The District Committee on Ministry (DCOM) seeks to walk with persons who have experienced a call to ordained or licensed ministry, providing a resource to assist candidates in the process of fully discerning the nature of God’s call on their life. The committee consists of clergy plus three laypersons from the District. Candidates for ministry are interviewed and approved by the committee, and all local pastors serve under the supervision of the district committee.
THE CANDIDACY PROCESS
An individual who has experienced a sense of God’s call into professional ministry is invited to write to the District Superintendent to advise the district of their desire to pursue candidacy for ministry. The letter should include a written statement of the individual’s call, and a brief biographical statement. The District Superintendent or representatives of the District Committee on Ministry will meet with the candidate to advise them of the candidacy process.
The candidate will be asked to complete the book, The Christian As Minister, with their home church pastor or other United Methodist elder. Then they will move on to complete the workbook, Understanding God’s Call. Upon completion of these two resources, the candidate should contact the DS or the DCOM Registrar to advise them of their current status. At that point, they will be invited to meet with the DCOM to review their sense of call. The DCOM will assign a candidacy mentor to assist the candidate in working through the final resource, Fulfilling God’s Call. As they study that book, the candidate should compile the other requirements for candidacy including required written materials, submission of school transcripts, evidence of membership in the UMC for at least one year, and evidence of leadership in a UMC congregation or ministry for at least one year. The candidate should also meet with their home church Pastor/Staff Parish Relations Committee to be approved by them as a candidate for ministry and to be recommended to the charge conference of their home church for approval. Finally, the candidate’s mentor will arrange for the completion of the psychological evaluation required of all candidates for ministry. The cost of this evaluation is divided three ways between the candidate, their home church and the Board of Ordained Ministry.
When all of the above is completed, the candidate will be invited to meet with the DCOM for a formal interview to be considered for certified candidacy. If approved by the DCOM, they are eligible to be considered for the position of part-time local pastor. Those who feel a call to full-time service as a local pastor. or to ordained ministry as an elder or deacon, will need to continue on in the candidacy process.
More complete information on candidacy, along with a candidate’s checklist and all necessary forms, are available at the Board of Ordained Ministry website. Remember, candidacy is a process of mutual discernment, so you do not need to have all the answers when you contact the district superintendent, just a sense that God is calling you to use your gifts in professional ministry.
LOCAL PASTOR INTERVIEWS
One of the responsibilities of the DCOM is to conduct an annual interview with all local pastors on the district. Interviews are scheduled for March each year. The District Committee on Ministry will be contacting all local pastors to arrange their interview. Every local pastor is expected to meet with the DCOM and, unti they have completed the Course of Study, to have a mentor who is either an elder or another local pastor who has completed the Course of Study.
The Book of Discipline also provides for all candidates who have been formally admitted to the candidacy process to have an annual interview with the DCOM. Candidate interviews will be conducted in January ech ye. Candidates will have an opportunity to share with DCOM teams what is happening in their lives and how their call to ministry has been more fully understood.
Candidates will need the following contact information:
District Superintendent: the Rev. Steve Morton
office e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chair, District Committee on Ministry: the Rev. Candy LaBar
office phone: 610-865-5715
Registrar, District Committee on Ministry:
The Rev. John Keretzman, e-mail: email@example.com