Provisional Membership

Completion of Candidacy Toward Provisional Membership and Commissioning 

A candidate is eligible for election to provisional membership and commissioning after meeting the following qualifications: 

  1. Candidacy requirement: Each candidate will have a minimum of one (1) years and not more than twelve (12) years.
     
  2. Service requirement: Each candidate will have a minimum of one (1) years in a service setting as determined by the dCOM. This may be concurrent with academic study.
     
  3. Undergraduate requirement: A candidate will have completed a bachelor’s degree from a college or university recognized by the University Senate.
     
  4. Exception to the Undergraduate Requirement: 

    --Only after consultation with the Director of Ministerial Services, who will consult the General Board of Education and Ministry
    --For missional purposes
    --For persons who have a minimum of sixty (60) semester hours of academic credit
    --Who have been prevented from pursuit of the normal baccalaureate education,
    --Who are members of a group whose cultural practices and training enhance insight and skills for effective ministry not available through conventional formal education
    --M.Div. graduates who have attended a college that is not recognized by the University Senate.
     
  5. Graduate requirement: 
    --Required basic graduate theological studies in the Christian faith for both deacons and elders must include courses in Old Testament; New Testament; theology; church history; mission of the church in the world; evangelism; worship/liturgy; and United Methodist doctrine, polity and history.
    --A candidate for elder will have (a) completed the course work required for a Master of Divinity degree from a school approved by the University Senate, (b) including the following requirements for South Georgia: two (2) courses in preaching.
    --A candidate for deacon shall have completed a master’s degree from a United Methodist seminary or one listed by the University Senate, or
    --Received a master’s degree in the area of specialized ministry in which the candidate will serve
    --Completed the basic graduate theological studies, in a context which will provide formation as a UM 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.
    --An alternate route for becoming a deacon in full connection may be taken through the following professional certification process:
             --reached thirty-five [35] years of age at the time of becoming a certified candidate
             --completed a bachelor’s degree, received professional certification or license in the area of specialized ministry in which the deacon will serve, and received eight semester hours in the area of specialization, and have been recommended by the conference Board of Ordained Ministry
            --completed the twenty-four hours of basic graduate theological studies in the Christian faith, including 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 in a context which will provide formation as a UM 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.
     
  6. Local pastor route: A local pastor may apply for provisional membership and commissioning if he or she has: (a) reached forty(40)years of age, (b) completed the five-year Course of Study, (2) acquired thirty-two (32) semester hours of graduate theological study or its equivalent, as determined by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, including twenty-four (24) semester hours of basic graduate theological studies.
     
  7. All candidates for Provisional Membership will (a) present a satisfactory certificate of health, (b) respond to a written concise autobiographical statement, be interviewed and recommended by a three-fourth’s (¾) majority vote of the dCOM, (d) submit Form 114 (included with the candidacy packet of information. This disclosure form will be notarized. It is a statement detailing any written accusations or convictions for felony, misdemeanor or incident of sexual misconduct. This form is required prior to an interview with the Board of Ordained Ministry.