“Candidacy” is part of a lifelong spiritual journey of discerning God’s callings in our lives.  The Missouri Conference is excited about its enhanced program for persons in the process.  Beginning January 1, 2012, all inquiring candidates will be informed of the Candidacy Summit requirements leading to certification.

The “Candidacy Summit” is a time for candidates to pause, gather with other travelers and those who have traveled on the journey, and overlook the different routes to which God might be calling.  Representatives of the Missouri Annual Conference, Board of Ordained Ministry, and Center for Pastoral Excellence are working on this Candidacy Summit to offer accurate information about the entire candidacy process and opportunities for serious discernment.  It is meant to inform, support, and encourage persons in the early stages of the journey of discernment.  This process aims to clarify roles and expectations of ministry in the greater community.

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Step 1. Beginning Candidacy: 2012 Book of Discipline 310.1,a-c (apply & enroll)

  • Perceive call to ministry
  • Contact the pastor in the local church, another deacon or elder, or the DS
  • Read the Christian as Minister (recommended, not required) or visit thecalltoministry.org
  • Be a member of the United Methodist Church or baptized participant of a recognized United Methodist campus ministry or other United Methodist ministry for one (1) year
  • Apply to DS, in writing, for admission to candidacy program and be assigned a candidacy mentor; include statement of call (half-page) 310.1.b
  • Attend interview with District Superintendent and receive Candidacy Summit application.

Step 2. Candidacy Summit Registration

  • An email from the General Board of Higher Education with a link to enroll as a candidate with The United Methodist Church through the UMCARES Candidacy system will be sent after your District Superintendent enters you into the UMCARES system. Read the email immediately and pay $75 application fee.  Once the fee is received, you can download or receive by mail the Candidacy Guidebook (Answering the Call) .
  • In Answering the Call, read pages 51-52, 66-67 and 85-86.
  • Complete Release of Information step on UMCARES.org website (under psychological assessment track)
  • Complete online application (http://www.moumethodist.org/pastoralexcellence) or send in application to the Conference office along with $125 registration fee
  • Complete DISC profile (link will be emailed you from Jenny Gragg, jgragg@moumethodist.org) You must bring the results to the retreat

Step 3. Candidacy Summit Attendance (Summer or Winter)

  • Photograph taken when checking-in
  • Take psychological testing
  • (Reference requests submitted through UMCARES prior to Summit) 3 references are to be received before a report can be written. Four references or more are needed in order to have a dCom certification.
  • Attend mentor meetings
  • Attend forums and receive answers to ministry setting questions etc.


Step 4. Post-Candidacy Summit

  • Mentoring Meetings
  • After the peer group work is complete, the Candidate returns to the full care of dCOM (and district liaison)
  • Meet with psychologist in either St. Louis, Columbia, Springfield or Kansas City
  • Complete required documents for district file
    • Medical Form 103
    • Biographical Form 102
    • Candidate’s Disclosure Form 114
    • Waiver of Access to file
    • Missouri Conference Safe Sanctuary Letter
    • Missouri Conference BOM screening packet
  • Keep copies of all forms completed and work submitted

Step 5. Declaring Candidacy: 310.1d,e (declaring)

  • Mentor marks task as complete in UMCARES after all meetings attended
  • Consult with pastor or equivalent in ministry setting and request recommendation from S/P-PRC or equivalent. (The candidate shall have graduated from an accredited high school or certificate of equivalency.)
  • Submit transcript or copy of diploma providing proof of graduation or equivalent
  • Written statement of call; responses to Wesley’s historic question in 310; and interview by Pastor/Staff Parish Relations Committee or equivalent. Candidate agrees to make a complete dedication of themselves to the highest ideals of the Christian life.

Step 6. dCOM Interview

  • Certify
  • Delayed (not yet; specific focus areas may be assigned)
  • Discontinue
  • After interview, meet with dCOM chair to discuss next steps
  • Continue ministry as laity

Step 7.  Continuing Candidacy for: Provisional Member 313

  • Annual recommendation by charge conference
  • Annual interview and approval by dCOM
  • Annual report of satisfactory progress of studies and copy of transcripts from university or school of theology.

Step 8.  Preparation for Provisional  Membership (Commissioning) 324

  • Certified candidate for minimum of (1) year, maximum twelve (12) years
  • One (1) year in service ministry
  • Completion of one-half the basic graduate theological studies to be eligible for commissioning.
  • Health certificate completed by medical doctor
  • Written and oral doctrinal exam and written autobiographical statement
  • Interview and recommendation by three-fourths vote of dCOM
  • Notarized statement certifying that the candidate has neither been accused in writing nor convicted of a felony, misdemeanor, or any incident of sexual misconduct of child abuse
  • Interview and recommendation by the BOM
  • Election to provisional membership by clergy session