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Commissioning and Ordination

Below you will find the process involved for ordination as elder and deacon in full connection:

 

Commissioning and Ordination as Elder

Elders are appointed to a pastoral charge or an extension ministry beyond the local church. Elders are ordained to a lifetime ministry of Word, Sacrament, Order, and Service. Elders are itinerant clergy who are appointed to serve by the bishop and are equipped primarily through completion of the Basic and Advanced Course of Study (in this instance) or through seminary training.

In addition to the requirements for Certified Candidacy, persons pursuing ordination on this track must:

  • Have Bachelor’s Degree from a University Senate approved college or university
  • Have Masters of Divinity Degree from University Senate approved seminary
  • Be a certified candidate for one year before commissioning and cannot have been a certified candidate for more than twelve years (if someone is licensed as a local pastor, that person is no longer a certified candidate and this rule no longer applies)
  • Be a Provisional Member of the Tennessee Conference for at least three years (full-time)
  • Be elected to Full Membership and recommended for ordination as an Elder

To be commissioned and elected as a Provisional Member of The Tennessee Conference, you must be recommended for provisional membership/commissioning by your district Committee on Ordained Ministry (dCOM) by June of the year BEFORE you seek to be commissioned (typically by the end of your second year of seminary).

After receiving this recommendation you will be added to the Board of Ordained Ministry Evaluation Conference (BOMEC) Orientation meeting list. This meeting typically takes place the Friday after Annual Conference each year. At that meeting, you’ll be issued a packet that outlines all requirements and deadlines associated with being commissioned/elected to provisional membership.

Upon successfully and satisfactorily completing those requirements and upon recommendation of the Board of Ordained Ministry, you will be presented to the Annual Conference for commissioning/provisional membership.

Once commissioned/elected to provisional membership, you will spend a minimum of three years in the Residency Process of the Tennessee Conference before being eligible for ordination.

If you have any questions about the commissioning/ordination process for the Order of Elder, please email omc@tnumc.com or call 615-846-4430.

Commissioning and Ordination as Deacon

Deacons serve in local churches as well as appointments beyond the local church. They are ordained to ministries of Word, Service, Compassion, and Justice. They are non-itinerating clergy who seek their own employment, which may become an appointment with the bishop’s approval.

In addition to the requirements for certified candidacy, deacons must:

  • Have a Bachelor’s Degree from a University Senate approved college or university.
  • Have a Master’s Degree from a University Senate approved seminary or in the area of specialized ministry
  • Have completed 24 semester hours of basic graduate theological studies as outlined in The 2012 Book of Discipline prior to commissioning.
  • Have completed Tennessee Conference academic requirements prior to ordination
  • Have been certified as a candidate for one year before commissioning and for no longer than 12 years
  • Be a Provisional Member of the Tennessee Conference for at least three years prior to ordination
  • Be elected to Full Membership and recommended for ordination as a Deacon

To be commissioned and elected as a Provisional Member of The Tennessee Conference, you must be recommended for provisional membership/commissioning by your district Committee on Ordained Ministry (dCOM) by June of the year BEFORE you seek to be commissioned (typically by the end of your second year of seminary).

After receiving this recommendation you will be added to the Board of Ordained Ministry Evaluation Conference (BOMEC) Orientation meeting list. This meeting typically takes place the Friday after Annual Conference each year. At that meeting, you’ll be issued a packet that outlines all requirements and deadlines associated with being commissioned/elected to provisional membership.

Upon successfully and satisfactorily completing those requirements and upon recommendation of the Board of Ordained Ministry, you will be presented to the Annual Conference for commissioning/provisional membership.

Once commissioned/elected to provisional membership, you will spend a minimum of three years in the Residency Process of the Tennessee Conference before being eligible for ordination.

If you have any questions about the commissioning/ordination process for the Order of Deacon, please email omc@tnumc.com or call 615-846-4430.

photo of bishop at ordination
Professional Certification Track for Deacon (¶324.5)

In order to be ordained as a deacon, some candidates may fulfill the academic requirements through the following professional certification alternate route. Candidates must:

  • Have reached 35 years of age by the time they are certified as a candidate
  • Have been a certified candidate for one year before commissioning and cannot have been a certified candidate for more than twelve years
  • Have a Bachelor’s Degree from a University Senate approved college or university
  • Have Professional Certification or License in the area of ministry in which the candidate will serve
  • Have completed a minimum of eight semester hours of graduate credit (or equivalent quarter hours) in the area of specialization
  • Have completed a minimum of 24 semester hours of basic graduate theological studies of the Christian faith as outlined in The 2012 Book of Discipline
  • Be a provisional member of the Tennessee Conference for at least three years prior to ordination
  • Be elected to Full Membership and recommended for ordination as a Deacon

The process for being commissioned/elected to provisional membership, residency, and ordination for the Professional Certification as Deacon route is the same as outlined above for Commissioning/Ordination as Deacon.