The Methodist Class Leader

This course examines the office of Methodist class leader. In early Methodism, every member of a Methodist society was put under the care of a class leader — a more mature Christian who took responsibility for nurturing the spiritual development of a group of about 12 others, to translate their faith into disciplined Christian living. 

Class leaders and class meetings were part of the genius of the original Methodist movement. They were a highly effective means of pastoral nurture and oversight, first in John Wesley's early societies, and then in the family of Methodist Churches throughout the world. Yet, in many branches of Methodism today, the office no longer exists or has devolved into a merely token role. 

This course draws on the extensive work of Dr. David Lowes Watson, a leading scholar of Methodist history and an advocate for the revitalization of the office of class leader to provide a more intentional approach to faith formation and accountable discipleship in today's church. The course explores the historic role of class leaders, why the role faded as Methodism became more established, reasons to consider revitalizing the role of class leaders, and what the church today can learn from the ministry of class leaders. 

How to enroll in Lewis Online Learning courses

If a denominational or judicatory leader arranged for you to enroll in this course, or if you received a code for participating through the Lewis Center or Wesley Theological Seminary, your group code or link must be used when enrolling. If you are not part of such a group, you may enroll in the course independently by simply leaving the group code box empty.

If you choose to take a course more than once or if you are asked to retake a course, it is important to demonstrate additional reflection on the questions by composing new answers. We reserve the right to review your answers in light of the ones you submitted previously.

After entering and confirming your email address, click the "Enroll Now" button to land on the "Enrollment account information" page. If this is your first Lewis Online Learning course, you will need to create a password. Your email address and password are your unique credentials to sign in to Lewis Online Learning courses. After clicking the "Submit to register" button, you will land on your personal home page where you will find this course listed. You may also edit your account information on this page.

If you need more information before enrolling, or if you are a denomination or judicatory leader interested in arranging enrollment for a group, call 202-664-5700 or email the Lewis Center at

Lewis Center for Church Leadership

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