Licensed Local Pastor Information and Resources
Welcome! If God is calling you to become a pastor, but you do not discern seminary as the best path for you, you may want to consider becoming a local pastor.
A local pastor most often answers God’s call to serve the mission of Jesus Christ by serving a local congregation. They are not ordained or elected to full membership of the annual conference, nor are they required to itinerate. Additionally, a local pastor’s authority is only within their specific appointment setting.
Local pastors serve under the authority of a license for pastoral ministry after completing the steps outlined in ¶315 of The Book of Discipline (2016) and meeting any annual conference requirements. When appointed, a local pastor performs the usual duties of a pastor in their appointment setting, including (but not limited to):
- Preaching and teaching.
- Leading in worship and liturgy.
- Receiving new members.
- Performing the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion.
- Performing the services of marriage (where state laws allow), burial and confirmation.
Steps to becoming a local pastor listed in order of completion:
- Certification as a Candidate – prerequisite for Licensing School (BOD ¶310)
- Licensing School – required for appointment, and a prerequisite for Course of Study (BOD ¶315)
- Course of Study – to be completed over 5 -12 years while under appointment (BOD ¶318)
- Advanced Course of Study – for further education and/or to meet educational requirements if continuing on toward ordination.
Resources for each step on your path as a local pastor:
Certification as a Candidate for Ministry
The following links and forms are provided to support the work of the District Committee on Ministry (dCOM) and candidates in navigating the process of certification:
- Local Pastor Checklist – Certification through Licensure
- Candidacy Mentor’s Report | Discernment
- Candidacy Mentor’s Report II | Certified Candidates
- Form 102 – Biographical Information
- Form 103 – Medical Report: Please ask your dCOM for guidance regarding this form
- Form 104 – Declaration of Candidacy
- Form 114 – Candidate’s Disclosure
- Core Essentials for Excellence
Please send completed candidacy and license renewal paperwork to Board of Ordained Ministry Administrator Stephanie Franklin at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or Local Pastor Registrar Sheila Marie at email@example.com.
- Licensing Schools – Application forms are specific to each school.
- Licensing School Scholarship Application
Please send Licensing School Registration and scholarship applications to your District Superintendent and Local Pastor Registrar for signature (in that order). Once licensed, Local Pastors must connect with their dCOM annually to renew their license.
Course of Study (COS)/Advanced Course of Study (ACOS)
- Extension and regional Schools for Licensing, Course of Study and Advanced Course of Study – registration forms and requirements are specific to each school.
- Course of Study Curriculum
- Click here for Western Jurisdiction Course of Studies information.
- Click here for up-to-date online Course of Study opportunities through GBHEM.
- Local Pastor Scholarship Application – for Course of Study classes
- Steps to Associate Membership via COS
- Steps to Provisional Membership via COS/ACOS
- Advanced Course of Study Curriculum
Please send Course of Study registration and scholarship applications to your District Superintendent and Local Pastor Registrar for signature (in that order).
Helpful resources once appointed
- Local Pastor Mentor’s Report – used by clergy mentor once appointed through completion of COS
- Pastoral Effectiveness Evaluation Form – also used for annual Charge Conference reporting
- Continuing Education Policy
- Continuing Education Report Form (use for COS courses and/or any other C.E. completed)
- Biographical Info Form
- Clergy Profile Long Form
- Board of Ordained Ministry Administrator Stephanie Franklin can help with general questions as well as candidacy and license renewal questions and forms.
- Licensed Local Pastor Registrar Sheila Marie can help with questions and suggestions related to any part of the process.
- Local Pastor Fellowship Chair Vonda McFadden can help with questions and suggestions related to any part of the process.