Are you feeling God's call to ordianed ministry in the U.C.C.?
What is ordination in the United Church of Christ?
In the United Church of Christ, ordination is carried out by the association in cooperation with a
local church. Ordination is the rite by which people whom God and the Church have called to ordained
ministry are set apart by prayer and the laying on of hands. While we believe all baptized Christians
are ordained to ministry, ordination is a recognition of a particular calling from God and its acceptance
by an individual. It gives initial authorization to perform duties and exercise the perogatives of
What's the first step if I'm feeling a call?
First, you must be member in good standing of a congregation within the North Texas Association of the United Church of Christ for at least a year before you can be considered by the Committee on Ministry for acceptance as a Member In Discernment, which is the first stage on a path that may lead to ordination. To become a Member in Discernment (MiD) you will also need to be sponsored by your local pastor and congregation, so the first step is to talk to your pastor. She/He/They will help shepherd you through this process of discernment.
What are the requirements for ordination in the UCC?
Ordained ministers in the UCC have a bachelor's degree from an accredited university, a Master of Divinity from an accredited seminary, approval from their association for ordination pending call, and a call to ministry in the United Church of Christ. In special circumstances, however, there are alternate paths to ministry. For more information, consult the UCC's Manual on Ministry's sections on liscenced and comissioned ministers..
How do I gain approval for ordination pending call from the North Texas Association?
After speaking with your U.C.C. pastor, you would need to come before the Committee on Ministry to begin the process. The Committee on Ministry meets to interview candidates one month before the North Texas Association Fall and Spring meetings. The date, time, and location of the next Committee on Ministry meeting is published on this website's calendar, in the NTA monthly newsletter, and in the South Central Conference Newsletter. Documentation is due to the Committee no later than 3 weeks before the Committee on Ministry meeting for review. The discernment period, number of meetings with the Committee on Ministry, and requirements may vary by candidate and his or her circumstances. If and when the candidate is approved by the Committee on Ministry, he or she would come before the North Texas Association at our Spring or Fall meeting for an ecclesiastical council, wherein lay and clergy delegates would vote whether or not to approve the candidate for ordination pending call. Once a candidate approved by his or her association for ordination pending call secures a call from a U.C.C. church or U.C.C. ministry, he or she would be ordained by that calling body.
What if I'm already ordained by another denomination?
The United Church of Christ shares clergy with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). If you are ordained in the D.O.C., and are seeking the status of Ordained Ministerial Partner, please download this form and contact the Committee on Ministry by using the form at the bottom of the page. If you are ordained in another denomination and are seeking to transfer your standing or are seeking dual affiliation, you will first need to come before the Committee on Ministry for consideration. Again, documents must be submitted 3 weeks prior to the committee's next meeting date. You will also need to take a course in the history and polity of the United Church of Christ and recieve approved boundary training.
Where do I find more information?
To see the guidlines for ministry in the United Church of Christ, refer to our Manual on Ministry. Note that the Manual on Ministry is a resource of guidlines for associations, but the North Texas Association holds the ultimate authority to approve candidates and maintain oversight of ministers.
The following forms are designed to answer common questions for seminary students (Member in Discernment), ministers in other denominations (Privilege of Call, Dual Standing, or Minister in Discernment) and lay persons interested in Licensed Ministry (Licensed Minister). Please talk to your pastor or someone on the Committe on Ministry to understand which forms or documents you will need.