PATHWAYS TO MINISTRY
“Call” is God’s invitation to use your God-given gifts and talents to minister in the church and in the world. The call is different for each person, some of whom are called to ordained ministry. Specific information for youth.
What are the educational requirements to be an elder?
East Ohio Conference requires that an elder hold a bachelor’s or equivalent degree from a college or university and has completed a Master of Divinity or equivalent degree from a school of theology or seminary before being commissioned.
What other requirements must be fulfilled?
Candidates for full connection and ordination as elder must have been provisional members of an annual conference for at least two years. The provisional membership period is considered a trial period leading to full ministerial membership in the annual conference. During this period, provisional members complete their education and training, serve as pastors, and are evaluated as to character, servant leadership, and effectiveness in ministry.
How does an elder find a job within The United Methodist Church?
The United Methodist Church has a unique way of matching pastors and congregations. Rather than local churches hiring their own pastors, as in some denominations, United Methodist bishops appoint pastors to serve in local churches and other ministry settings. In this way, a local church is rarely without a pastor, and a pastor rarely goes without an appointment to a ministry setting. The primary goal of the appointment system is to match the gifts and graces of a particular pastor to the ministry needs of a particular congregation at a particular time. This system is known as itinerancy.
In what settings might elders serve?
A bishop might appoint an elder to a local rural or urban church or a charge, or to a district. A charge consists of the church and the people within or related to the community being served.
An appointment to the annual conference level might be as a district superintendent, staff member of a council or board, treasurer, bishop’s assistant, superintendent of parish development, general evangelist, campus minister, chaplain, pastoral counselor, or camp or retreat minister. In addition, appointments are made to general church agencies, United Methodist schools of theology or other educational institutions, and to ecumenical agencies.
What is a “charge?”
A charge is made up of the people within or related to the community being served. That includes the churches, the members of the church, and the community the church or churches are in. A pastor might serve two or more local churches organized under and subject to The Discipline, governed by a single charge conference and to which a minister or a local pastor is appointed.
How many members does a typical United Methodist church have?
Average membership of the nearly 35,000 United Methodist churches in the United States is 230. The median attendees is 110. As of year-end 2005, more than 12,508 had a membership of 75 or fewer.
What salary might a new pastor expect?
Compensation levels vary across regions, with each annual conference determining a minimum salary for full-time clergy under appointment. Factors including work load, experience and family size may be considered, and expenses related to travel and utilities may supplement the base salary.
Who can I contact for more information about ministry as an Elder?
Rev. Laura White, Registrar for Provisional and Associate Membership E-mail
Rev. Kimberly Arbaugh
Chair, Order of Elders
Phone: (330) 627-7671
The East Ohio Conference Office:
located in North Canton, OH,
near Akron-Canton Airport.
8800 Cleveland Ave. NW
North Canton, OH 44720
Local: (330) 499-3972
Toll Free: (800) 831-3972
Fax: (330) 499-3279
Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
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