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Steps to Being Licensed as Local Pastor


Licensed Local Pastors

Local pastors are licensed for pastoral ministry to perform the duties of a pastor in a specific local church setting or extension ministry. Local pastors are not required to itinerant. The license of local pastors must be annually renewed by the district committee on ministry. Local pastors are equipped primarily through Course of Study classes or seminary (if on the ordination track).

In order to be licensed as a local pastor, you first need to be certified as a candidate for ministry. To learn about the certified candidacy process, please click here.

If you have any questions about the licensing process, please email omc@tnumc.com or call 615-846-4430.

2016 Tennessee Conference Licensing School Participants, May 15-21, 2016 at Beersheba Springs Assembly. Lanita Monroe and Bud Alexander were deans at this week-long school.

2016 Tennessee Conference Licensing School Participants, May 15-21, 2016 at Beersheba Springs Assembly. Lanita Monroe and Bud Alexander were deans at this week-long school.

 

Licensed local pastors are on the increase. “Local pastors” includes full-time and part-time local pastors. Data source: GCFA.

Licensed local pastors are on the increase. “Local pastors” includes full-time and part-time local pastors. Data source: GCFA.

Eligibility

In addition to the requirements for certified candidacy, to be eligible for licensing a person must:

  • Not have been a certified candidate for more than 12 years (once someone is licensed, he or she is no longer a certified candidate and this rule would no longer apply)
  • Complete Local Pastor Licensing School or 1/3 of a Masters of Divinity degree
  • Be recommended for licensing by the dCOM
  • Be appointed by the Cabinet to an approved ministry setting
  • Receive annual continuance as a local pastor and have their license renewed by the district superintendent.
  • Full Time Local Pastors must complete 4 courses a year in the Course of Study or be enrolled in a University Senate approved seminary, college, or university
  • Part Time Local Pastors must complete 2 courses a year (but you can do up to 4 per year) in the Course of Study or be enrolled in a University Senate approved seminary, college, or university
  • Complete Course of Study program in eight years if serving as a Full Time Local Pastor or twelve years if serving as a Part Time Local Pastor.
Being Licensed Based on 1/3 Master of Divinity Degree

Though dCOMs usually require candidates to attend Licensing School even if they have completed 1/3 of a Master of Divinity degree if they desire to be licensed, the dCOM does have the authority to recommend for licensing based on 1/3 MDiv completion. If you are being recommended for licensing based on your MDiv work and are NOT being required to attend licensing school, you should receive information about the Service of Licensing at Annual Conference shortly after receiving your recommendation for licensing. If you do not receive this information, please contact the Office of Ministerial Concerns.

Upon Being Certified
  1. If you have been certified as a candidate for ministry and were not also recommended to attend Licensing School by your district Committee on Ministry and District Superintendent (and have not completed 1/3 of a Master of Divinity degree), you must receive these two recommendations in order to attend Licensing School. Contact your dCOM chair about the process involved in seeking these two recommendations.
  2. After you have received these two recommendations, your dCOM should give you a Licensing School application. (Licensing School applications are typically available in January of each year. If you are recommended prior to January, follow up with your dCOM in January to make sure that they send you the application). The application must be completed by the deadline listed (typically the second week of April). There are also pre-Licensing School assignments to be completed by a separate deadline (typically towards the end of April).
  3. After completing the application and pre-Licensing School assignments, you must be present for the entire time and satisfactorily complete all requirements at the Tennessee Conference Licensing School (typically held the third week of May each year at Beersheba Springs United Methodist Assembly in Beersheba Springs, TN). If you are not able to attend the TN Conference Licensing School for any reason, please email omc@tnumc.com or call 615-846-4430 to request the dates/times of other Licensing Schools in the denomination.
  4. Upon successful completion of Licensing School and provided you are being projected for an appointment as a licensed local pastor, you will receive a license for pastoral ministry at Annual Conference (typically the second week of June each year).