, etc.
  4. AVOID LONELY LEARNING
    Whenever possible, learn with others. Learning as part of a group maximizes the benefits of the experience. As the African proverb says, “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.”
  5. PURSUE BALANCE IN YOUR LIFELONG LEARNING PLAN
    A balanced lifelong learning plan involves 1) engaging in a variety of learning activities, such as conferences, webinars, peer-learning activities, seminars, etc., and 2) selecting opportunities that connect with all four development areas: Content, Competency, Context, and Character. Although there are seasons when it is helpful to focus on one or two development areas, it is best to balance your learning activity over time.
  6. REPORT YOUR LIFELONG LEARNING HOURS IMMEDIATELY
    When you participate in a lifelong learning activity, note the event descriptions and schedules. This information will help you report accurately. Make it easy on yourself by reporting immediately after the event.