Nevertheless, the experience of the Church and the needs of its ministry require certain qualities of faith, life, and practice from those who seek ordination as deacons and elders.
In order that The United Methodist Church may be assured that those persons who present themselves as candidates for ordained ministry are truly called of God, the Church expects persons seeking ordination to: Accept that Scripture contains all things necessary for salvation through faith in God through Jesus Christ; be competent in the disciplines of Scripture, theology, church history, and Church polity; possess the skills essential to the practice of ordained ministry; and lead in making disciples for Jesus Christ.
It is an involved process that requires a person to be listening for God’s call each step along the way.
It also involves lots of other people who God has placed in the process to verify a person’s call to ministry.
Whether your goal is to be a licensed local pastor, or an ordained deacon, or ordained elder, the first step toward ministry in the United Methodist Church is a process called “candidacy.” One reason this step exists is to help the exploring candidate discern what shape God’s call is taking in their lives.
In order to begin the Candidacy Process you should apply to your District Superintendent in writing including a statement of your call, asking for permission to enter the candidacy process, and asking to be assigned a candidacy mentor.
If you are sensing a call to pastoral ministry, please visit our Getting Started page.
One thing you will note is that it is very methodical and thorough and blends together the inward and outward discernment process surrounding a person’s call.
The goal of the process described below is to go from being an exploring candidate to being what we call a “certified candidate.” After becoming a certified candidate, then one begins taking the steps toward either licensed ministry or ordained ministry as a deacon or elder.