Steps into Licensed and Ordained Ministry

If you are considering ordained ministry in The United Methodist Church, or would like explore the opportunity, your first step is to talk with your pastor or campus minister. They should be able to help you with your first steps and questions and walk alongside you toward your next step. The following document is provided for local churches as they seek to support candidates in discernment.

While all Christians are called into ministry, we are all gifted in different ways. The work of discernment in the ordination process is two-sided with individuals working through questions with family, friends, and mentors. The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry provides significant resources to help with understanding and exploring different ways to respond to God’s call on your life in The United Methodist Church (LINK).

After you’ve spoken with your pastor and have discerned an interest in exploring your call beyond the local church, you would contact your District Superintendent(DS) to discuss the next steps in the process and schedule a meeting with the District Committee on Ministry (dCOM – LINK to contact info). Let your DS know that you would like to enroll in the candidacy process.  It is at this time that the DS will help the dCOM assign to you a mentor who will help you navigate the ministry process. That will get the ball rolling. Be persistent. You’re not bothering people; you’re simply reminding them that you’re interested. They like to hear that, and the more you remind them, the more they will remember you, and see to it that you get the right info at the right time.

If at all possible, you want to become a “certified candidate” before you enter seminary so that you will qualify for more scholarship opportunities from The United Methodist Church and from your annual conference. If you can’t become certified before seminary, you can still attend; however, it’s better for you to become certified during your senior year in college.

The faith community, on several levels starting with your church, has an important role to play in the process of ordaining and certifying individuals for ministry. The PNW Board of Ordained Ministry has prepared the following documents to provide an overview of that process beyond the local church and to share what the Annual Conference is looking for regards to leadership skills.

At different points in the journey you will need to contact individuals on the Board of Ordained Ministry for information and to submit materials. Please click here for a full list of Board Members.

If you decide you are called to serve as a layperson in the Church, work with your pastor or other church members to identify ways you can serve. Try out different ministries to discover what you enjoy doing and where your skills are. The Church has many ministries and certifications for full-time vocational service.