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Tennessee Conference

United Methodist Church

Handbook for Ministers


Board of Ordained Ministry
January 2008
Introduction
The purpose of this book is to provide an easy reference to those items that may be of
special interest to the clergy. All citations and references are from the Book of
Discipline of the United Methodist Church, 2004 unless otherwise noted.

Abbreviations:

BOM Conference Board of Ordained Ministry


BOMEC Board of Ordained Ministry Evaluation Conference
H&WC Health and Wellness Committee
dCOM district Committee on Ordained Ministry
DS District Superintendent
GBHEM General Board of Higher Education and Ministry
OMC Office of Ministerial Concerns (615-846-4430)
SPRC Staff Parish Relations Committee
UM United Methodist
UMC United Methodist Church

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction 2
Table of Contents 3
Ministry of the Ordained 4-7
Candidacy Process 8-10
Continuation in Candidacy 11-12
Physical and Mental Health 13-16
Confidentiality 17-18
Transfer Policies 19-20
Local Pastors 21-25
Associate Members 26-27
Probationary Members 28-29
Commissioned Ministers 30-31
Deacons in Full Connection 32-33
Elders in Full Connection 34-35
Changes in Conference Relationships 36-42
Recognition of Orders 43-45
Diaconal Ministers 46-48
Certification 49-50
Continuing Education 51-52
Pensions and Health Insurance 53-55
Appendix A: Ministerial Education Funds 56-69
Appendix B: Residency Program 70-72
Appendix C: Board of Ordained Ministry Evaluation Conference 73-77
Appendix D: Behavioral Health Guidelines 78-86
Appendix E: Support Services 87-89
Appendix F: Transitional Policies 90-92
Appendix G: Conference Records 93-94

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MINISTRY OF THE
ORDAINED

4
THE MINISTRY OF THE ORDAINED

Section I. The Meaning of Ordination and Conference Membership

¶301.

1. Ministry in the Christian church is derived from the ministry of Christ, who calls all persons to
receive God's gift of salvation and follow in the way of love and service. The whole church receives
and accepts this call, and all Christians participate in this continuing ministry (see ¶¶120-138).

2. Within the church community, there are persons whose gifts, evidence of God's grace, and
promise of future usefulness are affirmed by the community, and who respond to God's call by
offering themselves in leadership as ordained ministers.

¶302. Ordination and Apostolic Ministry

The pattern for this response to the call is provided in the development of the early church. The
apostles led in prayer, teaching and preaching, ordered the spiritual and temporal life of the
community, established leadership for the ministry of service, and provided for the proclamation of
the gospel to new persons and in new places. The early church, through the laying on of hands, set
apart persons with responsibility to preach, to teach, to administer the sacraments, to nurture, to
heal, to gather the community in worship, and to send them forth in witness. The church also set
apart other persons to care for the physical needs of others, reflecting the concerns for the people of
the world. In the New Testament (Acts 6), we see the apostles identifying and authorizing persons to
a ministry of service. These functions, though set apart, were never separate from the ministry of the
whole people of God. Paul states (Ephesians 4:1-12) that different gifts and ministries are given to
all persons.

¶303. Purpose of Ordination

1. Ordination to this ministry is a gift from God to the Church. In ordination, the church affirms and
continues the apostolic ministry through persons empowered by the Holy Spirit. As such, those who
are ordained make a commitment to conscious living of the whole gospel and to the proclamation of
that gospel to the end that the world may be saved.

2. Ordination is fulfilled in leadership of the people of God through ministries of Service, Word,
Sacrament, and Order. The Church's ministry of service is a primary representation of God's love.
Those who respond to God's call to lead in service and to equip others for this ministry through
teaching, proclamation, and worship and who assist elders in the administration of the sacraments
are ordained deacons. Those whose leadership in service includes preaching and teaching the
Word of God, administration of the sacraments, ordering the Church for its mission and service, and
administration of the Discipline of the Church are ordained as elders.

3. Ordained persons exercise their ministry in covenant with all Christians, especially with those
whom they lead and serve in ministry. They also live in covenant of mutual care and accountability
with all those who share their ordination, especially in The United Methodist Church, with the
ordained who are members of the same annual conference and part of the same Order. The
covenant of ordained ministry is a lifetime commitment, and those who enter into it dedicate their
whole lives to the personal and spiritual disciplines it requires.
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¶304. Qualifications for Ordination

1. Those whom the Church ordains shall be conscious of God's call to ordained ministry, and their
call shall be acknowledged and authenticated by the Church. God's call has many manifestations,
and the Church cannot structure a single test of authenticity. Nevertheless, the experience of the
Church and the needs of its ministry require certain qualities of faith, life, and practice from those
who seek ordination as deacons and elders. In order that The United Methodist Church may be
assured that those persons who present themselves as candidates for ordained ministry are truly
called of God, the Church expects persons seeking ordination to:

a) Have a personal faith in Christ and be committed to Christ as Savior and Lord.
b) Nurture and cultivate spiritual disciplines and patterns of holiness.
c) Acknowledge a call by God to give themselves completely to ordained ministry
following Jesus' pattern of love and service.
d) Communicate persuasively the Christian faith in both oral and written form.
e) Make a commitment to lead the whole Church in loving service to humankind.
f) Give evidence of God's gifts for ordained ministry, evidence of God's grace in their
lives, and promise of future usefulness in the mission of the Church.
g) Be persons in whom the community can place trust and confidence.
h) Accept that Scripture contains all things necessary for salvation through faith in God
through Jesus Christ; be competent in the disciplines of Scripture, theology, church
history, and Church polity; possess the skills essential to the practice of ordained
ministry; and lead in making disciples for Jesus Christ.
i) Be accountable to The United Methodist Church, accept its Doctrinal Standards and
Discipline and authority, accept the supervision of those appointed to this ministry, and
be prepared to live in the covenant of its ordained ministers.

2. For the sake of the mission of Jesus Christ in the world and the most effective witness to the
Christian gospel, and in consideration of the influence of an ordained minister on the lives of other
persons both within and outside the Church, the Church expects those who seek ordination to make
a complete dedication of themselves to the highest ideals of the Christian life. To this end, they
agree to exercise responsible self-control by personal habits conducive to bodily health, mental and
emotional maturity, integrity in all personal relationships, fidelity in marriage and celibacy in
singleness, social responsibility, and growth in grace and in the knowledge and love of God.

4. The United Methodist Church entrusts those persons who are in the ordained ministry with
primary responsibility for maintaining standards of education and preparation for ordination. Having
been originally recommended by a charge conference and by authorization of the ordained
members in full connection with the annual conference, according to the procedures set out in the
Book of Discipline for the examination and approval of candidates for ordination, persons are elected
to membership in the annual conference and ordained by the bishop.

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Section II. Clergy Orders in The United Methodist Church

¶305. Orders in Relation to the Ministry of All Christians

Baptism is God's gift of unmerited grace through the Holy Spirit. It is an incorporation into Christ
which marks the entrance of each person into the church and its ministry (Romans 6:3, 4, 18).
The New Testament witness to Jesus Christ makes clear that the primary form of his ministry in
God's name is that of service, diakonia, in the world. Very early in its history, the church came to
understand that all of its members were commissioned in baptism to ministries of love, justice, and
service within local congregations and the larger communities in which they lived; all who follow
Jesus have a share in the ministry of Jesus, who came not to be served, but to serve. There is thus
a general ministry of all baptized Christians (see also ¶125-135).

Within the people of God, some persons are called to the ministry of deacon. The words deacon,
deaconess, and diaconate all spring from a common Greek root—diakonos, or “servant,” and
diakonia, or “service.” Very early in its history the church, as an act of worship and praise of God,
instituted an order of ordained ministers to personify or focus the servanthood to which all Christians
are called. These people were named deacons. This ministry exemplifies and leads the Church in
the servanthood every Christian is called to live both in the church and the world. The deacon
embodies the interrelationship between worship in the gathered community and service to God in
the world.

Within the people of God, other persons are called to the ministry of elder. The elders carry on the
historic work of the presbyteros in the life of the Church. Beginning in some of the very early
Christian communities, the presbyteros assisted the bishop in leading the gathered community in the
celebration of sacraments and the guidance and care of its communal life. The ministry of elder
exemplifies and leads the Church in service to God in the world, in remembering and celebrating the
gifts of God and living faithfully in response to God's grace.

¶309. Membership in an Order

1. Persons shall become members of the Order of Deacons or Order of Elders following their
election to full membership in the annual conference. Acceptance of the status of full
membership will constitute a commitment to regular participation in the life of the Order.

2. Changing Orders—Upon recommendation of the Board of Ordained Ministry and vote of the
clergy members in full connection in an annual conference, elders may be received as
deacons in full connection, and deacons in full connection may be received as elders,
provided they are in good standing and have:
a) informed the bishop and district superintendent of their intention,
b) applied in writing to the board of ordained ministry,
c) articulated their call to the ministry of the deacon or the elder,
d) completed all academic and other requirements for admission to the order for which
they are applying, ¶324, ¶330, ¶335, and
e) completed at least two years under appointment while licensed for pastoral ministry or
for a specialized ministry of the deacon.

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CANDIDACY
PROCESS

8
GETTING STARTED – THE CANDIDACY PROCESS
1. As a person feels the promptings of the Holy Spirit to explore vocational ministry, an Elder,
Deacon, or Local Pastor should be contacted for the prayerful reading and discussion of
the book The Christian as Minister (available at Cokesbury or in each church library).

2. If a candidate, after prayer, discernment with a pastor, and completion of The Christian as
Minister, is led to continue exploration of vocational ministry, it is recommended that The
Ministry Inquiry Process guidebook (available at Cokesbury) be read and discussed with a
Local Pastor, Deacon or Elder. A letter to the DS and dCOM Chair is written at this point
to indicate continuation in the process.

3. As the pastor and candidate discern together God’s calling, the following UM disciplinary
requirements should be understood:
Those seeking to begin candidacy for licensed or ordained ministry shall have been
professing members in good standing of The United Methodist Church for at least two
years immediately preceding the application for candidacy; including a year of service
in some form of congregational leadership, either in the local church or one agreed to
by the district Committee on Ordained Ministry (dCOM).
The candidate shall have been graduated from an accredited high school or received a
certificate of equivalency.

4. If, after completing the Ministry Inquiry Process guidebook, a deeper assurance of calling
is discerned and there is a desire to explore vocational ministry, contact should be made in
writing to the DS and the dCOM chair requesting assignment of a candidacy mentor.
It is the candidate’s responsibility to make this written request.

5. The letter of request must state that the applicant has completed The Christian as Minister
and name the person with whom it was discussed. The letter should also state the person
with whom the applicant completed The Ministry Inquiry Process (although this is
encouraged, it is not mandated by the Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church,
2004).

6. After a mentor is assigned by the dCOM Chair, the candidate and mentor meet:

Go online (https://public.gbhem.org/candidacy/default.aspx) and at the bottom of the


page select “begin the enrollment process”. Complete Form 101: Application for
Candidacy Guidebook” and the IRAI inventory. Send a check or money order for $75
to: Division of Ordained Ministry, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, PO
Box 340007, Nashville TN 37203-0007.

Read, discuss, and sign the “Confidential Mentor Report: A Co-Discernment Process”
sheet and mail it to the Office of Ministerial Concerns with a copy to the dCOM chair.
Retaining copies for the mentor and candidate is good practice.

7. The mentor will receive the IRAI results and the candidate will receive a Candidacy
Guidebook. If, after completing the first seven chapters of the Guidebook, the candidate
and mentor discern God’s leading the candidate to pursue some form of licensed or
ordained ministry, the candidate shall contact, in writing, the Office of Ministerial Con-
cerns, the D.S. and the dCOM chair.

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The OMC will schedule the candidate for psychological, medical, and background
examinations. The ‘turn-around’ for these will be at least two months or more. During this
time, the candidate should do the following:

Consult with the pastor and staff parish relations committee, share a written statement
reflecting upon his/her call and requesting recommendation for certification.
Interview with the SPRC, after which a recommendation will be made to the charge
conference. The SPRC and charge conference are to consider “Wesley’s Questions for
the Examiners” in making their recommendations.
Charge conference shall vote, by written ballot, whether to recommend the candidate to
the dCOM; the recommendation must be confirmed by a written two-thirds majority vote of
the conference (¶311.2).
Submit to the dCOM a written response to the disciplinary questions regarding God’s call
to ordained ministry; personal beliefs, gifts, and future usefulness; understanding of the
ministry of the deacon and elder in the UMC (¶311.3b,e,and f).
Maintain the highest ideals of Christian life as set forth in the Book of Discipline of the
United Methodist Church, 2004 (¶102-04; ¶160-166).

8. Upon receiving an affirmative 2/3 vote of the Charge Conference and SPRC and completing
the psychological, medical, background, and all other materials from the Office of Ministerial
Concerns, the candidate should contact the dCOM to schedule an interview.

9. All candidates are encouraged to pursue their education at one of the United Methodist
seminaries.

10. The candidate and mentor shall continue the candidacy studies for ordained ministry following
Chapter 7 of the Guidebook.

Local Pastor: Completed candidacy, certification, licensed, and assigned a clergy mentor

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CONTINUATION
IN
CANDIDACY

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CONTINUATION IN CANDIDACY
Continuation of Candidacy: ¶312

Annual recommendation by charge conference

Annual report from mentor

Annual approval by dCOM

Annual report of satisfactory progress of studies and copy of transcript from


university, school of theology or COS

Continued evidence of gifts, fruits, and God’s grace for the work of ministry

Completion of Candidacy: ¶324


Certified candidate for minimum of one (1) year, maximum twelve (12) years
Involvement in service ministry approved by Bishop, Cabinet, and dCOM
Completion of disciplinary academic requirements

Completion of seminary degree

Health certificate from BOM approved physician

Written and oral doctrinal exam and written autobiographical statement

Interview and recommendation by 3/4 vote of dCOM

Statement certifying that the candidate has neither been accused in writing nor convicted of a
felony, misdemeanor, or any incident of sexual misconduct
Interview with the BOM

Recommendation by BOM

Election to probationary membership by clergy session

Commissioning to specialized ministry as probationary member

Participate in Residency Program — Appendix B


PHYSICAL
AND
MENTAL HEALTH

13
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH
A. Guidelines for Health Examinations

The Discipline of the United Methodist Church requires that the Board of Ordained Ministry receive a
“satisfactory certificate of good health” before recommending a person for any full-time relationship
with the conference. To help those who may have some initial difficulty in meeting the standards of
good health, the conference voted to put the physical examinations at the time of candidacy for
ministry and/or at the time a relationship change is sought if more than twelve (12) months have
passed since the previous exam, which resulted in a certificate of good health.

The 1985 annual conference said that standards of good health are to be defined by the Health &
Wellness Committee of the BOM and the BOM-approved physician.

The following policies, as well as the provisions of ¶324.8 of The Book of Discipline, 2004 shall
govern the required physical examinations for those seeking to be certified as candidates for
professional ministry and for those seeking a change in relationship.

1. Each dCOM shall appoint a Health and Wellness sub-committee of 2-3 persons consisting of
the district chair, one clergy and one lay member, designated to read psychological reports,
medical reports and background checks on candidates for certification. A summary sheet
noting pertinent data on each candidate will be completed and placed in the candidate’s file.
Copies of this summary may be duplicated for use at a dCOM meeting when the candidate is
being interviewed, but will be collected and shredded at the close of that meeting.

2. Within twelve (12) months prior to advancing as a candidate, each individual shall undergo an
examination by a physician approved by the BOM. The physician shall submit a report on the
prescribed form.

3. A drug test (at the candidate’s expense) will be administered as part of the physical; if the
drug test results indicate a problem, the group interfacing with the candidate (dCOM or BOM)
will attempt to address the issue and offer assistance.

4. The report shall be sent to the OMC and the District Chair who shall make a careful
comparison with the standards of good health as defined by the examining physician and the
H&WC; a copy of the report will be kept on file. The District Chair shall notify the candidate
by personal letter of his/her conclusion based upon this comparison, sending a copy to the
OMC.

5. The report will be filed in the OMC if the individual meets the standards. A report indicating
that the individual does not appear to meet the standards shall be retained in the District until
the Committee and the individual determine a reasonable course of action. When the
medical condition is resolved, the District Chair may notify the chair of the H&WC who shall
secure the written approval of this Committee so the individual may proceed with candidacy
and/or full or part-time status. The chair of the H&WC shall then file the report with the OMC
and District Chair. This requirement applies to all persons seeking to change relationship.

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6. After a candidate (whose information/preparation has been approved and who has met or
made progress toward meeting the BOM’s guidelines for good health) has met with the BOM,
the BOM’s vote to approve the candidate assumes that the person has met the
requirements of the good health certificate. The BOM must certify to the Conference the
meeting of these standards (¶315.5a2c) in order for the candidate to be eligible for the
Comprehensive Protection Plan.

B. Standards of Good Health -- Guidelines

1. Candidates shall fall within a 20% variation of life insurance standard tables for weight
according to height. (The outer limit being 20% less than the lowest weight on the small
frame person or 20% more than the heaviest weight on the large frame person.)

2. Blood pressure elevation over 140/90 or with a history of elevation in the past shall require
periodic medical supervision. High or low blood pressure under medical supervision will not
keep a person out of ministry.

3. Persons with a history of diabetes or with a positive urine sugar, either on this or any previous
examination, shall have periodic medical supervision.

4. Persons presently in full time status shall not be disqualified by these guidelines unless they
seek to change their status by moving to another relationship.

5. These guidelines became effective 1/28/86. For information on physicals from BOM
approved physicians, call the OMC (615-846-4430).

C. Psychological Testing and Evaluation

The Tennessee Conference requires that each person who begins candidacy, who requests
admission to the conference, or who seeks to change status meet the BOM’s requirements as to
physical, mental, and emotional health (¶324.8). The Director of the OMC will provide the
psychological testing and BOM approved psychological examiners will provide the evaluation.
The evaluation is considered current for three (3) years.

Persons transferring into the TN Conference must have had a comparable battery of psychological,
medical and background checks (the psychological examiner will be the judge of “comparable”) prior
to any commissioning or ordination.

The BOM considers the confidentially of these evaluations as a sacred trust; reports are not
available to the conference at large. The evaluation process should be considered as a beneficial
experience for the candidate.

Procedures for setting up psychological evaluation:

1. Contact the dCOM Chair who will arrange a testing date with the OMC.
2. Participate in one (1) of the assessments given each year through the OMC. Results to be
sent to the dCOM chair and to the OMC.
3. Set up an appointment to review the findings of the initial test with the Ministry Assessment
Specialist. Results to be sent to the dCOM chair by the OMC.
4. This entire process will take at least two (2) months.

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The BOM and the candidate will share the cost of the evaluation.

Instruments to be used in the evaluation:

At Candidacy ……………………... MMPI2


16 PF
Incomplete Sentences
At Commissioning………………...16 PF Comprehensive Personality
Interpretation
At Ordination……………………….l6 PF Human Resource Development
Report

A mentor who would like to view the psychological of his/her mentee needs to first have written
permission from the mentee to review the material. The second step is to make a request to the
dCOM chair or the BOM chair with the understanding that no copies can be made.
The psychological will be kept with the District Chairs and the OMC.

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CONFIDENTIALITY

17
CONFIDENTIALITY
All comprehensive evaluations and amendment letters from the psychologists are the property of the
BOM. The BOM recognizes the right of the candidate to have access to these materials upon
request, but reserves the right to determine where and under what circumstances the material is
made available to the candidate.

1. All comprehensive evaluations and amendment letters will be clearly marked by the examiner as
“Confidential/Personal” and this material will be opened only by the person to whom it is
addressed (not by anyone acting on behalf of that person, i.e. clerical staff).

2. The material contained in the evaluation/amendment may NOT be duplicated or reproduced in


any manner with the exception of the recommendations cited by the psychologists.

3. The comprehensive evaluation will be sent only to the dCOM Chair by the OMC. A single copy
shall remain in the candidate’s file held by the dCOM Chair as long as that person is under
review by the dCOM. It will then be returned to the OMC and shredded.

4. To increase the value of the evaluation process for the candidate as well as the BOM, the
psychologist making the report shall be asked to review in detail with the candidate the
comprehensive evaluation with particular attention being given to the recommendations.

5. If the candidate takes exception to or has a complaint about the material contained in the report,
the BOM Chair can convene a meeting of the candidate, the dCOM Chair, and one (1) member
of the H&WC.

6. At the time of the candidate’s interview with the dCOM for certification, the Chair or designee
shall summarize the comprehensive evaluation for the committee with particular attention to the
recommendations for personal growth. The recommendations shall be given to the candidate at
that time; the psychologist would have reviewed these recommendations earlier with the
candidate.

7. Confidential material will become the property of the conference to be kept in the OMC.

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TRANSFER
POLICIES

19
TRANSFER PROCESS FOR CLERGY

a. Elders and Deacons (full members of conferences): transfers are handled between
sending and receiving bishops, but must have a background check before transfer is
approved.

b. Diaconal ministers find their own employment and take requests to their current bishops
who communicate with the receiving bishops. In these situations the BOM Executive
Committee may do a welcome interview with persons transferring into the conference.

c. Local pastors do not transfer, they must have a psychological, background check,
and physical before meeting with the dCOM to be approved for service in the Tennessee
Conference.

d. United Methodist Elders transferring from another conference must serve a minimum of
one year under appointment as clergy from another conference before transfer.

e. Elders transferring from other denominations must serve a minimum of one year
under appointment as a member of another denomination before beginning the process
toward commissioning.

f. Elders from other denominations seeking to become a deacon in full connection—


if the orders are comparable, they can serve for one year and then begin the process
toward commissioning.

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LOCAL
PASTORS

21
LOCAL PASTORS
A. Requirements for License for Pastoral Ministry ¶315

To be approved by the BOM, local pastors must have completed: ¶315.2


1. Conditions for candidacy certification in ¶311.1-3
2. Studies for the license as a local pastor through the Local Pastor Licensing School or 1/3
of M.Div at theology school listed by the University Senate. Candidates will pay a portion
of the total cost to attend Licensing School. The Adult Basic Education (TABE) test
recommended by the GBHEM will be taken by all planning to attend Licensing School.
3. Evaluation and recommendation by the dCOM.
4. A satisfactory certificate of good health—medical and psychological.
5. Sexual ethics/safe sanctuaries/inclusiveness seminars (TN Conference requirement).
These shall be completed within one year of appointment for full time local pastors or
within two (2) years for part-time local pastors. Part-time local pastors shall attend the
conference-sponsored seminars even if they have attended similar ones as part of their
primary employment.
6. Released the required psychological reports, criminal background and credit checks, and
reports of sexual misconduct and/or child abuse. They shall submit, on a form provided by
the conference board of ordained ministry:
a) a notarized statement detailing any convictions for felony or misdemeanor or written
accusations of sexual misconduct or child abuse; or
b) a notarized statement certifying that the candidate has not been convicted of a
felony or misdemeanor, or accused in writing of sexual misconduct or child abuse.
7. A course (with passing grade) in UM Polity, History, and Doctrine in the first year following
their appointment in the conference. This does not preclude taking said courses by
correspondence, nor taking prior to appointment, nor does this meet seminary
requirements.

Arrangements for the physical examination, psychological examination, and the background check
must be made with the OMC (615-846-4430).

B. Responsibilities and Duties ¶316

While assigned to a particular charge, a local pastor is licensed by the Bishop to perform all duties of
a pastor (¶340), including the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion. The license must be
renewed annually and extends only to the particular appointment; when assignments change
between sessions of conference, the Bishop must recertify the license. The local pastor is under the
supervision of a District Superintendent and clergy mentor (¶316.4).

The membership of full time and part-time local pastors shall be in the conference (¶341.6). Student
pastors will retain their memberships in their local churches (¶341.7).

Local pastors, except student pastors, may serve on any board, commission, or committee with
voice and vote, except the BOM and the dCOM and on matters of clergy character, qualifications,
status, and ordination (¶634.1). They are not eligible to vote on or serve as delegates to the
general, jurisdictional, or central conferences (¶318.5).

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C. Continuance ¶319

The dCOM may recommend to the BOM the continuance of a local pastor who has completed each
year’s education and other qualifications. The clergy members in full connection will vote on the
BOM recommendation at annual conference.

A local pastor shall complete the educational requirements within eight (8) years (full time pastors) or
twelve (12) years (part-time) unless given an annual extension by 3/4 vote of the dCOM,
recommendation and approval of the BOM, and conference clergy vote.

The BOM has reaffirmed its agreement with the GBHEM’s decisions that (1) classes/credits taken at
colleges not approved by the university senate are not acceptable; and (2) undergraduate credits
cannot be accepted/substituted for COS.

A local pastor may choose to remain in a local pastor relationship within the conference upon
completion of the five (5)-year course of study for ordained ministry (¶319.4) or may request
recommendation from the dCOM for Associate Membership.

NOTE: None of the provisions of this legislation shall be interpreted to change or limit authorizations
to local pastors ordained as deacon or elder prior to 1996 (¶319.5).

D. Categories of Local Pastors ¶318

1. Full Time Local Pastors (¶318.1) must meet the provisions of ¶315 and complete four
courses per year in course of study (unless the entire COS has been completed). In an
emergency or unusual circumstance, the BOM may authorize no more than four courses
taken by correspondence or via the Internet (¶1421.3d). Local Pastors must devote their
entire time to the charge to which appointed and receive in cash support yearly a sum not
less than the minimum salary established by the conference for full time local pastors
(¶318.1a-b). First time, full-time local pastors, prior to being appointed to a charge, shall have
a personal interview with the BOM (¶634.2g).

2. Part-Time Local Pastors (¶318.2) must meet the provisions of ¶315 and complete a
minimum of two (2) courses yearly in the course of study (unless the COS has been
completed). In an emergency or unusual circumstance, the BOM may authorize no more
than four (4) courses taken by correspondence or via the Internet (¶1421.3d). Part time local
pastors are persons who do not devote their entire time to the charge to which they are
appointed; or do not receive in cash support per annum from all Church sources a sum equal
to or larger than the minimum base compensation established by the annual conference for
full-time local pastors (¶318.2b-c)

3. Student Local Pastors (¶318.3) must meet the provisions of ¶315 and be enrolled as a
pre-theological or theological student in a college, university, or school of theology listed by
the University Senate and must make appropriate progress in courses (as determined by the
BOM).

Theological students of other denominations may be approved to serve as local pastors under the
direction of a DS, if recommended by the BOM and approved by vote of the clergy session of the
annual conference, provided they indicate, to the satisfaction of the BOM, their agreement to support
and maintain the doctrine and polity of the UMC while under appointment (¶318-4).

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E. Tennessee Conference Policies – Local Pastors

1. Local pastors may be approved only at conference unless the pastor has been previously
approved. A local pastor without appointment at the time of conference can be appointed part-
time between sessions of the conference.
2. Part-time local pastors will be allowed to change to full time status with full conference benefits
after the person has been interviewed and approved by the Executive Committee of the BOM,
with its action being reported to the full BOM at its next meeting. Only those changes initiated by
a DS will be considered.
3. A local pastor approved by the conference shall be discontinued as local pastor if he/she fails to
meet the requirements for that classification; the BOM will act upon recommendation of the
dCOM.
4. Between sessions of the annual conference the BOM, acting through a dCOM, may approve
persons to serve as part-time local pastors provided the persons have met all of the guidelines of
the conference and requirements of The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church.
These persons will have the authority to administer the sacraments and perform other duties and
responsibilities of local pastors only in the charges to which they are appointed.
5. Reimbursement for COS: Each year the budgeted amount for Course of Study (COS) expenses
will be divided by the number of courses projected to be taken; that amount will be paid to a local
pastor when she/he has completed the course, receiving a grade of C or higher. Any available
COS funds not used within a budget year will be put into a continuing designated fund for need-
based COS scholarships in future years. No reimbursement will be made to those attending
Advanced COS courses—these students are eligible to apply for MEFunds. Payment for
courses will be made ONLY to those local pastors under current appointment.
6. The dCOM will be required to verify the educational load of local pastors before they can be
recommended for FL status. To do this, the dCOM must have official school certification (after
the cut-off date for adding/dropping classes).

F. Termination and Reinstatement ¶320

1. When a local pastor is no longer approved for appointment or severs relationship with the UMC,
his/her license and credentials shall be surrendered to the DS for deposit with the Conference
Secretary. This applies when the appointment is discontinued by the Bishop, but does not apply
to persons licensed prior to 1950. The BOM shall file with the Bishop a permanent record of the
circumstances relating to the discontinuance (¶634.3d).
2. Withdrawal (¶320.2) and Trial (¶320.3).
3. Local pastors whose approved status has been discontinued from an annual conference may be
reinstated only by the annual conference that previously discontinued them (¶320.4). Approval
by the clergy session means license and credentials are granted and the person is eligible for
appointment, provided current studies are completed and the requirements of ¶315 and ¶318
are met.
4. When a discontinued local pastor is being considered for appointment or temporary employment
in another conference, the BOM where this person is being considered shall obtain (from the
BOM of the conference where approval has been discontinued) certification of the qualifications
and information about the circumstances relating to the termination of his/her approval as a local
pastor. Before this person is appointed, he/she shall be recommended by the BOM and
approved by the receiving conference. A DS may arrange for temporary service when the BOM
and Cabinet agree and when the BOM certifies that the person is enrolled for studies that have
not previously been completed.

24
G. Retirement ¶320.5

On recommendation of the BOM and by vote of the clergy session, a local pastor who has
completed the course of study and served not less than four (4) years as a local pastor may be
recognized as a retired local pastor. Retirement provisions for local pastors shall be the same as
those for clergy members (¶359.1,.2,.4) with pensions payable in accordance with ¶1506.5a.

H. Ministers from Other Conferences

Ministers from other conferences assigned to serve Tennessee Conference appointments as


student pastors and full or part-time local pastors shall be licensed as local pastors upon the
recommendation of the dCOM of the District in which the appointment is located. They shall be
required to successfully complete the TN Conference Local Pastors’ Licensing School. Or, in lieu of
the above, present to the dCOM where he/she is appointed, proof of the completion of the Local
Pastor’s Licensing School and of his/her license as a local pastor in the conference to which he/she
formally related.

25
ASSOCIATE
MEMBERS

26
ASSOCIATE MEMBERS

1. Requirements for Election to Associate Member ¶322


Candidates shall have
a) reached age forty (40)
b) served four (4) years as full time local pastor (or part-time equivalent as determined by
the BOM)
c) completed the five (5) year course of study (with no more than one (1) year by
correspondence) and the studies for licensing as a local pastor
d) completed a minimum of sixty (60) semester hours toward the B.A. or its equivalent in a
college or university listed by the University Senate
e) been recommended by the dCOM and BOM
f) declared willingness to accept continuing full time appointment
g) satisfied the BOM regarding physical, mental and emotional health
h) declared willingness to dedicate themselves to highest ideals of the Christian life
Vote of the clergy session upon recommendation of the BOM. Information is available from
the OMC (615-846-4430).

2. Rights and Restrictions


Associate members shall have the right to vote in the annual conference on all matters except
constitutional amendments, election of clergy delegates to the general and jurisdictional or
central conferences, and matters of ordination, character, and conference relations of clergy
(¶321.1).
Associate members may serve on any board, commission or committee of the conference.
They shall be subject to the provisions governing sabbatical leave, leave of absence, location,
retirement, minimum salary, and pension (¶321.2,.3).

27
PROBATIONARY
MEMBERS

28
PROBATIONARY MEMBERS

Pre-1997 Candidates ¶366.1, The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, 2000

All persons having begun candidacy for diaconal ministry, deacon’s and elder’s ordination and
conference membership, or full time local pastors prior to January 1,1997, will be allowed to proceed
under the provisions of The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, 1992. These
continuing procedures must be completed prior to December 31, 2008, after which date the
provisions of the current Discipline will govern the process by which persons enter the ministry.

Probationary Members, The Book of Discipline, 1992


1. Rights and Restrictions ¶413. Probationary members may be ordained deacons
but not elders unless they qualify for membership in full connection. They have the
right to vote and may serve on any committee, commission or board except the BOM
and Board of Trustees. They may not be elected delegates to the general or
jurisdictional conferences. They have the same security of appointment as members in
full connection. Probationary members in appointments beyond the local church shall
relate to the DSs in the areas in which their work is done. The DS shall give
supervision and make an annual report to the BOM.
2. Qualifications for Election ¶414
3. Special Conditions: Promise of Effective Ministry ¶416 To admit to probationary
membership a candidate who exhibits promise for effective ministry requires a 3/4 vote
of the clergy session at annual conference. These conditions are open only to
candidates over thirty-five (35) or those with college work done at a college not listed
by the University Senate and when 1/2 of the M.Div degree has been done in a
theological school listed by the University Senate.
4. Continuation in Probationary Relationship ¶417 When a probationary member
drops out of seminary, the OMC must be notified immediately with a copy of the official
transcript that may be evaluated regarding transferable credit toward the course of
study. No candidate shall be continued on probation beyond the 8th regular conference
session following admission to probationary membership unless extended according to
¶417.2. Each probationary member shall have a clergy member in full connection as
signed by the BOM as a mentor for guidance and supervision during the period of
probation. The relationship with the clergy mentor is strictly confidential. The mentor
will have no role in the evaluation or supervision of the probationer or local pastor. The
clergy mentor will fill out annually only one written form simply to report on the number
of times he/she met with the mentee.

29
COMMISSIONED
MEMBERS

30
COMMISSIONED PROBATIONARY MEMBERS

A. Qualifications ¶324.1 To be eligible for election to probationary membership and


commissioning, a candidate must:

1. have been a certified candidate for at least one (1) and no more than twelve (12) years;
2. have demonstrated his or her gifts for ministries of service and leadership to the satisfaction
of the dCOM;
3. have completed a bachelor’s degree from a college/university recognized by the University
Senate (exceptions only in consultation with GBHEM);
4. have received a M.Div. (if candidate for elder) or a master’s or equivalent degree (if candidate
for deacon) from a school/seminary listed by the University Senate;
5. have completed a minimum of twenty-four (24) semester hours of graduate theological
studies in the Christian faith (¶315.4.c for elders or ¶315.5.c for deacons). All courses
required in seminary are expected to be three (3) hour courses and be passed with a grade of
C or better;
6. have completed conference sexual ethics/safe sanctuaries and inclusiveness trainings;
7. conformed to the University Senate’s current policy of allowing 2/3 of seminary courses to be
earned on-line.

31
DEACONS IN
FULL CONNECTION

32
ORDAINED DEACON IN FULL CONNECTION

A. Ministry of a Deacon ¶329.1

Deacons are ordained to a lifetime ministry of Word and Service to both the community and the
congregation in a ministry that connects the two. They have the rights of voice and vote in the
conference and are eligible to serve as clergy on boards, commissions, or committees in the
conference and for election as clergy delegates to general, central or jurisdictional conference.
They may serve as candidacy or clergy mentors to provide counsel and guidance (¶329.2).

B. Appointments ¶331

Deacons may be appointed to service as his/her primary field of service


1. through agencies and settings beyond the local church through UMC-related agencies,
schools, colleges, theological schools, ecumenical agencies, or
2. within a local congregation, charge or cooperative parish
3. to attend school as part of their renewal and personal growth

C. Compensation ¶332.14

Deacons shall receive their support under the policies and agreements of the settings of their
primary fields of service. When this is a local congregation, charge or parish, the deacon shall
receive a salary not less than the minimum established by the equitable compensation policy of the
conference for full time and part-time pastors and shall participate in the denominational pension
and benefit plans, programs, and in the health benefit and supplemental programs of the conference
subject to the provisions/standards of those programs as established by the conference.

D. Termination ¶332.14e

Since deacons are not guaranteed a place of employment in the Church, special attention shall be
given to termination procedures that allow time for seeking another service appointment.
Notification of dismissal shall provide a ninety (90) day period to final termination unless the contract
specifies otherwise or except for cause.

33
ELDERS IN
FULL CONNECTION

34
ORDAINED ELDERS IN FULL CONNECTION
Ministry of the Elder
Elders are ordained to a lifetime of service, Word, sacrament and order. They offer themselves
without reserve to be appointed and to serve, after consultation, as the appointive authority may
determine. They have the rights of voice and vote in the Conference, and are eligible to serve to
clergy on boards, commissions, or committees in the Conference and for election as clergy
delegates to general, jurisdictional, or central conference. They may serve as candidacy or
clergy mentors to provide counsel and guidance (¶334).

Extension Ministries
1. ¶343 defines appointments to extension ministry and deals with the accountability of the
pastor to the conference and the support given by the conference (¶335.2b). Relations to the
local church are set forth in ¶344.3; three (3) categories of appointments to extension
ministries are defined in ¶344.1a(1).
2. The special nature of the ¶343 appointment is emphasized by the fact that these
appointments are made on recommendation of the cabinet and BOM and confirmed by a 2/3
vote of the clergy session at conference. A person may apply for such appointment, but the
cabinet, BOM and clergy session are charged with the right to determine whether or not the
conference needs or desires to have this ministry performed and wishes to deploy its
personnel to this ministry. The GBHEM will provide standards to assist in determining the
appropriateness of special ministry settings. Persons seeking such an appointment must
submit to the cabinet, BOM and GBHEM a written statement describing in detail the proposed
setting for their ministries, their gifts and evidence of God’s grace for it, and expressing the
intentional fulfillment of their ordination vows. This material will be submitted not later than
120 days before the desired appointment.

The bishop may make an interim appointment in this category after consultation with the cabinet and
executive committee of the BOM with the appointment to be acted upon formally by the next annual
conference.

Standards for Validation of Extension Ministries ¶343

1. Within the context of the basic call to ministry, there is discernible evidence that the person is
responding to a call to the particular form of ministry being proposed.
2. The proposed ministry fulfills and enriches the effectiveness of the church in mission.
3. The proposed ministry is congruent with the conference’s missional commitment in and to the
world.
4. Identifiable needs in the world are involved in this ministry, making it affirmable as a part of
the church’s mission.
5. The proposed ministry is one in which the vows of ordination to Word, Sacrament, and Order,
understood in holistic fashion, can be intentionally fulfilled.
6. The proposed setting provides a context that is positive for the person’s fulfilling the covenant
relationship that forms the interdependent and complementary ministry of UM clergy.
7. The person possesses the specific special gifts, training, education, work experience, and
experiences of grace required for the proposed ministry.
8. The proposed setting for ministry provides the possibility of the kind of accountability integral
to our understanding of responsible participation in our covenant community.
9. In the context of being a part of the clergy voluntary covenant community, the person is
prepared to accept an appointment to a local church if requested to do so.
35
CHANGES IN
CONFERENCE
RELATIONSHIPS

36
CHANGES OF CONFERENCE RELATIONSHIP

1. Full, Probationary, Associate Members ¶353


Ordained ministers seeking a change in conference relationship are urged to review this
with colleagues, the DS and the bishop. They, as well as probationary and associate
members, shall make a written request to the BOM, stating reasons for the change.
The BOM may request personal interviews.

2. Leave of Absence (LOA) ¶354


This leave is available to clergy who are probationary, associate or full members, who
because of sufficient reason are unable to or who choose temporarily to cease to perform
their ministerial duties; it may be voluntary (initiated by clergy) or involuntary (DS). The
leave should be requested through the BOM and must be approved by the clergy session
at conference. Those on leave of absence have no claim on conference funds and are
not eligible for membership on annual, jurisdictional, general, or central conference
agencies and may not be elected or serve as delegates to general or jurisdictional
conferences. Background checks will be run on everyone who is changing status except
those returning from Family Leave.

a. Voluntary LOA ¶354.1a


The written request for LOA should be made at least ninety (90) days prior to
conference, giving specific reasons for the request. The BOM or one of its committees
shall interview the clergy member to determine whether LOA is the best option for the
clergy to take. LOA shall be approved annually upon written request and shall not be
granted for more than five (5) years in succession, except by 2/3 vote of the clergy
session.
b. Involuntary LOA ¶354.1b
The DS may request an involuntary LOA without the consent of the clergy member at
least ninety (90) days prior to conference. The clergy and the BOM shall be given
written specific reasons for the request. The process for administrative hearings
(¶362.3) shall be followed. This relationship shall be approved annually upon written
request of the DS and shall not be approved more than three (3) years in succession.
By 2/3 vote of the clergy session at conference, upon recommendation of the bishop,
DS, and BOM, the ninety (90) day notice requirement may be waived.

3. Family Leave ¶355


This leave is granted to diaconal ministers, local pastors, probationary members, associate
members and clergy in full connection who, because of an immediate family member’s need
for full-time care, are temporarily unwilling or unable to perform the duties of a full time
itinerant minister. The written request for this leave shall be made at least ninety (90) days
prior to annual conference and sent to the OMC of the BOM. Those on family leave shall
have no claim on conference funds, except by vote of the clergy session. They may
participate in the conference health program through their own contributions and are eligible
for membership on conference committees, commissions, or boards. A written request for
termination of family leave must be sent to the OMC of the BOM at least ninety (90) days
before annual conference. When an extension is not requested annually during the five (5)
year period or the individual on leave does not indicate a willingness to return to the itinerant
ministry at the end of the five (5) year period, the provisions of ¶362 shall be invoked.

37
4. Maternity/Paternity Leave ¶356
This leave, not to exceed 1/4 of a year, will be available and shall be granted by the bishop
and the cabinet, and the executive committee of the BOM to any local pastor, probationary
member, associate member, or clergy in full connection who so requests it at the birth or
arrival of a child into the home for purposes of adoption. Those desiring this leave should file
the request with their SPRC after consultation with the DS, at least ninety (90) days prior to
the projected beginning date. Compensation will be maintained for no less than the first eight
(8) weeks of leave. A leave of up to 1/4 of a year will be considered as an uninterrupted
appointment for pension purposes.

In addition to the provisions of ¶354, the TN Conf policy is


a) the salary of the person on this leave is to be paid by the local church(es) or
the employing institution.
b) local church(es) and employing institutions are encouraged to provide emotional and
financial support beyond the minimum requirement of eight (8) weeks.
c) When a pastoral supply is needed, the cabinet and BOM shall arrange to pay the supply
(at the same rate as a supply for a person on emergency incapacity leave.) The supply
will be paid for a maximum of two (2) months by the conference; beyond that, the local
church(es) or institution will be expected to cover the costs.
d) The conference will pay for pastoral supply only if the local church(es) or institution
continues to pay the salary of the person on leave beyond eight weeks.

5. Transitional Leave for Deacons ¶357


The status of a deacon in full connection who is in good standing and who is in-between
appointments shall be transitional leave. The purpose of transitional leave is to provide time
for the deacon in full connection to seek and secure an appointable position—compensated
or volunteer.
a) Upon the approval of the bishop and with approval of the BOM Executive Committee,
transitional leave may be granted for up to one year.
b) During transitional leave, the deacon shall provide quarterly substantiation of his or her
efforts to obtain an appointable position.
c) Between sessions of the annual conference, transitional leave may be extended, renewed,
granted or terminated, with the approval of the bishop and the DSs, by the executive
committee of the BOM, subject to approval of the clergy session at annual conference.
d) Deacons on transitional leave shall be eligible for membership on conference committees,
commissions or boards. If applicable, they may continue participation in the conference
health program through their own contributions.

6. Incapacity Leave ¶358


When conference clergy are unable to perform their ministerial work because of incapacity
due to health matters and/or disabling conditions, upon recommendations of the BOM, the
Joint Committee on Disabilities, the conference board of pensions, and by a majority vote of
the clergy session of clergy members in full connection, they may be granted annual
incapacity leave without losing their relationships to the annual conference. This leave will be
granted only after thorough investigation of each case.

Only persons granted incapacity through the General Board of Pensions and Health Benefits
qualify for incapacity leave in the TN Conference.

38
7. Retirement ¶359
Requests for retirement shall be stated in writing to the bishop, cabinet and BOM/OMC at
least 120 days prior to the date on which retirement is to be effective. The BOM will provide
guidance and counsel to the retiring member and family.

a. Mandatory ¶359.1
Every clergy member who is seventy (70) on or before July 1, in the year in which the
conference is held shall automatically be retired.
b. Voluntary ¶359.2
(a) 20 years of service
(b) 35 years of service or at age 62
(c) 40 years of service or at age 65
c. Involuntary ¶359.3
By a 2/3 vote of the clergy session, clergy members may be placed in retired relation
with or without their consent and irrespective of their age if the BOM and the cabinet
recommend such relation. Written notice must be given such clergy member by the
BOM 180 days before the conference.

8. Honorable Location ¶360


A conference may grant clergy members in full connection certificates of honorable location at
their own request; provided that the BOM has first examined their character and found them
in good standing and provided that the clergy session shall also pass on their character after
the request is made; and provided further, that this relation shall be granted only to one who
intends to discontinue service in the itinerant ministry. The presiding bishop shall certify
location.

9. Withdrawal to Unite with Another Denomination ¶361.1


When ordained members in good standing withdraw to unite with another denomination or to
terminate their membership in the denomination, their credentials shall be deposited with the
conference secretary.

10. Withdrawal from Ordained Ministerial Office ¶361.2


Ordained members in good standing who desire to leave their ministerial office and withdraw
from the conference may be allowed to do so by the conference. The ordained minister’s
credentials shall be given to the DS for deposit with the conference secretary.

11. Withdrawal under Complaints or Charges ¶361.3


When clergy members are named as respondents under ¶362.1(d) and desire to withdraw
from conference membership, they may be permitted to withdraw under the provisions of
¶2719.2. Their credentials shall be surrendered to the DS for deposit with the conference
secretary

12. Grievance Complaint Procedures ¶362


A grievance is a written and signed statement claiming misconduct or unsatisfactory
performance of ministerial duties.

39
13. Readmission:
a. to Probationary Membership ¶363
b. after Honorable or Administrative Location ¶364
c. after leaving the Ministerial Office ¶365
d. after termination by the conference ¶366
e. after involuntary retirement ¶367

14. TN Conference Guidelines - Readmission after Leaving Ministerial Office


The person seeking to be readmitted to membership shall
a. have met all the requirements of ¶364.2,.3,.4
b. have been actively related to a local UM congregation for at least one year prior to the
request and shall have the written recommendation of his/her pastor
c. submit to the BOM a written request for readmission, in which there shall be adequate
discussion of the reasons for the surrender of ministerial office and the reasons for
seeking readmission. The BOM shall immediately appoint an interview team to meet
with the person for the purposes of clarification and evaluation of the request
d. submit a proper certificate of good health
e. submit to psychological testing by a BOM approved counselor and shall submit to such
counseling as the testing may reveal is necessary. If counseling is indicated, the
person shall be referred to one of the BOM approved counselors with whom the BOM
has developed a financial agreement. The OMC will provide information on testing,
counseling, and financial arrangements
f. serve at least two (2) years as a local pastor prior to readmission to conference
membership. After serving one year as local pastor, the person seeking readmission to
full membership may be readmitted as a probationary member for not less than one (1)
year. If the person is seeking associate membership, the phrase “under supervision”
shall be substituted for the phrase “as a probationary member.” The BOM shall appoint
a mentor to oversee the work of the person during this period. At the close of this
period, the person may be readmitted to the annual conference as a full or associate
member, depending upon the person’s qualifications
g. request a recommendation from the dCOM from which he/she exited, the BOM and the
cabinet. A 2/3 vote of the BOM will be required for a recommendation for readmission.
Ten (10) days notice must be given of the intended action
h. have conference membership and credentials restored when reinstated by vote of the
executive session.

40
15. Less than Full Time Service

1. Guidelines
(a) The itinerant system is the accepted method of the UMC by which ordained
ministers are appointed by the bishop to fields of labor. All ordained elders shall
accept and abide by these appointments. ¶328
(b) Full time service shall be norm for ordained elders, meaning that the person’s
entire vocational time, as defined by the DS in consultation with the pastor and
SPRC, is devoted to the work of ministry as appointed by the bishop. ¶338.1
(c) Less than full time service shall mean that a specified amount of time less than full
time, agreed upon by the bishop, cabinet, minister and BOM, is devoted to the
work of ministry in the appointment to less than full time service without loss of
essential rights or membership in the conference provided the following conditions
are met: ¶338.2
1. the ordained elder seeking less than full time service shall present a written
request to the bishop and chair of the BOM at least three (3) months prior to the
annual conference at which the appointment is made. The cabinet and
executive committee of the BOM must approve exceptions to this deadline
2. following appropriate consultation (¶338 and ¶¶430-34) and upon joint
recommendation of the cabinet and BOM, the less than full time category shall
be confirmed by a 2/3 vote of the clergy in full connection at the annual
Conference
3. reappointment to less than full time shall be requested by the ordained elder
and approved annually by the bishop and cabinet and shall not be granted for
more than a total of eight (8) years, except by a 3/4 vote of the clergy in full
connection at annual conference
4. ordained elders who receive appointments at less than full time service remain
within the itinerancy and, as such, remain available, upon consultation with the
bishop and cabinet, for appointment to full time service. A written request to
return to full time appointment shall be made to the bishop and cabinet at least
six (6) months prior to annual conference. (This is interpreted to mean that if, as
a result of deployment needs, the cabinet wants to move a person from less
than full time to full time between conference sessions; it may do so at its
initiative and not the demand of the ordained elder).
5. The bishop may make ad interim appointment at less than full time service upon
request of the ordained elder following the consultation process (¶¶429-33) and
upon recommendation of the cabinet and executive committee of the BOM, the
same to be acted upon by the next regular session of the annual conference
(¶338.2e).

2. TN Conference BOM interpretative statements


Less than full time service:
(a) is intended for persons in full connection or associate members of conference
(b) is intended to apply only to those in a local church or in a conference institution as
a clergy member
(c) shall be considered only as a temporary relationship to the conference….not
permanent for any person
(d) is intended to allow persons a reduced work load because
1. of a health condition existing in the person seeking less than full time
relationship

41
2. the person seeking less than full time is involved in a team ministry which
does not require full time service
3. of the appointment of a clergy couple where full time service on the part of
both is not required
4. of family obligations (i.e. care of family member)
5. the need for study beyond that of the basic seminary degree (or its
equivalent)
6. one is retired from an extension appointment, but is not eligible for
conference retirement and wishes to serve as an active clergy member
(e) is NOT intended to allow one to seek the convenience or accommodation of a
secular and/or second career while in the ministry.
(f) any work done along with the appointment to which the elder has been appointed
should be engaged in only to help support one while in the ministry.
(g) one who seeks secular work and/or a second career should seek honorable
location.

16. Administrative Hearings


(a) In the event that a full time clergy member is reported to be working at other tasks
gainfully, it shall be the responsibility of the BOM to investigate the situation.
1. The investigation is to proceed when the BOM committee on Conference
Relations is formally presented a written complaint from: the bishop or
DS, or SPRC of the charge, or the BOM (not an individual member).
2. The written complaint shall be forwarded within ten (10) days of its receipt to the
clergy against whom the complaint has been lodged; others to be notified of the
complaint are: the bishop, the DS, the SPRC, and chair of BOM.
3. There will be a hearing within thirty (30) days of the receipt of the complaint.
The hearing will be to inform, without calling witnesses or counsel, but allowing
the respondent to be accompanied by a clergyperson in full connection. The
hearing will be by the members of the BOM’s Conference Relations Committee
with the Area Administrative Assistant to the Bishop sitting as ex-officio and
impartial observer without vote.
4. The result of the hearing shall be one of the following:
(a) return to full time service
(b) corresponding pension credit
(c) recommendation that the clergy seek part-time local pastor status with
the same district.
5. The results of the hearing with justifying statements shall be made available to:
Committee on Less than Full Time Service, the clergy person, the bishop, the
DS of the district where the clergy person serves, the SPRC of the clergy
member’s church, and the chair of the BOM.
6. If the clergy person against whom the complaint has been lodged is not willing
to abide by the decision of the Committee as a result of the hearing, the entire
matter shall be referred to the bishop or DS as a filed grievance within ten (10)
days of the hearing ¶362.16

42
RECOGNITION OF
ORDERS FROM
OTHER DENOMINATIONS

43
1. Admission and Recognition of Orders for Ministers from Other Denominations ¶347.3
All persons coming from other Christian denominations who are in good standing with their
denominations may apply for the ordained ministry in the Tennessee Conference as follows:
1. The primary guidelines shall be ¶335 and ¶330. The BOM will not recommend any
person to be received into the conference from another denomination at a status beyond
that of probationary membership or local pastor.
2. The conference cabinet abides by its own general guideline of not considering “transfer”
until a minimum of one (1) year has been served in the conference. More information can
be obtained from the DS or bishop’s offices.
3. The person shall have a preliminary meeting with the dCOM of the District in which he/she
resides for an outline and clarification for the requirements for such transfer. General
requirements are
a. a letter from the appropriate official of the former denomination verifying good standing
and a presentation of valid credentials to that dCOM.
b. the submission to the dCOM of a written statement citing reasons for anticipated
change in denominational affiliation. The dCOM shall meet with the applicant with the
express purpose of evaluation and clarification of the motives involved.
c. submission to medical, psychological and background checks required by the BOM if,
after the interview, the dCOM deems it appropriate to continue the process.
d. Completion of conference sexual ethics/safe sanctuaries and inclusiveness training.
4. Persons with 50% or more of the M.Div credits from schools approved by the University
Senate and holding orders from their denominations are eligible for probationary
membership (¶326) and shall meet with the dCOM to
a. be interviewed regarding the physical and psychological evaluations as well as their
educational experiences and to present evidence of the course work completed toward
the M.Div (transcript or written statement from the seminary verifying completion of at
least 50% of the required credits for the M.Div.)
b. provide the dCOM an opportunity to make its recommendation to the BOM; a 3/4 vote
of dCOM members present is required
c. receive guidance that, before serving an appointment, the applicant must complete
satisfactorily the Local Pastor’s Licensing School; if appointed after conference, the
first available licensing school should be attended.
5. Applicants (a) ordained by their denominations, (b) having served in full time ministry in
that denomination, (c) given evidence of their agreement with and willingness to support
and maintain UM doctrine, history and polity, may be recognized as valid elders in the
UMC while they are under appointment. When the BOM certifies that their credentials are
at least equal to those of UM elders, they may be accorded the right to vote in the
conference on all matters except: constitutional amendments, election of delegates to
general jurisdictional or central conferences, all matters of ordination, character, and
conference relations of ministers. They may serve on any board, commission, or
committee of a conference, except the BOM or Board of Trustees. They shall not be
eligible for election as delegates to general or jurisdictional conferences and shall not
have the security of appointment.
6. Applicants with less than 50% of the credits required for the M.Div. degree and who do not
intend to complete that degree and have been ordained by their denominations and
served in the full-time ministry in their denominations may be considered by the dCOM for
appointment as local pastors provided they
a. have been interviewed by the dCOM regarding evaluations, educational experiences
(transcripts provided)
b. satisfactorily complete the Local Pastor’s Licensing School (first available after
appointment)
44
7. All other persons from other denominations must begin at the beginning of the process for
entering the UM ministry and complete all the requirements for each step in the total
process, or come under the provisions of ¶347.3.
8. Persons serving under ¶347.3 will be treated in every aspect as local pastors; mentors
shall be provided for all those not full members of the conference.
9. A person serving under ¶347.3 must meet at least annually with the dCOM within the
district he/she is serving. The Tennessee Conference requires that these clergy complete
and pass a course in UM Polity, History and Doctrine before pastoring a church in the
conference.
10. The Tennessee Conference also requires that sexual ethics/ inclusiveness training be
completed.

2. Ministers Transferring from Other Methodist Denominations ¶347


1. All clergy coming from other Methodist denominations who are in good standing in their
denominations may seek transfer into probationary or full membership in the Tennessee
Conference as follows:
a. with the consent of the bishop or other judicatory authorities involved
b. with prior consultation with the chair or executive committee of the BOM
c. with educational requirements of the UMC or equivalent approved by the GBHEM.
The Division of Ordained Ministry shall certify the completion of the educational
requirements for conference membership based on Division guidelines. When
additional education is required, the conference BOM shall develop an educational
program in consultation with the GBHEM.
d. psychological report, criminal background and credit check, and reports of sexual
misconduct and/or child abuse shall be required.
2. If the person has met with the dCOM prior to the BOM’s evaluation conference, the person
will be asked to the evaluation conference or to another meeting date agreeable to the BOM
for an interview before the full or executive committee.
3. If the person is formerly a United Methodist, see ¶347.5. This person must have the approval
of the former conference (¶347.5).

45
DIACONAL
MINISTERS

46
DIACONAL MINISTERS

A. Charge Conference Requirement


The TN Conference BOM requires each diaconal minister to be an active member in a local
congregation of the UMC where he/she works or resides and to be a voting member of the
charge conference of that church. It is the responsibility of the diaconal minister to notify the
BOM of the charge conference to which he/she is related. Changes must be reported within
thirty (30) days (¶314.1-5), The Book of Discipline, 1992.

B. Personal Files
All information collected in the candidacy process for diaconal ministry, in the certification
process for church professions, and in all interviews for certification, consecration, or transfer
to another annual conference shall be handled in strict confidence with the BOM and the
Division of Ordained Ministry of the GBHEM. In compliance with the Federal Privacy Act of
1974, all medical records, psychological test records and personal information shall be
confidential. None of the above information in the file shall be shared with anyone outside the
BOM and GBHEM without written authorization of the minister. A written request from the
diaconal minister shall be necessary to transfer the file to another annual conference.

C. Counseling
The BOM recognizes the need for counseling to meet the various situations of modern life.
For diaconal ministers and their immediate families, the BOM will underwrite counseling
sessions with a BOM approved counselor per BOM guidelines.

D. Renewal Forms
Diaconal ministers are required to complete and return official forms to the OMC annually.
Full and satisfactory compliance to the disciplinary requirements is a professional
responsibility. Failure to comply can mean probationary status and/or termination as a
diaconal minister.

TN Conference BOM policy states


1. Any diaconal minister who does not respond by the appointed deadline will automatically
be placed on probation. If the diaconal minister fails the second year out of four (4)
consecutive years to appropriately respond, his/her credentials will be recommended for
termination at annual conference.
2. Copies of the letter informing the non-respondent of his/her status (probation or
recommendation for termination) will be sent to the bishop and the employer/agency.
3. Reinstatement may be possible at the individual’s initiative after current standards and
guidelines are met, and with a 2/3 vote of the BOM to recommend to the bishop and
annual conference.
4. If a diaconal minister who is also a BOM member is placed on probation for any reason,
he/she will take a voluntary leave from the BOM for the period of the probation.

F. Annual Conference
All diaconal ministers who are members of the TN conference shall attend and participate in
the annual conference sessions. If a diaconal minister is unable to attend conference, he/she
will write an explanatory letter to the bishop requesting an excused absence. A copy of the
letter will be sent to the OMC.

47
G. Transfer Into the TN Conference
Before accepting a new job, the diaconal minister shall consult with the bishops and DSs of
both the sending conference and the TN conference and shall have their approvals before a
new service appointment is accepted.

The diaconal minister will then take the initiative to write to the TN conference bishop
requesting the transfer, sending a copy of this letter to the OMC, the sending bishop and the
registrar of the sending conference BOM.

The TN conference BOM requires a “transfer interview”; an interview with the bishop or
cabinet may be held to obtain more information. The BOM will vote on the acceptance of
credential transfer and send a recommendation to the bishop.

After the BOM votes to accept the transfer, the bishop sends the “Official Notice of Transfer
IN” to the sending bishop who responds with the “Official Notice of Transfer OUT”. The
transfer will be voted on at the annual conference.

The OMC will request the files from the sending conference BOM.

H. Transfer Out of the TN Conference


Before accepting a new job, the diaconal minister shall consult with the bishops and DSs of
both the TN Conference and the receiving conference and shall have their approvals before a
new service appointment is accepted.

The diaconal minister then takes the initiative to write to the receiving bishop, requesting the
transfer, sending a copy to: OMC, TN conference bishop, and the registrar of the receiving
Conference BOM.

The TN Conference BOM may request a transfer interview, as may the bishop or cabinet. The
TN BOM will vote on the transfer, sending a recommendation to the bishop. The TN bishop
will send the "Official Notice of Transfer Out" to the receiving bishop, who responds with the
“Official Notice of Transfer In”. The transfer will be voted on at annual conference.

After receiving the proper forms, the BOM OMC will transfer the files to the BOM registrar of
the receiving conference.

I. Change of Approved Appointment Within the TN Conference


If, in consultation with the SPRC, a diaconal minister is offered a new position, he/she may
accept contingent upon the bishop’s approval. The minister will immediately notify, in writing,
the BOM OMC, the bishop and the DS, requesting approval of such a change and giving the
proposed time line.

The BOM or its Conference Relations Committee may request an interview with the diaconal
minister before making its recommendation to the bishop. The bishop will then notify those
involved of the decision, whereupon the diaconal minister may accept the new appointment
within the conference.

48
CERTIFICATION

49
CERTIFICATION RENEWAL

1. A committee of the BOM will interview applicants for certified relationships prior to
granting or approving certification.

2. The TN BOM has set these standards for the renewal of certification of camp retreat
ministry, Christian education, evangelism, music ministry, older adult ministry,
Spiritual formation, and youth ministry:

a) at least three (3) books and three (3) periodicals each year in each area of
certification
b) positive evaluation of work performance or plan to improve performance agreed
upon by minister and supervisor
c) a minimum of one (1) workshop or seminar related to each area of certification
each year, totally eight (8) CEUs each quadrennium.

Certified persons are required to complete and return official report forms to the OMC
biennially.

50
CONTINUING
EDUCATION

51
CONTINUING EDUCATION TENNESSEE CONFERENCE BOM GUIDELINES

1. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be used as the quantitative standard. One (1)
CEU is equivalent to ten (10) contact hours of continuing education.

2. All conference ministers (commissioned, ordained, and local pastors) shall present
annually to the DS a proposal for CEUs based upon the self-evaluation and evaluation
processes developed by the cabinet and/or the BOM. A minimum of eight (8) units of
CEUs should be earned in each quadrennium, with at least two (2) per year. During the
quadrennium, at least two (2) CEUs shall be earned in studies dealing with ministries with
the poor and marginalized and in cultural diversity. Other studies should be in the areas
of ministry agreed upon by the minister, SPRC, and DS. Reporting CEUs shall be the
minister’s responsibility. Records of CEUs issued by the BOM shall be kept in the OMC.

3. Credit will be given for

(a) theological school and/or graduate school continuing education experiences and
those sponsored by the conference or general church agencies. The committee on
continuing education will recognize the school’s own system for credit units. In the
absence of assigned credits, the committee, upon request from a minister,
conference committee or agency, will assign credit hours based on the number of
contact hours. (ten {10} contact hours=one {1} CEU)

(b) approved community sponsored continuing education experiences. This will


include institutions such as colleges, hospitals, community agencies and
corporations. Request for approval should precede participation, if approval is
necessary to meet guidelines.

(c) supervised private, and/or group study. The Committee on Continuing Education or
a supervisor approved by the committee will provide supervision. Private study is
defined as a specific program of private reading and said education credit is
necessary to meet guidelines. If a group study is used, a member of the group will
be appointed as coordinator to work with the continuing education committee.

(d) teaching or leading a continuing education experience. Credit will generally double
that given other participants. Approval of such credit rests with the Committee on
Continuing Education.

(e) travel experience that enhances one’s understanding of the world and its people
through work and/or study.

4. Availability
The BOM’s Continuing Education Committee may serve as a “broker” of continuing
education programs, endeavoring to make ministers aware of continuing education
opportunities within the bounds of the TN conference and areas of close proximity.

5. Funding
It is recommended that each charge and/or employing agency budget a minimum of
$100 per year for the minister’s continuing education, that sum to be cumulative in the
years it is not used, for the tenure of the current minister. In the case of multiple staff,
the minimum shall be $100 for each full time minister at the church.
52
PENSIONS AND
HEALTH INSURANCE

53
PENSIONS (Adopted by Tennessee Annual Conference, 1981)

1. A minister gainfully employed is considered full time.


2. A minister gainfully employed between ten (10) and fifteen (15) hours a week in
employment other than that to which appointed is considered less than full time and
eligible for only 3/4 time status.
3. A minister gainfully employed between fifteen (15) and twenty (20) hours a week in
employment other than that to which the minister has been appointed, is considered less
than full-time and eligible for only 1/2 time status.
4. A minister gainfully employed between twenty (20) and thirty (30) hours a week in
employment other than that to which appointed is considered less than full time and
eligible for only 1/4 time status.
5. A minister gainfully employed for thirty (30) or more a week in employment other than the
appointment shall be considered less than full time.
6. Things traditionally regarded as part of the ministry (revivals, workshops, National Guard,
Reserve Chaplaincy, etc) are not considered as other work. However, if the time away
from the charge is deemed by the SPRC as excessive to the point of being an impediment
to ministry, then the BOM may hold an administrative hearing.

A form showing the amount of time given to the ministry shall be sent to all persons in less
than full time relationship. It must be completed and signed by the minister and the chair of
the SPRC of the appointed charge and returned by December 31 of each year.

Pensions TN Conference
For specific information, contact:

Administrative Services Office


304 South Perimeter Park Drive
Suite 4
Nashville TN 37211
Phone 615-327-1162
800-359-1162

54
TENNESSEE CONFERENCE HEALTH PLAN

1. Eligibility

(a) All full time clergy under episcopal appointment to a local church within the bounds of the
TN Conference, including conference staff, and all student pastors under appointment to
local churches within the bounds of the conference who do not have relationships to other
conferences, are eligible to be enrolled along with their eligible dependents.
(b) All full time lay employees including diaconal ministers employed by a local church are
eligible to enroll provided at least 3/4 of the full time lay employees of that church are
included.
(c) All surviving spouses of enrolled clergy, diaconal ministers, and lay employees, along
with their dependents are eligible, provided they were enrolled at the time of the
participant’s death.
(d) Full time elders, all full time deacons , full time commissioned probationers, full time
associate members, full time local pastors, and student pastors under Episcopal
appointment to local churches within the bounds of the Tennessee Conference are
automatically enrolled; premiums are paid by the Clergy Health Insurance apportionment.
(e) All retired elders and local pastors under age sixty-five (65) who have retired under
¶359.2b or c and were enrolled in the plan at the time of their retirements (even if that
enrollment is through Continuation of Coverage), may continue to have their premiums
paid by the Clergy Health Insurance apportionment until they reach age sixty-five (65).
(f) Spouses who were enrolled at the time of the participant’s retirement will have 1/3 of their
Coverage funded by the Clergy Health Insurance apportionment until they reach age 65.
(g) All full time elders, full time deacons, full time commissioned probationers, full time
associate members, and full time local pastors who are eligible to be enrolled and are
appointed to local churches whose compensation is at or below the minimum set by the
annual conference for elders shall have 1/2 of their dependent coverage funded by the
Clergy Health Insurance apportionment. Those whose compensation is between the
minimum set by the conference for elders and $10,000 above the minimum will have 1/3
of their dependent coverage funded by the Clergy Health Insurance apportionment.
(h) Each participant is responsible for reporting, in writing, any change in insurance
status immediately to the Office of Administrative Services. Changes effecting
coverage that should be reported include, but are not limited to: births, deaths,
marriages, divorces, and children who cease to qualify as dependents.
(i) Coverage for dependents must be requested through the Office of Administrative
Services.
(j) Full time service for clergy members in the Tennessee Annual Conference is determined
by the BOM and the guidelines of The Book of Discipline.
(k) For complete information on coverages, see the “Summary Plan Description January 1,
2006” (as amended) available from the Office of Administrative Services (615-327-1162
or 1-800-359-1162).

55
APPENDIX A:

MINISTERIAL
EDUCATION FUNDS

56
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
FOR
MINISTERIAL EDUCATION FUNDS
PURPOSE OF MEFUNDS

The purpose of the Ministerial Education Fund is to enable the Church to unify and expand its
program of financial support for the recruitment and education of ordained ministers and to
equip the Tennessee Conference to meet increased demands in this area.

ELIGIBILTY FOR FUNDS

To receive money from Ministerial Education Funds a person must:


1. Be a certified candidate for ministry
2. Show financial need for payment of tuition
3. Complete an application form for each year/period that funds are requested and
return by the designated date
4. Sign an agreement for repayment
5. Take at least 9 hours in both the fall and spring semesters and 6 hours in the
summer term

PROCEDURE FOR APPLYING FOR MEFUNDS

FOR APPLICANT:

1. Request application from the Office of Ministerial Concerns two (2) months prior to
deadline
2. Return application to the Office of Ministerial Concerns by stated deadline
3. Have confirmation of enrollment sent (after last day to drop/add classes) by school to the
Office of Ministerial Concerns
4. Numbers 1,2, & 3 are repeated for each academic year/period approved per application
5. Reapply for future terms by deadlines and repeat process.

FOR BOARD OF ORDAINED MINISTRY:

1. Recommendation from MEFund Committee to Board of Ordained Ministry or BOM


Executive Committee
2. Approval by Board of Ordained Ministry
3. Letter to applicant re: funds approved and conditions pending to receive funds
4. Memo to the Office of Administrative Services with payment information
5. Copy of completed promissory note sent to applicant and copy kept in file in the OMC

57
POLICIES FOR GRANTING MEFUNDS

ELDER OR DEACON TRACK:

1. Must be in a degree program at a GBHEM University Senate approved school


2. Must be enrolled for nine (9) or more hours per semester or six (6) for the summer term
3. Funds shall be granted for no more than five (5) years.
4. The maximum amount of loan assistance for any year is $6000 given at the rate of $500
per course taken on-line/$750 per course taken in residence or as a commuter. The maxi-
mum amount granted to any candidate during seminary is $18,000.
5. The recipient must begin repaying the loan if a degree is not received in five (5) years.

ALTERNATE DEACON TRACK or ELDER TRACK TAKING COURSE OF STUDY CLASSES:

1. Must have a masters degree and be participating in a summer program approved by the
General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and shall take a minimum of six (6) hours
OR
2. Must be enrolled in a summer Course of Study program approved by the General Board
of Higher Education and Ministry and shall take a minimum of six (6) hours
AND
3. The recipient must begin repayment of the loan if the twenty-four (24) or thirty-two (32) hours
of required courses are not completed in five (5) years.

EXCEPTIONS THAT WILL BE CONSIDERED:

1. Persons who are in their last semester of seminary/graduate school


before graduation and who need less than nine (9) hours to graduate may be
considered as full time students for the purpose of receiving aid.
2. Those who are commissioned and lack courses which the Tennessee Conference
Board of Ordained Ministry requires for ordination will receive consideration for
funds when taking less than nine (9) hours.
3. Persons transferring from other denominations or who have not been under the
supervision of a district Committee on Ministry will receive consideration for
funds.

POLICIES FOR REPAYMENT

1. Once an applicant has completed his/her academic work and been received into probationary
status in the conference, he/she is credited at the rate of $3000 (or portion thereof) per year
of service under appointment.
2. Persons who have received MEF Service Loans and have received a full time appointment in
the TN Conference as a local pastor following graduation from seminary will receive a credit
of $1500 per year of full time service toward service loan repayment. (effective 8/21/07)
3. For persons who do not enter into the process for commissioning within the conference year
following their graduation from seminary or who leave the conference before completing the
service requirement, payment on the outstanding balance begins 6 months after the comple
tion of the academic degree or 6 months after their leaving the conference. 3% interest will
be added to the monthly balance of payments.
4. For persons who take longer than 5 years to complete a degree, payment begins 6 months
after the 5 year period. 3% interest will be added to the monthly balance of payments.

58
5. Persons who have received MEF Service Loans and must interrupt their educations due to
special circumstances in their health or family situations can request an extension of time be
fore they must begin repayment of their service loans. This extension should not be more
than two years.
6. In case of default, the MEFunds Committee will report to the BOM arrangements for
satisfactory repayment of loans.
A. Beginning January 1, 2005, the MEFunds Committee of the Tennessee Conference
Board of Ordained Ministry will send letters to persons who are in default on their
loans offering to assist them in establishing a consistent repayment plan.
B. For persons who have received MEFunds, “dropped out of the process toward
ordination” and wish to re-enter and receive MEFunds again, repayment of the first
loan must be received in full before applications for re-entry will be considered.
7. Recipients of the service loan who pay back the loan within ten (10) years will have the
interest forgiven.

59
SERVICE LOAN APPLICATION
Ministerial Education Fund
Tennessee Conference
The United Methodist Church

The purpose of the Ministerial Education Fund is to assist in providing


an adequately trained ministry for our churches by:

(1) relieving some of the pressure of limited means


where such pressure may well prevent a ministerial
candidate from obtaining the necessary education
and
(2) reducing the necessity for too much employment
while in school, thus allowing more time for study.

INSTRUCTIONS TO THE APPLICANT


(Please read carefully and keep this sheet)

1. Begin the application process at least two months prior to the deadline. Read the application
in full BEFORE FILLING IT OUT. If there is any question concerning any part of the
application contact the Office of Ministerial Concerns.

2. Applications must be completed for each new school year (September – May).
Disbursements are made on a semester basis.

3. Complete your portion of the application in detail. There is a reason for each question in this
application. Make an honest effort to be accurate concerning income, scholarships,
expenses, and need. FAILURE TO DO SO WILL DELAY ACTION ON YOUR
APPLICATION.

4. Mail page 5 to the Student Financial Aid Office of your institution asking that the form be
returned to the Office of Ministerial Concerns by the stated deadline.

5. Mail or take the last page (page 6) to your District Superintendent for his or her signature.

6. With one application, you may apply for all 3 terms beginning with the fall term.

This application must be RECEIVED on or before:

Fall Term: August 1 Spring Term: December 1 Summer Term: May 15


(Circle the term(s) for which you want funds)

hours on-line__________ hours commuting___________ hours in residence________

This application, when fully completed, should be mailed by the candidate to:

Rev. Susan Sowell Padgett


Office of Ministerial Concerns
304 S. Perimeter Park Drive, Suite 6
Nashville, TN 37211-4167
60
Service Loan Application
(For Committee Use Only)
Ministerial Education Fund
Tennessee Conference Amount Requested $ __________________
United Methodist Church Amount Granted Fall $ __________________
Spring $ __________________
Date __________________ Summer $ __________________

______________________________________ Date Granted ________________


Name
______________________________________ Approved by Committee
Current Address
______________________________________ ______________________________________
(signature)
City Zip Phone

Institution ______________________________

Elder Deacon

School Address (if different) _______________________________ Phone ________________

_______________________________________________________ Zip __________________

Permanent Address _______________________________________ Phone ________________

Social Security Number _____________________________ Age __________Sex __________

E-Mail Address ___________________________________

Marital Status Single Widowed Married Divorced

Do you have any children? _______ If yes, give ages of each. ___________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

Do you have dependents living with you? _______ If yes, give the relationship._____________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

Indicate any special circumstances about your situation that would affect the financial information
you are sharing with this committee. (Use back of the page if necessary.)

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

61
Education History

Full-time student? Yes No Number of hours: Fall ____ Spring ____ Summer ____

Degree you are seeking ____________________________________

Dates Hours Degree


College(s) Previously Attended Attended Completed Earned

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

Seminary/graduate school in which you are enrolled or pre-enrolled:

______________________________________________________________________________

Seminary classification for the period of this application:

First Second Third Fourth Year

Other _________________________________________________________

Ministerial Relation

Candidate for Ordained Ministry (only certified candidates are eligible for loans):

Have you been certified as a candidate for ministry? Yes No

District __________________________________________________

Date of Certification ______________________ Elder Deacon

Current relationship to the conference: Local Pastor Full Connection

Assoc. Member Probationary

Will you serve as a pastor of a local church upon completion of your education?

Yes No

If not, what direction will your Christian ministry take? _________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

Do you expect to become a fully ordained conference member?

Yes No Uncertain

62
FINANCIAL HISTORY
Have you received previous service loans/grants from this committee? Yes No

If yes, what is the total amount received? $_____________________________

ASSETS
Investments $_____________________
Cash $_____________________
Real Estate $_____________________
Retirement Programs $_____________________
Life Insurance (Cash Value) $_____________________

TOTAL ASSETS $_____________________

CURRENT INDEBTEDNESS
College Loans $_____________________
United Methodist Student Loans $_____________________
Seminary Student Loans $_____________________
Other Loans $_____________________
Credit Cards $_____________________
Mortgage(s) $_____________________

TOTAL INDEBTEDNESS $_____________________

PAYMENTS OF INDEBTEDNESS MONTHLY ANNUALLY


Banks $_____________________ $_____________________
Credit Cards $_____________________ $_____________________
Auto Loans $_____________________ $_____________________
Individuals $_____________________ $_____________________
Other Loans $_____________________ $_____________________

ANNUAL TOTAL PAYMENTS $_____________________

63
ESTIMATED LIVING EXPENSES FOR YOU/FAMILY
FOR 12 MONTHS BEGINNING _______________
Tuition and academic fees $_____________________
Books/Periodicals $_____________________
Rent/mortgage $_____________________
Utilities (if not reimbursed by the church) $_____________________
Clothing/laundry $_____________________
Food $_____________________
Child Care (if applicable) $_____________________
Medical $_____________________
Personal incidentals (recreation) $_____________________
Travel (not reimbursed) $_____________________
Installment Payments (from Annual Indebtedness section) $_____________________
Insurance Premiums (home, health, auto) $_____________________
Church Contributions $_____________________

Additional Expenses (list) _______________________ $_____________________


_______________________ $_____________________
_______________________ $_____________________

TOTAL ESTIMATED EXPENSES FOR 12 MONTHS $_____________________

ANTICIPATED RESOURCES FOR SAME 12-MONTH PERIOD:


Personal Funds $_____________________
If you are serving a local church, complete:
Base Salary $_____________________
If church pays utilities, give the amount $_____________________
If expenses paid by church give the amount $_____________________
Self-employment taxes $_____________________

TOTAL COMPENSATION $_____________________

If you have other employment, complete:


Salary $_____________________
Deduct taxes to be withheld $_____________________
NET SALARY $_____________________

If Spouse is employed, complete:


Salary $_____________________
Deduct taxes to be withheld $_____________________
NET SALARY $_____________________

Gifts, Grants, Scholarships


Seminary grants/scholarships $_____________________
Amount from family $_____________________
Amount from local church $_____________________
Amount from organizations/foundations $_____________________
Other (specify) _______________________ $_____________________
_______________________ $_____________________

64
TOTAL GIFTS, GRANTS, SCHOLARSHIPS $_____________________

Special Income:
G.I. Benefits $_____________________
Federal/State grants/Loans $_____________________
Income from Investments $_____________________
Other Income (Specify) $_____________________

TOTAL SPECIAL INCOME $_____________________

TOTAL ANTICIPATED RESOURCES (totals from above) $_____________________

TOTAL ESTIMATED EXPENSES $_____________________

AMOUNT OF SERVICE LOAN REQUESTED $_____________________

PLEDGE OF THE APPLICANT


If this service loan or any portion of it is granted, I will use it only toward educational
expenses. It is my understanding that I am to serve the number of years indicated in the
Service Loan Agreement after completion of the first professional degree for conference
membership in the United Methodist Church. Should I fail to do so, this service loan shall
become due and payable immediately upon the terms specified in the Service Loan
Agreement.

_____________________ ______________________________________________
Date Signature of Applicant

65
STUDENT FINANCIAL AID OFFICIAL RECOMMENDATION

I hereby authorize the ___________________________________________ (Name of Seminary) to release


the information in the following sections on School Recommendation and Recommendation of Student
Financial Aid Official to the United Methodist Tennessee Conference Board of Ordained Ministry.

____________________________________________
Applicant Signature
SCHOOL RECOMMENDATION
(This section and the following section are to be completed by the applicant’s institution and returned to the
Tennessee Conference Board of Ordained Ministry at: 304 S. Perimeter Park Drive, Suite 6, Nashville TN
37211-4167).

School Name ______________________________________________________________

Student Name _____________________________________________________________

Student Classification as of __________________________


Date

Seminary: First Second Third Fourth year

Other (specify): ___________________________ Quarter Semester

For how many hours is the student enrolled? ____________________________

What was the student’s cumulative grade average at the end of the last term on a scale?

____________________ grade average Remarks ____________________________________

Do you consider this student a good financial risk? Yes No Do not know at the point
Comment:

Has this student met his/her seminary obligations satisfactorily? Yes No

What are the maximum personal resources of the student? $_________________

What do you consider, after conferring with the student,


the minimum financial needs to be for the year indicated? $_________________

What financial assistance will the school be able to give to the student? $_________________

Checks will be distributed to the school each semester after receiving a copy of the student’s current
transcript and a letter from the Registrar stating the number of hours for which the student is registered.
Please send these after the last day to drop/add classes.

Date _____________ Signature ____________________________________________


Registrar/Financial Aid Officer
Name _______________________________________________
Title ________________________________________________
Address _____________________________________________
City ________________________ State _____ Zip ___________
E-Mail ______________________________________________

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DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT RECOMMENDATION
Service Loan Application
Tennessee Conference
Board of Ordained Ministry

The District Superintendent should provide any additional information that may assist the committee.
After signing, please mail this page to:

Rev. Susan Sowell Padgett


Office of Ministerial Concerns
304 S. Perimeter Park Drive, Suite 6
Nashville, TN 37211-4167

Name of Candidate _____________________________________________________________

Do your records indicate that this person is a certified candidate for ministry?

Yes No If yes, Elder Deacon

If student is under appointment, indicate his/her compensation:


Total Package ________________________
Break down: ________________________
________________________
________________________

I recommend favorable consideration of this application for a service loan.

Date _____________ Signature _____________________________________________


District Superintendent

District _______________________________________________

Address ______________________________________________

Phone ________________________________________________

E-mail ________________________________________________

This must be RECEIVED on or before:

Fall Term: August 1 Spring Term: December 1 Summer Term: May 15

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TENNESSEE CONFERENCE MINISTERIAL EDUCATION FUND

THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

(Your loan will not be approved unless you have signed this document. Do NOT fill in the
amount of the loan; that will be determined, filled in, and sent back to you).

Name___________________________ SERVICE LOAN AGREEMENT

TENNESSEE CONFERENCE MINISTERIAL EDUCATION FUND FOR VALUE RECEIVED, I


promise to reimburse the Tennessee Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, the sum of
__________________ dollars, plus interest at 3 per cent if I am not serving under appointment in
the Tennessee Conference.

It is understood that this obligation may be cancelled by one year of full time service for each $3000
(or portion thereof) received, permanent incapacity, or death. [This service in the ordained United
Methodist ministry shall commence after commissioning as a probationary member of the
Tennessee conference]. If the borrower serves in the effective relationship only a fraction of the
years required to repay the loan, proportional adjustment shall be made.

Date_________________ Signature________________________________________
Applicant

Notarized by:

Please have your signature notarized on this form and return to the Office of Ministerial Concerns,
304 S. Perimeter Park Drive, Suite 6, Nashville, TN 37211-4167 by the deadline on this
application. This will then be put in your file and returned to you marked PAID when you have
completed the service requirement.

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W. F. Tillett Endowment Fund will provide loans for persons who are certified candidates
progressing toward ordination or commissioning in the Tennessee Conference, as funds are
available. The funds are considered loans that are to be repaid to the fund following the completion
of the recipient’s theological or graduate education. Preference may be given to students in the last
year of graduate study who have maintained at least a “C” or 2.0 average.

Ora Smithson Fund: An applicant must (a) be certified as a candidate for the ordained ministry
progressing toward full conference membership, (b) be a full time student in theological school, (c)
show financial need, (d) complete application forms each year, (e) and sign an agreement for
Service repayment which will begin when commissioned an elder or deacon of the Tennessee
Conference or repayment plus 3% interest after graduation or when no longer under appointment in
the Tennessee Conference. The admissions office of the seminary/graduate school must certify
enrollment prior to payment of the funds by the conference.

Ora Smithson Funds may also be used to provide assistance in Licensing School as well as
participation in COS.

United Methodist Student Loans and Scholarships: Scholarships and low interest loans are
available to undergraduate and graduate students through the GBHEM, Office of Loans and
Scholarships, PO Box 340007, Nashville TN 37203-0007.

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APPENDIX B:

RESIDENCY PROGRAM

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TENNESSEE CONFERENCE RESIDENCY PROGRAM

The Residency Program (RP) of the Tennessee Conference (TC) is a three-year (minimum)
process designed to develop skills and habits that will lead to effective ministry. The probationary
period is also a time for new clergy persons to be in covenant connection with other clergy members
of the TC. There are three main components of the RP:

1. Mentoring
A mentor will be assigned to each resident after commissioning. The mentor and resident
relationship is the basis for the RP. This team is expected to meet together at least once a quarter
and no less than 6 hours per year. This is the minimum requirement and shall be face to face
meetings. Additional contacts through meetings, email, and phone are encouraged. The mentor
and resident are covenant partners and will keep all conversations confidential. The purpose of the
mentor-resident relationship is to reflect theologically, help in developing a discerning process, and
deal with the practical aspects of ministry during the probationary period. It is hoped that the mentor
will be a spiritual guide and the first person the resident will turn to if there is concern, conflict,
celebration or other issue facing the resident. (On-site visits by the mentor will be an added plus).
The mentor is expected to attend the orientation and evaluation meetings each year with his/her
resident. This will enable the mentor to have a better understanding of how the resident is
progressing through the probationary period.

2. Residency Groups
Each class of residents will be formed into resident groups together “to support the practice and
work of their ministry” (Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, 2000, ¶317). Residency
groups will be led by an Elder or Deacon of the TC. Residency groups and their facilitators will
meet at least 6 times per year, including 2 at the retreats (when appropriate), throughout the
probationary period.
The primary purposes of the Residency Groups are mutual support for the practice and work of
ministry, accountability for spiritual disciplines, and theological reflection. Complete confidentiality
is expected. (A resident may miss no more than one (1) meeting per year.

3. Retreats
The Board of Ordained Ministry will provide opportunities for spiritual formation, team building, and
ministry development through two (2) retreats each year. Once, during the three (3)-year cycle,
residents will participate in the Bishops’ Conference. Other options may be considered as the
Residency Team deems fitting. These retreats will also provide the setting for two (2) of the
Residency Group meetings each year.

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4. Annual Evaluation
Residents will be interviewed and assessed each year on their progress through the RP by
the TC Board of Ordained Ministry (BOM). These reviews will be held each year in the spring.
For those who are recommended for ordination at the BOM Evaluation Conference (BOMEC), and
are thus leaving the RP, the spring evaluation will be an "exit interview". Residents, who are
continuing in the program for another year, and mentors will come to this meeting with the following
items:
A completed evaluation form (see attached) by the resident’s Staff-Parish Relations commit
tee or other supervisory group.
A completed self-assessment form (see attached) by the resident outlining how he/she is
progressing through the probationary process.

The BOM will also review the following reports for each resident:
A report from the BOM staff member detailing requirements met or unmet for ordination.
A report from the resident’s District Superintendent and/or other Elder or Deacon in a
supervisory capacity.
A report from the Residency Group Leader describing resident’s participation in the residency
group (without breaking confidence).
A mentor report stating the number of times they met

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APPENDIX C:

BOMEC

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BOMEC
Board of Ordained Ministry Evaluation Conference
A. Definition: BOMEC is the evaluation of candidates for commissioning and ordination the
following June, usually held in March. Candidates are interviewed –with their mentors present -- on
one day of the conference by four subcommittees in the areas of theology, worship, call, and
promise of effectiveness. Within a few days after the conclusion of BOMEC, the candidates, with
their mentors, will receive of the outcome of their interviews, in a meeting with the chair of the Board
and the OMC director.

B. Beginning The Process:


1. Persons seeking to be commissioned must be formally approved by their dCOM with
that approval sent to the OMC by June 1 of the year prior to anticipated
commissioning. Missing that deadline means automatic deferment for one year.
2. Upon receipt of the dCOM approval, the candidate will be contacted by the OMC
Director. If that contact has not been made by the end of Annual Conference, the
candidate should initiate the contact.
3. Orientation will be held in June for the BOMEC the following spring. Attendance is
mandatory as the BOMEC preparation begins at that time.
4. Candidates and their mentors need to be proactive in monitoring the process so that
the best interests of the candidate will be served.

C. Academic requirements for commissioning: The Book of Discipline, ¶ 324.6


a. Candidates for deacon or elder shall have completed a minimum of twenty-four hours
of graduate theological studies in the Christian faith. These graduate studies must
include the areas of: Old Testament, New Testament, theology, church history, mission
of the church in the world, evangelism, worship/liturgy, and United Methodist doctrine,
polity, and history. These courses may be included within or in addition to a seminary
degree.
b. A candidate for ordination as an elder shall have completed the studies toward a
Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent, including one half of the basic graduate
theological studies from a seminary listed by the University Senate.
c. A candidate for ordination as a deacon shall have
1. completed the studies of a masters degree from a United Methodist
seminary or one listed by the University Senate, or
2. received a masters degree in the area of the specialized ministry in which
the candidate will serve, and completed the basic graduate theological
studies in a context which will provide formation as a Untied Methodist
deacon in full connection within a cohesive program developed by the
seminary and approved by the General Board of Higher Education and
Ministry, documented by a record of completion from that school.

D. Academic requirements for ordination: Tennessee Conference policies these are required in
addition to those requirements in The Book of Discipline:
For ordination as an Elder in Full Connection
a. Two additional courses in Biblical studies
b. Two courses in homiletics, one of which must include a practicum, laboratory, or field
experience in preparation, delivery, and evaluation of sermons
c. Two courses in pastoral care

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d. One course in worship that includes the theory and practice of planning and leading
public worship (This may also fulfill the worship requirement of the Discipline.)
For ordination as a Deacon in Full Connection, these are required in addition to those
requirements in The Book of Discipline (¶ 324.6):
a. One course in homiletics OR the Course of Study preaching course OR the lay
speaker basic course plus the advanced course in preaching.
b. One course in teaching with a practicum, laboratory, or field experience in preparation,
delivery, and evaluation of a teaching setting. See explanation below.
The Conference requirement for a deacon’s teaching practicum may be fulfilled one of the following
ways:
Teaching Sunday school for 2 quarters with at least one observation
Teaching Disciple (or equivalent) with a teacher who has previously taught and being the
primary instructor for at least 12 of the sessions
Teaching a short-term course in a local church setting (other than on Sunday morning) with at
least one observation.
Submitting a description of a teaching setting with provision for observations and detailing
teaching responsibilities.
Also note: The number of online credit hours for deacon candidates taking BGTS may not exceed 10
semester hours (or equivalent quarter hours) for the educational requirement of 24 semester or 27
quarter hours. The remaining hours must be taken on campus; the school determines which courses
are considered online. (GBHEM)

E. BOM Policies regarding BOMEC

Candidates:

a. All requirements for Deacon and Elder as outlined in The Book of Discipline
(¶324.6) shall be completed prior to commissioning.
b. The additional Tennessee Conference requirements may be completed during the
probationary process (after commissioning), but must be completed by September 1 of
the year before anticipated ordination as an elder or deacon. All courses required in
seminary (other than UM studies) are expected to be three (3) hour courses.
c. Tennessee Conference required courses may be taken on a pass/fail basis as long as
the ‘pass’ is the equivalent of a C or above.
d. All studies in United Methodist history, doctrine, and polity must be completed for
academic credit prior to commissioning from an educational institution approved by the
University Senate. These courses may be taken in an interactive class on-line through
the internet from the following theological seminaries: Asbury Theological Seminary,
The Theological School, Drew University, Perkins School of Theology, and any others
authorized by the board in the future.
e. Candidates may not audit courses to fulfill these requirements. (Approved 12/18/2006)

Board of Ordained Ministry:

a. Those BOM members with immediate family members as candidates will neither
participate in discussion nor vote on that candidate at BOMEC.
b. BOM members who are also mentors may be present but will remain silent during the
BOMEC discussion of their candidate. Mentors will not participate in interview team
prep sessions.
c. BOM members who serve on staff with candidates must be professional in all remarks.

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F. Required materials to be submitted:
a. Satisfactorily completed medical and psychological evaluations, and background
checks.
b. Sermon (deacon: meditation) manuscript on one of the specified biblical texts that is
publishable and uniquely the candidate’s work. The texts from the lectionary for a
specific date. In addition: potential elders and associate members must submit two
sermon manuscripts of their choice and the order of worship from the services in which
these were presented. Potential deacons must submit one sermon/meditation
manuscript of their choice and the order of worship from the service/setting in which it
was presented.
c. Video of the worship service including the sermon (meditation) cited above.
d. Plan and outline a Bible study on an assigned text. A Bible study session is
considered to be a minimum of 45 minutes in length. For ordination and associate
membership: write (no less than) 3 sessions on the assigned text, teach one session,
videotaped. For commissioning: select an approved United Methodist curriculum
resource on the assigned text, teach one session, videotaped.
e. Video of one (1) Bible study lesson being taught from the study cited above.
f. Written responses to the doctrinal questions in ¶ 326 a, b, and c of The Book of
Discipline. The ability to communicate clearly in both oral and written forms must be
demonstrated. The candidate’s responses and the BOM’s interviews should be formed
by the insights and guidelines of ¶101-104.
g. Biographical data or other information as requested by the OMC.
h. Written recommendations from the D.S. and the SPRC.
i. Written recommendations from personal references (commissioning and associate
membership).
Notes:
Candidates are automatically deferred if BOMEC deadlines are not met.
Candidates are automatically deferred if sermons or Bible studies are not based on the
assigned texts.
Candidates transferring into the Tennessee Conference will be given the full battery of all
psychological and medical tests and background check prior to commissioning, associate
membership, or ordination.
Candidates should carefully and prayerfully read and reflect on the Historic Examination to be
administered by the Bishop (¶ 327) at Annual Conference.

G. Policies on Delayed Commissioning


1. In order to participate in and satisfy the requirements of the probationary process,
commissioned ministers for ELDER need to be appointed to a setting where they can be
engaged in all aspects of an elder’s calling: preaching and teaching the Word, administering
the sacraments, ordering the life of the congregation, and living out the role of servant leader.
Therefore, the BOM will not recommend for commissioning any candidate who is requesting
a fulltime appointment to school or other setting that will not allow his/her to participate fully in
or satisfy the requirements of the probationary process of the TN Conference.
2. In order to participate in and satisfy the requirements of the probationary process,
commissioned ministers for DEACON need to be appointed to a setting where they can be
engaged in all aspects of the deacon’s calling: proclaiming the Word, serving in the
community, and engaging in ministry with the congregation to connect the two. Therefore, the
BOM will not recommend for commissioning any candidate who is requesting a full-time
appointment to school or another setting that will not allow his/her to participate fully in or
satisfy the requirements of the probationary process of the TN Conference.

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3. The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, 2000, states that the probationary
process must help the commissioned minister ”understand covenant ministry in the life of the
conference.” Therefore, it is essential that the commissioned minister live in an area that
allows him/her to be physically present for events such as covenant group meetings, training
events required by the annual conference, district meetings and other occasions that embody
covenant ministry in the life of the conference. Therefore, the Board will not recommend for
commissioning any candidate who is requesting an appointment outside the geographic
bounds of the annual conference.

Exceptions to the above policies may be made on a case-by-case basis and only if the candidate
can show specifically how another appointment would satisfy the intent and requirements of the TN
Conference probationary process.

To help clarify the distinct roles of the BOM and the Bishop and Cabinet, this will be stated to each
candidate who is to be recommended for commissioning or ordination:

Candidates who have passed the BOM’s Evaluation Conference process and have
completed all disciplinary and TN Conference requirements will be considered ready for
commissioning or ordination pending the availability of a full time appointment (elder track) or
an approved appointment (deacon track). The availability or approval of an appointment is
the purview of the Bishop and the Cabinet, not the BOM. (January 9, 2004)

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APPENDIX D:

BEHAVIORAL HEALTH
GUIDELINES

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Behavioral Health Guidelines for Candidates
TN Conference Board of Ordained Ministry
Adopted January 31, 2006

In the process of selecting candidates for ministry District Committees on Ordained Ministry (dCOM)
and Boards of Ordained Ministry (BOM) must discern each potential candidate’s “gifts, evidence of
God’s grace, and usefulness.” (Paras. 301.2 and 663.8, see also Para 605.6, 2004 Discipline).

The constant pastoral concern for both the Church and candidates is to maximize effectiveness in
ministry and minimize ineffectiveness and harm to all involved, both now and in the future. These
behavioral health guides seek to describe the boundaries of healthy functioning, beyond which
distortions of health become serious problems for the church and its ministry as well as for the
person involved.

Definitions:
Category A general area of concern.
Standard A minimum requirement necessary to address the area of concern.
Rationale An explanation of the standard.
Critical Behavior A specific behavior or condition that indicates the standard has not been
met.
Exploratory Question A recommended question which may assist in assessing whether a
critical behavior violates the standard.
Recommendation A decision recommended when exploratory questions indicate that a
standard is not met.

Category 1: PHYSICAL HEALTH

Standard: The candidate demonstrates no obvious physical health concerns.

Rationale:
Neglect of physical health is known to impair function in pervasive ways. Responsible preventive
health care maximizes the functional abilities of the individual and minimizes the health care costs to
the annual conference.

The physical health concerns listed below may have a strong psychological component and may
reflect psychological disorders.

Critical behaviors:
Weight variation within 20% of the standard tables of weight according to height—outer limit
being 20% less than the lowest weight on the small frame person or 20% more than the heaviest
weight on the large frame person.
Blood pressure elevation over 140/90 or with a history of elevation in the past requiring medical
supervision.
An un-treated, chronic, medical condition such as hypertension, diabetes, etc.
Non-compliance with prescribed medical treatment for any condition.

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Exploratory Questions:
How do you evaluate your overall physical health?
What steps do you take to care for your physical health?
When was your last medical checkup?
Do you have any current or chronic health problems?
If so, what steps are you taking to care for yourself?
How does your physical health impact your ability to be an effective minister?

Recommendations:
Candidates should be able to articulate their plans for physical health care. Candidates with medical
problems should demonstrate medical consultation and cooperation with treatment plans.
Candidates who do not meet these health guidelines shall provide yearly evidence of continued
medical supervision. This evidence should indicate progress toward meeting the weight guidelines
and/or management of blood pressure and/or diabetes. Before candidates who are outside the
guidelines appear before BOMEC, they shall provide a medical progress report taken no more than
3 months prior to BOMEC.

Category 2: PERSONAL FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

Standard: The candidate does not have unmanageable debt which could cause
embarrassment to self or church.

Rationale:
While this may not, on the surface, seem to be a behavioral health issue, personal financial
management has to do with general maturity, including the ability to set priorities, maintain discipline
and delay gratification. Difficulties in this area raise concerns about judgment and impulse control.

Critical behaviors:
A credit bureau report of nonpayment
A history of personal bankruptcy
Money judgments filed against candidate

Exploratory Questions:
Describe the history (sequence of your difficulties)
Are there extenuating circumstances? (Possible mitigating circumstances: major medical
expenses, divorce. NOTE: Business failures and unemployment are not necessarily mitigating
conditions, but require further exploration.)

Recommendation:
If the candidate has a history of having been reported to the credit bureau, then 3 years of a good
credit history is recommended. If the candidate has a history of personal bankruptcy, then 5 years
of good credit is recommended. If the candidate has a history of money judgments, then it is
recommended that the judgments be satisfied prior to continuance.

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Category 3: MENTAL HEALTH

Standard: The candidate has no current or recurring disqualifying psychological


impairment.

Critical Behaviors:
A diagnosis of persistent or clinical depression
A diagnosis of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or any other psychotic disorder
A diagnosis of personality disorder
Hospitalization for psychiatric treatment
Use of prescribed psychiatric medications (including antidepressants and anxiolytics)
Attempted suicide

Exploratory Questions:
Describe the history (sequence) of your treatment for your difficulties
What specific potential vulnerabilities do these difficulties create for your ministry, and how do
you see yourself protecting both yourself and the people you would serve?
Would you be willing to authorize communication between those who have treated you and
this committee?

Recommendation:
The more severe the psychiatric impairment, the more important the need for direct consultation with
the treating mental health practitioners. The Board may wish to involve its own mental health
consultants in order to evaluate the candidate’s situation.

The candidate has a history of remission from any moderately-to-severely impairing conditions for
not less than 5 years without necessity for psychiatric hospitalization, though treatment may
continue.

The candidate has a history of responsible management of any mildly-to-moderately impairing


conditions for not less than 5 years, and has an effective treatment program in place.

Category 4: ALCOHOL USE

Standard: The candidate demonstrates no present abuse or dependence upon alcohol

Rationale:
Alcohol abuse (short-term intoxication) and or alcohol dependence (chronic over-involvement) are
mental disorders known to impair functioning in pervasive ways. Candidates who suffer from these
disorders will have greatly limited effectiveness and are at much greater risk for professional
misconduct.

Critical behaviors:
A history of drinking to the point of intoxication
A history of arrests for driving while intoxicated
A history of arrests for public intoxication
Complaints by family or others regarding the candidate’s use of alcohol

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Exploratory Questions:
The “CAGE” questions below may be helpful: two or more “yes” answers predict alcoholism with
about 75% accuracy.
1. Have you ever felt you should CUT down on your drinking?
2. Have people ANNOYED you by criticizing your drinking?
3. Have you ever felt bad or GUILTY about your drinking?
4. Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hang
over? (EYE-OPENER)
Where there is a history of alcohol use, the following questions may be helpful:
Are you currently abstinent, and if so, for how long?
If you are abstinent, how and why were you able to become abstinent?
What are you currently doing to maintain : (Possible answers: Alcoholics Anonymous,
outpatient chemical dependency counseling, other counseling)

Recommendation:
Consider requiring a minimum of one year’s sobriety prior to certification for candidacy.

If any of the critical behaviors are recent (within 5 years), then consider requiring a formal
“substance abuse evaluation” by a certified chemical dependency treatment specialist.

If there is clear evidence of alcohol dependence at any time, then consider requiring participation in
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or equivalent program and continued involvement in such a program for
not less than 5 years prior to certification for candidacy.

Category 5: NICOTINE USE

Standard: The candidate does not presently use any product containing tobacco or nicotine.

Rationale:
The harmful effect of tobacco use in any of its forms has been widely publicized. It has been shown
to damage nearly every organ in the human body and is linked to at least 13 different cancers. Use
of this highly addictive substance is the single largest cause of disease and premature death in the
U.S. In addition, insurance surcharges have resulted in an increase in medical costs. Abstinence
from all nicotine use is the most effective measure taken to prevent any damage to health.

Critical Behaviors:
Any use of tobacco products.

Exploratory Questions:
What is your history of tobacco use?
Are you currently abstaining from its use?
If you formerly used tobacco, how were you able to stop?
Are you doing anything to maintain abstinence?

Recommendation:
If the candidate is currently using tobacco products, remediation programs are suggested.
Consider requiring a minimum of one year smoke free prior to certification for candidacy.

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Category 6: CHEMICAL USE

Standard: The candidate demonstrates no present abuse or dependence upon either


nonprescribed pharmacologic agents or prescribed medications.

Rationale:
Chemical abuse and/or dependence are mental disorders known to impair functioning in pervasive
ways. Candidates who suffer from these disorders will have greatly limited effectiveness and are at
much greater risk for professional misconduct.

Critical behaviors:
Any use of illegal or non-prescribed substances, including but not limited to marijuana,
cocaine, hashish, hallucinogens, sedatives, amphetamines or other stimulants
Misuse of prescribed pharmacological agents of any type.

Exploratory Questions:
What is your history of chemical abuse or dependency?
Are you currently abstinent, and if so, for how long?
If you are abstinent, how and why were you able to become abstinent?
What are you currently doing to maintain abstinence? (Possible answers: Narcotics
Anonymous, outpatient chemical dependence counseling, other counseling).

Recommendation:
If the history reveals occasional and/or experimental use limited to an adolescent period, then
consider requiring not less than 5 years of sobriety prior to certification for candidacy.

If the history reveals any adult use of illegal substances, or any misuse of prescribed
pharmacological agent, then consider requiring a formal chemical dependence assessment from a
credentialed chemical dependency treatment specialist. A period of not less than 5 years of sobriety
prior to certification for candidacy would also be appropriate.

Category 7: LEGAL ISSUES - GENERAL

Standard: The candidate shall be respectful of the law and evidence lawful responsibility in
personal habits.

Rationale:This may not, on the surface, appear to be a behavioral health issue, but issues around
maturity, discipline, and judgment come into play. In addition, one’s approach to the law often is a
barometer of one’s respect for authority generally, and unresolved authority issues may significantly
hamper clergy effectiveness.

Critical behaviors:
More than 3 moving violations (traffic) within the preceding 3 years
An arrest or conviction for any misdemeanor
An arrest or conviction for any felony
Note: “Conviction” includes a “no contest” plea without admission of guilt, deferred
adjudication and/or probation. 83
Recommendation:
Candidates may have no more than 3 moving violations (traffic) within the preceding 3 years.

A history of arrest for any misdemeanor or felony requires investigation of the circumstances of the
arrest including review of the offense (police) report. Results of the investigation may require an
appropriate period without history of difficulty or further arrest prior to certification for candidacy or
continuance.

A history of conviction for any felony is usually permanently disqualifying.

Category 8: FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

Standard: The candidate has a history of resolving family conflict in a nonviolent manner.

Critical behaviors:
A report or complaint against the candidate to police or protective services for family violence
or inappropriate treatment of children or adults.
A history of a law enforcement unit’s being called to the candidate’s residence because of
candidate’s behavior.
A history of protective orders against the candidate.

Recommendation:
The candidate shall ordinarily have not less than 3 years without reports as described.

The presence of any critical behaviors requires an investigation into the factors and circumstances
and an appropriate period may be required prior to certification for candidacy or continuance. The
candidate shall acknowledge his/her behaviors and may have entered into family counseling or other
appropriate treatment.

Category 9: MARITAL FIDELITY

Standard: If the candidate has been divorced, or if there is evidence of infidelity, the
candidate must have done sufficient exploratory and reparative work to
demonstrate and/or articulate the impact of the health of married life on quality of
ministry.

Critical behaviors:
A divorce in the past 3 years
A history of having been married more than twice
A history of infidelity

Exploratory Questions:
If a recent divorce:
What steps have you taken to understand the nature of your own contribution to the
dissolution of the marriage?
What steps have you taken to move yourself through a healthy grief process?

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If multiple marriages:
What steps have you taken to identify and deal with any dysfunctional patterns in intimate
relationships?

Recommendation:
If there is a recent divorce (within 2-3 years), the candidate should be able to articulate any
dysfunctional patterns in intimate relationship and have taken steps to safeguard current or future
marriage covenants.

If there is insufficient evidence that sufficient exploratory or reparative work has been done, the
Board may wish to recommend or require a course of psychotherapy or another type of counseling
and consider a delay of one year.

Category 10: SEXUAL ETHICS

Standard: The candidate has no history, or complaints, of sexual misconduct or charges of


sexual harassment having been brought against him/her.
See addendum for definitions.

Rationale:
Candidates must model in their personal life and behavior a healthy and sacred view of sexuality so
as not to misuse the clerical office.

Critical behaviors:
A history of complaints or charges (either formal or informal) of sexual harassment
A history of improper sexual conduct

Exploratory Questions
Have you ever had a complaint or charge (either formal or informal) of sexual harassment or
misconduct brought against you? (If so, describe the circumstances.)
What steps have you taken to insure that the behavior does not occur in the future?

Recommendations:
Consider further assessment.

The BOM should explore in a interview with the committee the steps the candidate has taken to
identify and understand and deal with the psychological vulnerabilities that contributed to the
behavior, and what safeguards the candidate has put into place to guard against the possibility of
similar behavior in the future.

A candidate must articulate a plan to insure that such behavior is unlikely to recur. This plan may
include intensive psychotherapy and/or ongoing supervision, or other conditions required by the
Board.

Category 11: LEGAL ISSUES – SEX RELATED

Standard: The candidate shall have no history that poses risk of sexual harassment, sexual
assault to adults or children, nor history of any sex-related offense.
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Critical behaviors:
Treatment for any sex-related crime
Arrest, conviction, or written accusation for any sex-related crime
Written allegations of any sex-related crime

Recommendation:
If the candidate has committed a sex-related crime, candidate should be permanently disqualified.

Certainly the candidate is entitled to be considered innocent until proven guilty, so a written
accusation or arrest alone is not sufficient for disqualification, but either one would raise significant
questions which the BOM would need to explore in depth.

The recommendation for permanent disqualification reflects the massive legal exposure an Annual
Conference would take on were it to place in ministry a known sex offender. Behind that reality,
however, is the awareness that currently available treatments for such offenses are of limited utility,
with high rates of recidivism.

ADDENDUM
Definitions of Improper Sexual Conduct

1. Sexual harassment
Includes solicitation, physical advances, or verbal or nonverbal conduct consisting of a single
intense or severe act, or of multiple persistent or pervasive acts, by a candidate toward another
individual, that are sexual in nature and occur whether in connection with the candidate’s clerical
activities or personal life, and that are unwelcome, offensive, or create a hostile environment for
the affected individual.

2. Sexual impropriety
Sexual impropriety is deliberate or repeated comments, gestures, or physical acts of a sexual
nature that include but are not limited to:
Behavior, gestures, or expressions which may reasonably be interpreted as inappropriately
seductive or sexually demeaning,
Making inappropriate comments about an individual’s body,
Making sexually demeaning comments to an individual,
Making comments about an individual’s potential sexual performance
In a counseling relationship, requesting details of a person’s sexual history when not clinically
indicted for the type of consultation,
Requesting a date
Initiating conversation regarding the sexual problems, preferences, or fantasies of either party
Kissing of a sexual nature
Sharing or displaying pornographic material with another person.

Deviant sexual behaviors


Deviant sexual behaviors include, but are not limited to, behaviors such as pedophilia, exhibitionism,
or other paraphilias, and preoccupation with pornographic materials for sexual stimulation and
gratification.

Revised 1/21/06
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APPENDIX E:

SUPPORT SERVICES

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PROCEDURE FOR OBTAINING FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR COUNSELING

The Board of Ordained Ministry recognizes that persons in ministry often need a confidential, safe
place to explore one’s feelings and responses to various life events and experiences. Other times,
as a person experiences a transition in ministry, the BOM and/or the District Superintendent might
refer someone for counseling.

The BOM is available to provide financial assistance for Clergy, Diaconal Ministers or a Certified
Candidate seeking psychological counseling with a Board of Ordained Ministry approved
psychologist/counselor. If you need financial assistance, please follow these guidelines:

Contact the Director of the Office of Ministerial Concerns indicating your need for financial
assistance prior to contacting a counselor or scheduling any counseling sessions.

Counseling is to be provided by a BOM approved psychologist/counselor. A list of approved


counselors is available through the Office of Ministerial Concerns. If there is a need for a
counselor who has not been approved, the Director of the Office of Ministerial Concerns must
first make contact with a named alternative psychologist/counselor for the purpose of that
person’s becoming approved and outlining the payment and reporting procedures.

The Director of the Office of Ministerial Concerns may approve an initial six sessions with an
approved psychologist/counselor.

To ensure confidentiality, the Director of the Office of Ministerial Concerns and the approved
psychologist/counselor will assign a number for the person receiving counseling. Thus,
number rather than name will identify all correspondence and bills.

After the fifth session, a written report is to be submitted by the approved counselor to the
Director of the Office of Ministerial Concerns indicating whether counseling is expected to
conclude at the sixth session or if there is a need to continue beyond the initial six sessions
and if so, the anticipated number of additional sessions. The Director of the Office of
Ministerial Concerns may approve continued financial assistance for the additional sessions.
It is recommended that the counselor submit the report and that the Director of the Office of
Ministerial Concerns approve additional counseling sessions prior to the sixth session so that
service is not interrupted.

Approved counseling will be paid in the following manner:


All counseling sessions are to be submitted by the approved psychologist/counselor for
eligible insurance coverage
Any uninsured cost/co-pay is to be paid by:
Individual pays $1.00 for every $1,000 total salary as reported to the Office of
Administrative Services, excluding housing
BOM will pay the difference up to an annual limit of $400 per person

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Moving Expenses

The conference recommends that the receiving charge/church pay the moving expenses (only from
the conference boundary) of the incoming pastor. The complete June salary will be paid by the
charge/church where the pastor is presently serving.

Vacation

The 2000 Tennessee Annual Conference passed a resolution which states: We strongly encourage
churches to grant to each pastor four (4) weeks of vacation annually, with two (2) weeks minimum,
and churches are further encouraged to grant two (2) additional weeks for study leave.”

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APPENDIX F:

TRANSITIONAL POLICIES

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TRANSITIONAL POLICIES

A. BOM Transitional Policies (based on GBHEM Recommendations 5/24/96)

1. Candidates for Ordained Ministry The Book of Discipline,1996

All persons enrolled in candidacy for ordained ministry through the GBHEM after
January 1, 1997, shall complete all the requirements of The Book of Discipline, 1996.

2. Candidates for Ordained Ministry The Book of Discipline, 2000

All candidates enrolled in candidacy for ordained ministry after January 1, 2001, shall
complete all the requirements of The Book of Discipline, 2000.

3. Seminary Students

Candidates for ordained ministry who, prior to January 1,1997, have both enrolled in
candidacy studies through the Division of Ordained Ministry and completed at least 1/4
of the work required for the M.Div. may continue to prepare for conference member
ship and ordination as a deacon and an elder under the provisions of The Book of
Discipline, 1992. Candidates who have not enrolled in candidacy studies prior to
January 1,1997, but have completed 1/4 of the work required for the M.Div. must
qualify for ordination and conference membership under the provisions of The Book of
Discipline, 1996.

B. Persons Moving from One Order to Another

1. Ordained Elder to Ordained Deacon in Full Connection

Elders seeking to be open to God’s call in their lives may discern a vocation to
continue in the ordained ministry with an emphasis on the embodiment of love, justice
and service, and “connecting the church with the most needy, neglected and
marginalized among the children of God" (¶328). Elders responding to this call will
contact the BOM and request a move toward deacon in full connection, informing the
DS and bishop of their intentions.

The BOM or a committee of the BOM will interview such persons, inviting them to
articulate their call and focus of ministry and how it fulfills the ministry of the deacon in
full connection (¶¶328 & 329). The BOM will determine if such persons have
completed all academic and other requirements for the order of deacon according to
¶324 and ¶330 of The Book of Discipline, 2004.

The BOM will determine if such persons have completed the appropriate formation
time in a specialized ministry and may require evidence of a focus or specialization in
an area of ministry within their graduate degree, and may require additional education
and/or profession certification.

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Upon recommendation of the BOM and vote of the clergy session, such persons may
be received into the Order of Deacons and conference as deacons in full connection; if
not previously ordained deacons, they will be ordained.

Their credentials as elders will be deposited with the bishop and they will no longer
function as elders; the bishop will then issue credentials as deacons in full connection.

2. Ordained Deacon in Probationary Membership to Ordained Deacon in Full Connection

Persons ordained as deacons according to The Book of Discipline, 1992 and seeking to be received
as deacons in full connection shall
(a) apply in writing to the BOM, informing the DS and bishop
(b) be interviewed by the BOM or a committee of the BOM, articulating their call and the focus of
ministry and how it fulfills the ministry of a deacon as outlined in The Book of Discipline, 2004
¶328 and ¶329
(c) complete academic and other requirements as set by the BOM
(d) complete at least two (2) years of appropriate formation time in a specialized ministry related
to the ministry of the deacon; the two (2) years may be extended to provide appropriate time
of formation and service in the work of a deacon ¶¶328-329 & ¶309
(e) be received into the conference as a deacon in full connection after recommendation of the
BOM and vote of the clergy session.

These persons would not be ordained, but would be recognized in the ordination service and
respond to their willingness to participate in the Order of Deacons and to respond to the questions in
¶330.4 The Book of Discipline, 2004.

3. Ordained Deacon in Full Connection to Ordained Elder in Full Connection

Ordained deacons in full connection who are in good standing and seek to be ordained as elders in
full connection shall
(a) apply in writing to the BOM, informing the DS and bishop
(b) be interviewed by the BOM or a committee of the BOM, articulating their call and
understanding the ministry of elder as outlined in The Book of Discipline, 2004 ¶332
(c) complete academic and other requirements for elder as determined by the BOM ¶335
(d) complete an appropriate formation time in the ministry of elder, serving as an appointed
licensed local pastor for at least two (2) years prior to ordination as elder
(e) be recommended by the BOM and approved by vote of the clergy session to be ordained as
elder.

Such persons shall deposit their credentials as deacons with the bishop and no longer function as
deacons or participate in the order of deacons. The Bishop will then issue credentials as elders.

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APPENDIX G:

CONFERENCE RECORDS

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KEEPING OF RECORDS
TENNESSEE CONFERENCE

Annual conference records maintained by various persons representing the BOM, Board of
Pensions, dCOM, conference secretary, bishop’s office and different DS offices are all considered
the property of the annual conference and shall be maintained, disposed of, or archived according to
The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, 2004, the General Council on Finance and
Administration and/or the guidelines outlined by the Standing Rules of the TN Conference.

1. Conference records are composed of service records, permanent files, ministerial files,
confidential files, district files, some of the bishop’s office files, and other records deemed
necessary by the conference.

2. The authorized person(s) representing the group(s) compiling or maintaining the active files
for the conference shall maintain active files. These files shall be kept with confidentiality,
accessible only to those persons entitled to such access. When these files are no longer
deemed necessary to the conference entity, they will be transferred to the “confidential and
permanent annual conference files” for storing.

3. The files of the bishop’s office and the district offices shall be maintained and kept by those
offices.

4. All other confidential conference files shall:


(a) be securely stored on conference property with the Conference Secretary, the Director
of Administrative Services, or the Director of the OMC as the custodians.
(b) have access limited to the custodians: those entitled by the Discipline, action of the
conference or by court order.
(c) be available to the subject of the file under the supervision of one of the custodians. If
the subject objects to something in the file, he/she may place a written statement in the
file, stating the objections, etc.
(d) be destroyed twenty-five (25) years after the death of the person.
(e) be kept forever if deemed as permanent files.

5. Types of files to be kept:


(a) Service record files shall contain service records of ministry, records relating to
pensions, records relating to health insurance and any correspondence relating to
ministry.
(b) Permanent files shall contain permanent ministerial records, surrendered credentials,
records of discontinuance, permanent records of the BOM, the former board of
diaconal ministry, the board of trustees, and the permanent records of the conference
secretary.
(c) Confidential files shall contain psychologicals, trial records, and any material relating to
the character of a person.

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