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Resources for Clergy Members

Resources for Clergy Members

Conference Relations

The following chart is provided to offer guidance to members who may have questions regarding their relationship to the conference. It references portions of the 2016 Book of Discipline which you can find online here. You’ll also find our Change of Relationship Form for those requesting a change in status. If you have questions, please contact the Conference Relations committee chairperson (Contact Info).

Persons interested in serving in extension ministry should start by reading paragraphs 343 and 344 of the Book of Discipline. Extension ministry is open to:

  • elders
  • provisional elders
  • associate members
  • licensed local pastors

Clergy seeking an appointment in extension ministry should consult with their district superintendent before any interviews related to that position.

Extension Ministry Requests

Extension ministry in the United Methodist Church is divided into four categories:

  • ¶344.1a: clergy serving within the connectional structure of the UMC (examples would be conference staff, persons serving as faculty or staff at a United Methodist-related school, or those appointed to positions at a United Methodist camp or retreat center).
  • ¶344.1b: clergy who are endorsed by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM); typically these are chaplains, but other roles may also be endorsed, such as spiritual directors or pastoral counselors).
  • ¶344.1c: clergy who have been commissioned as missionaries and are serving through the General Board of Global Ministries.
  • ¶344.1d: clergy in any other type of extension ministry. These appointments, which are considered “a true extension of the Christian ministry of the church,” must be approved by both the Cabinet and the Board of Ordained Ministry.

Extension Ministers must establish a charge conference relationship with a local UMC, and must submit an annual report to the Board and to their charge conference.

To apply for an extension ministry appointment, use this online form

Formation & Continuing Education

As required by The Book of Discipline (¶351 and ¶334.4), each clergy will present his/her continuing education report at the yearly Charge Conference. Each District Superintendent will track and monitor every clergyperson’s CEU requirement at his/her annual Covenant and Ministry Assessment supervisory meeting.

Grants for continuing education/formation are available through the Ministerial Education Fund (MEF). The Board of Ordained Ministry offers up to $3,500 per quadrennium for continuing education, experiential education, spiritual direction, and/or coaching with the approval of the applicant’s SPRC chair or District Superintendent.

While continuing education/formation for appointed clergy is mandated by The Book of Discipline, the Board of Ordained Ministry believes that it should be a self-motivating desire for each clergy member to grow and develop one’s leadership and skills. The following details the Board of Ordained Ministries policies and also the resources to support clergy in their efforts toward lifelong learning.   If you have questions, please contact the Formation committee chairperson (Contact Info).

Continuing Education for Clergy Online

Some clergy are finding that their plans for continuing education this year have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, several programs are offering online options free or at reduced cost. The annual Festival of Homiletics has moved online this year with access to every session and speaker. Register at Pendle Hill has a wide variety of greatly reduced online classes, lectures, and series. For more information go to An additional continuing education program online can be found at There are some courses being offered in the future and several that are available as recordings. There are several courses that offer continuing education through BeADisciple that cover a variety of ministry areas. Students pay per course, with no membership fee.

Other online options may be sent to and will be listed on the Board of Ordained Ministry page of the PNW website.

Healthy Boundaries Training for Clergy Online

All persons under appointment need to complete boundary training for the quadrennium that ends this calendar year. The online option through the Lewis Center is still available for $25 (the conference pays the other half of the course fee). Go to: Lewis Center Basic Course to enroll in the basic course, Understanding Clergy Sexual Ethics or Lewis Center Advanced Course for the advanced course, Maintaining Boundaries in a Digital Age. Documents detailing the registration process, including the group codes you need to have part of your fee paid, can be found below:

Spiritual Direction

Spiritual direction is holy listening that involves three parties: the Holy Spirit, the spiritual director, and the directee. Each has a unique role in helping us listen for God. The Holy Spirit acts and moves in the directee’s life. The Holy Spirit is present in both the spiritual director and the directee, opening their ears, their hearts, and their eyes to listen for God, feel God, and look for God. The spiritual director serves in the role of holy listener for the directee. As the person shares what’s been going on in prayer and daily life, the spiritual director is diligently listening for the Holy Spirit’s nudges and promptings. This deep listening for God at work in the other person’s life helps the director ask questions and offer observations about how God seems to be moving in the person’s interior and exterior life.

Spiritual direction involves helping people grow in their relationship with God. This happens by inviting people to notice God at work in their day-to-day lives, by helping them discern God’s invitation, and by helping them gain awareness of what inhibits their growth in God.


Clergy Reflective Support Program

Mandatory Cultural Competency Training for Clergy

All persons under appointment or assignment need to complete a minimum of 7 hours of cultural competency training each quadrennium to be eligible for appointment in the following quadrennium. The goal is to offer training opportunities produced by the Board of Ordained Ministry, Pacific Northwest Conference, or districts during the quadrennium.

If a training session is not available, clergy may choose one of these options:

  • an online class or classes approved by your District Superintendent
  • participation in a clergy cluster study on diversity, equity, inclusion, white privilege, white supremacy, racism or other identity-based discrimination using a book or other resource approved by your District Superintendent
  • leading a congregational study on the topics above using a book or other resource approved by your District Superintendent

After completing the required training, a reporting form must be submitted online through this link.

Coaching for Clergy

The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry has been nurturing United Methodist clergy coaches with Certification from the International Coach Federation (ICF) since 2013 as a response to increasing demand for coaching for pastoral leadership. We have produced approximately 30 Associate Certified and Professional Certified United Methodist clergy coaches. These clergy coaches are committed to serving the church with their coaching skills.

Please visit the Find a Coach page at the UMC Cyber Campus website,, and utilize UMC ICF certified coaches for clergy assessment, leadership development, the ordination process, and to nurture clergy effectiveness.

To learn more about our Clergy Coach Training program, visit the Coaching for Vitality page.

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