Licensed Ministry

A Licensed Minister of the United Church of Christ is one of its lay members whom God has called and who has been recognized and authorized by an Association to perform specified duties in a designated Local Church or within that Association, mainly preaching and conducting services of worship, for a designated time under the supervision and guidance of that Associating.  The license may be renewed.  –Constitution and Bylaws of the United Church of Christ

Summary of Chronological Steps to Being Authorized as a Licensed Minister

    1. Upon discerning that one is called to Licensed Ministry, the candidate speaks with the Pastor or leaders of the Congregation to explore the meaning of their call and its implication for the candidate and the congregation.
    2. The candidate prepares an application to the appropriate committee or body of the congregation which includes the following information:
      1. Description of the candidate’s interest in and sense of call to Christian ministry
      2. Description of the candidate’s Christian pilgrimage
      3. Summary of Church related activities that have contributed to the call
      4. A letter of application by the Candidate requesting Licensure
      5. Verification of Membership in the Local Church
      6. Three letters of reference (Including one from the Pastor)
      7. Transcripts of all formal education
    3. The Committee or (governing) Body interviews the candidate, and determines whether or not to recommend the candidate to attend the Exploration Retreat and to meet with the Member in Discernment Committee of the Commission on Ministry of the Southeast Conference.
    4. Once the candidate has attended an Exploration Retreat and met with the Member in Discernment Committee, if the Committee  recommends that the candidate proceed to the next step, the candidate sets an appointment for a Psychological Evaluation.
    5. Following the completion of the psychological evaluation, the candidate meets with the Psychological Evaluation Committee.  The Psychological Evaluation Committee may recommends that the candidate in exploration continue in the discernment process.
    6. The candidate secures a Background Check in consultation with the MID Committee.
    7. The candidate meets with the Member in Discernment Committee, and presents a plan of preparation and training for ministry for their review, either PATHWAYS or another program. The Candidate further does the following:
      1. Presents documentation indicating that the program has been started or completed.
      2. Presents the beginning of a portfolio organized around the four marks of faithful and effective ministry. At this meeting the Local Church submits:
        1. Description of ministry position, the worship and preaching opportunities and the time required for this position.
        2. Indicates that time will be provided for Candidate to participate in the life of the wider UCC.
        3. Lists salary and benefits
      3. If the plan is approved, an adviser is appointed to the candidate, and the candidate is accepted as a Member in Discernment and Licensed Minister.
    8. If recommended to proceed to the next step, the candidate then meets with the Licensed Ministry Committee.  The candidate commits to attend the semi-annual MID retreats, and submit annual requests for renewal of their license.