Procedures for Authorization of Ministry

A Member in Discernment is a member of a local church of the United Church of Christ who has been called by God and who, under the care of the member’s Association, is preparing for the ordained Christian ministry.

The purpose of this relationship is to provide support, counsel, and assistance to the student during the time of the student’s academic preparation for the ordained ministry.

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Dual Standing: An ordained minister of another denomination other than the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) who wishes to retain ordained ministerial standing in that denomination and who has become a pastor of a Local Church of the United Church of Christ, or serves in a Covenanted, Affiliated, or Associated Ministry of the United Church of Christ, or has become pastor of a yoked charge or federated church, one part of which is affiliated with the United Church of Christ, or has been called to an ecumenical ministry one constituent of which is the United Church of Christ, may apply to the Association for dual ordained ministerial standing which is limited to the duration of that pastorate or that responsibility, and during that period may have all the rights and privileges of such membership.

Privilege of Call: An ordained minister of another denomination who desires to enter the ordained ministry of the United Church of Christ applies for Privilege of Call to the Association within whose bounds he or she resides.

If Privilege of Call is granted, it will be for a period of one year and may be renewed. After accepting a call, the ordained minister applies for ordained ministerial standing in the United Church of Christ to the Association of which the Local Church extending the call is a part.

Ordained ministerial partner standing is authorization granted to an Ordained Minister with ordained ministerial standing in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) who has a call to perform the duties and exercise the prerogatives of ordained ministry in the United Church of Christ.

This authorization assumes knowledge of, and appreciation for, the history, polity, and practices of the United Church of Christ. Ordained ministerial partner standing provides ongoing ecclesiastical authorization to perform the duties and exercise the prerogatives of ordained ministry in the United Church of Christ.

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Commissioning is the act whereby the United Church of Christ, through an Association, in cooperation with a person and a local church of the United Church of Christ, recognizes and authorizes that member whom God has called to a specific church-related ministry that is recognized by that Association, but not requiring ordination or licensing.

By this act, the status of Commissioned Minister is conferred and authorization granted to perform duties necessary to and for the specific ministry, and voting membership in that Association is granted.

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Licensing is the act whereby the United Church of Christ through an Association, in cooperation with a person and a Local Church of the United Church of Christ, recognizes and authorizes that member whom God has called to perform specific 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 Association.

The license may be renewed. Voting membership in that Association may be granted.

A person seeking recognition and authorization as a Licensed Minister applies through his or her Local Church to the Association in which that church is a member.

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When ordained ministers move from the bounds of one Association to another, they are required to transfer their ordained ministerial standing to the new Association.

The ordained minister who has received a call within another Association applies to the new Association for her or his ordained ministerial standing to be recognized, accepted, and transferred.

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