Hello Rev. Neal,

How much Hebrew/Aramaic and Greek are Methodist ministers usually expected to take in seminary?

-- James

Dear James,

The United Methodist Book of Discipline does not stipulate that clergy must learn any of the Biblical languages in their seminary studies.  Nor do I know of any Conferences who have made Biblical language-study required.

This being said, perhaps 30% of United Methodist Clergy will take at least a year of Koine Greek, and another 20% might also take Hebrew.  The Biblical languages are offered in all our Seminaries, and while it is not required many professors encourage their students to take at least a year of one of the languages.  

Personally, I took 2 years of Koine Greek Grammar (1st year and Intermediate with readings in the LXX) as well as several semesters in Readings and Exegesis of the Greek New Testament (The Synoptics, John, and the Pauline Letters).  In addition to this, I took 1st year Hebrew and a single course:  "Hebrew Reading of Genesis."  Over the past 20 years I've managed to maintain my Greek by using it, frequently, in my preparation to preach and in my teaching. My Hebrew is much more rusty, but I can make my way through much of of the Torah and the Writings with a Lexicon in my hand.


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Rev. Gregory S. Neal


I can answer questions dealing with all issues of United Methodist Doctrine and Wesleyan-Arminian Theology. In particular I can answer questions dealing with the Sacraments and other liturgical and worship-oriented questions. I can also answer questions dealing with the form, structure, and organization of the United Methodist Church and our relationship with other denominations.


I am an ordained United Methodist Elder with more than 20 years of ministerial service experience in the local Church.

I am a Clergy Member in Full Connection and have been a member of the North Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church since 1991. I am a member of the Society of Biblical Literature and the American Academy of Religion. I am also a member of the Emmaus Community, and am currently serving as Senior Spiritual Director for the Dallas Emmaus Community. I am a member of the Order of Saint Luke in the United Methodist Church.

I have my own website:   I have written two books, "Grace Upon Grace" and "Seeking the Shepherd's Arms," both available at and in bookstores.

I have a BA in Religious Studies, History and Russian. I have an M.Div in Systematic Theology and Biblical Studies and a Ph.D in Sacramental Theology and New Testament.

Awards and Honors
Ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church
Fellow of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist

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