What are the basic qualifications for ordination?
In the United Church of Christ, ministerial formation and authorization are overseen by Committees on Ministry in local Associations (and Conferences acting as Associations). It is important for those who are exploring God’s call to partner early with their home congregation and a local Committee on Ministry. Once an individual is in covenant with a local church and a Committee on Ministry, the person is designated by the Association to be a Member in Discernment.
The basic qualifications generally required of ordained ministers include:
- acknowledgment of Jesus Christ as the sole Head of the Church;
- membership in a local church of the United Church of Christ;
- demonstrated knowledge and affirmation of the history, polity and practices of the UCC.
In addition, many ordained ministers in the UCC hold a bachelor’s degree and a Master of Divinity degree or have pursued a course of study and formation that prepares them for service as an ordained minister in their context. Many Associations, through the work of Committees on Ministry, use the Marks of Faithful and Effective Authorized Ministers to assess a candidate’s qualifications regardless of education path. For more information about ordained ministry in the United Church of Christ, contact the Conference or Association where you hold UCC membership and review Section 3 of the Manual on Ministry describing ordained ministry.