Candidacy Process

What is the District Committee of Ordained Ministry?

The District Committee of Ordained Ministry (dCOM) is responsible for assessing, assisting, and evaluating individuals for certified ministry candidacy to become an Elder, Deacon, or Licensed Local Pastor.


Elder – Elders are ordained United Methodist clergy who preach and teach the Word of God, provide pastoral care and counsel, administer the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion, and order the life of the church for service in mission in ministry.  They are itinerant (amenable to assignment and appointment by the bishop). They are members of the annual conference session, with the rights and responsibilities this entails.


Deacon – Deacons are ordained United Methodist clergy who lead the church in relating Christians to their ministries in the world through worship leadership, preaching, teaching, nurturing spiritual vitality and leading ministries of service, love, and justice. They may work primarily in congregations or they may work primarily in settings like hospitals, social-service agencies, mission agencies, schools, counseling centers, denominational agencies, and more.  Deacons are appointed by the Bishop, but seek their own appointment.  They are full members of the Annual Conference, with the rights and responsibilities this entails. 


Licensed Local Pastor – Local pastors are not ordained but are licensed to preach and conduct divine worship and perform the duties of a pastor (as listed above). They are appointed, but need not make themselves available as itinerant ministers. Local pastors may also serve in extension ministries settings. Licensed local pastors are voting members of annual confrence.  

For in depth information on each, please visit


Candidacy Process

According to the Book of Discipline (BOD) 2012, Section 310, below is a brief outline of the process for candidacy for licensed local pastors and elder.

  1. Once received the call to servant leadership, meet with local pastor to inquire about the process of candidacy. The pastor will give a book called The Christian as Minister  and work together explore their call to ministry. Check out more resources and guidance at
  2. The person inquiring must be a member in good standing in the UMC for a minimum of 1 year.
  3. Candidate writes to the district superintendent to request an invitation to the candidacy process and describe their call to ministry BOD ¶310. Upon acceptance, the candidate should receive an email invitation from UMCares that will guide them through the resources the candidate should study. 
  4. Attend Candidacy Summit in which your mentor will be assigned. Work through the Guidelines to Ministry book with mentor.  
  5. Request a meeting with the pastor-parish committee or equivalent body to approve the candidate to move forward by presenting their statement of call and to be interviewed by the committee using the questions listed in the BOD ¶310.
  6. Onced approved, the pastor-parish committee will request a charge conference to recommend the candidate to the dCOM. Approval of the candidate is gained through a two-thirds written ballot. 
  7. Candidate will complete a pyschological assessment, background check, biographical and medical report, submit transcripts, and any other forms the dCOM requests. 
  8. Interview with the dCOM for certification. See checklist for a more detailed step by step help. 

Requirements (Click the Name of the Form to Download)

Candidacy File Checklist

Written Responses ¶310.1.d & ¶310.2.a

Screening Packet/Background Check Authorization & Wavier

Biograhical Report (Form 102)

Medical Report (Form 103)

Declaration of Candidacy/Charge Conference Recommendation

Disclosure Form

Missouri Safe Sanctuaries Certification (Contact Tina Twenter at  to get online training set up)

Academic Progress Report (Transcript)

Mentor's Report (Completed by Candidacy Mentor)

Comissioning (Elders & Deacons)

In order to be considered for comissioning, a candidate must be certified for a minimum of one (1) year or maximum of twelve (12) years. They must present a seminary transcript showing completion of half of their Master's Degree (24 hours) or completion of a Master's Degree in specialized ministry. 

Check out the Board of Ordained Ministry webpage on the conference website for more information about commissioning and the requirements.