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Exploring Ministry

Are you experiencing a sense of call to ministry? Would you like to explore the possibility that God is inviting you into licensed or ordained ministry? Within The United Methodist Church, we have a discernment process for persons who desire to explore ministry. There are several steps involved, but a phone call to your District Superintendent is perhaps the best way to begin. He or she can talk you through the steps.

  1. To enter “Candidacy” for ministry, you must be a member of a United Methodist Church or United Methodist Campus Ministry for 1 year.
  2. Contact your Pastor or Campus Minister to talk about your experience of “call.” Read and discuss “The Christian as Minister” with him or her.
  3. Contact your District Superintendent
    1. Write a letter requesting to begin the process to explore candidacy for ministry and send a copy to the Chairperson of the District Committee of Ordained Ministry.
    2. Attach a statement of your call to ministry.
  4. You will be scheduled to meet with the District Committee on Ordained Ministry (dCOM) for an interview/conversation. You will also receive some forms to complete. The dCOM will vote whether to recommend that you move forward through the process.
  5. Attend an Orientation to Ministry Retreat with other people throughout the Tennessee Conference going through the same discernment process. These are held in February and August of each year. At the retreat you will be placed in a mentoring group.
  6. Mentoring groups will meet up to four times over the following 6 months. During this time, candidates will also:
    1. Complete a physical examination
    2. Complete a psychological examination
    3. Satisfactorily pass a background check
    4. Meet with your local church Pastor Parish Relations Committee for their recommendation of your candidacy for ministry
    5. Be approved by vote of your Charge Conference for candidacy
  7. Attend the closing retreat
  8. Return for an interview with the dCOM for final approval as a candidate for ministry.

This seems very complicated and there are a lot of moving parts, but your District Superintendent and the Chairperson of the dCOM are always available to walk with you through the process.

Rev. Dr. LeNoir Culbertson, District Superintendent
316 W. Lytle St. Suite 101
Murfreesboro, TN 37130
(615) 893-5886

Rev. Chris Haynes, dCOM Chair

haynesca@gmail.com