In the South, gifted ministers from other traditions who have found their way into the United Church of Christ. We have a system whereby such candidates can be encouraged whether they have theological training or are in need of additional training for ministry. If they are willing to do the necessary work, these ministers have often been counted among our finest clergy.
Dual Standing and Privilege of Call
Clergy ordained in another denomination who wish to have their ordination recognized by the United Church of Christ can choose one of two paths.
- Dual Standing is a temporary authorization given to a minister from another denomination who has been called to a setting of the United Church of Christ. With such authorization, comes all of the rights, privileges and responsibilities of a United Church of Christ minister.
- Privilege of Call is granted to a minister from another denomination who wishes to leave his/her present denomination and become an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. Once privilege of call is granted, the minister may seek a call in a setting requiring United Church of Christ ministerial standing, and once a call is secured, they can then be granted full standing.
|Comparison||Dual Standing||Privilege of Call|
|Who would apply?||Ordained minister from another denomination, serving in a setting of the UCC||Ordained minister in another denomination who wishes to become and serve in UCC|
|Relationship with present denomination||Wishes to retain current denominational standing||Wishes to relinquish present standing and become UCC|
|Duration||Ends at conclusion of the ministry in that UCC setting||Full and ongoing standing in UCC|
|Portability||Not transferable from one association to another||As a minister with standing in the UCC, may transfer standing to any new ministry setting|
Requirements and Process
There are several essential requirements for a minister who has a Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent from an accredited seminary to secure either dual standing or privilege of call. They are:
- To enroll in and complete satisfactorily a class in United Church of Christ History and Polity
- To complete a paper of 20-30 pages presenting the candidate’s pilgrimage in ministry organized around the Marks of Faithful and Effective Ministry.
- To complete a UCC Ministerial Profile, including the attached criminal background check, three telephone references and eight written references.
- To present all academic transcripts undergraduate and post-graduate.
- To have a letter of reference from the candidate’s bishop or equivalent judicatory executive.
Other details of the process are outlined in the Summary of Steps for Seeking Privilege of Call or Dual Standing.
If a minister is ordained in another denomination but does not have a theological degree, he or she must apply for a license to minister in the United Church of Christ, be assigned an adviser, and is encouraged to enroll in the online program PATHWAYS for a minimum of three years of study for a certificate.