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 held by the association in cooperation with a local church. Ordination is the rite by which people whom God and the Church have called to vocational ministry are set apart by prayer and the laying on of hands. Though all baptized Christians are called to ministry, ordination is a recognition of a particular calling from God and a celebration of acceptance of that call by an individual. Ordination gives initial authorization to perform duties and exercise the responsibilities of ordained ministry.
What if I'm already ordained in another denomination?
The United Church of Christ shares clergy with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). If you are ordained in the DoC, and are seeking the status of an Ordained Ministerial Partner in the UCC, please download this form and contact the Committee on Ministry.
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. You will need to receive approved ministerial boundary training, take a course in the history and polity of the UCC, and submit other requested documentation to the Committee on Ministry.
What is the first step if I'm feeling a call?
First, you must be a member in good standing of a congregation within the North Texas Association, UCC, for at least a year before you can be considered by the Committee on Ministry for acceptance as a Member in Discernment: the first step 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. Your pastor will help shepherd you through this process of discernment.
Where do I find more information?
To see the general guidelines for ministry in the United Church of Christ, please see the Manual on Ministry. Please note that the Manual on Ministry is a guideline for associations, but the North Texas Association holds authority to approve candidates and maintain oversight of ministers.
What are the requirements for UCC ordination?
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 a call, and a call to ministry in the United Church of Christ. In special circumstances, there are alternate paths to ministry. For more information, consult the UCC's Manual Ministry.
How do I gain approval for ordination pending a call in the NTA?
After speaking with your UCC pastor, you would come before the Committee on Ministry to begin the process. These twice a year meetings are often held in early spring (Feb. or March) and early fall (Sept. or Oct.). Your church receives announcements about the timing of these meetings. Documentation is due to the committee no later than three weeks before the meeting for their review. The length of a discernment period, number of meetings, and requirements will vary with candidates and their circumstances. If the candidate is approved by the Committee on Ministry, they will then appear before the whole association for an "ecclesiastical council," wherein lay and clergy delegates vote to approve the candidate for ordination pending a call. Once a candidate secures this approval and an ordain-able position within a UCC church or ministry, they will be ordained by that calling body.