Certification

What’s Certification?

Many clergy and laypeople are employed to lead the church in specialized areas like Christian education, youth ministry, spiritual formation, ministry with people with disabilities, or other. Certification is The United Methodist Church’s recognition that an individual has been called, made a commitment to serve, and has fulfilled the required standards for academic training, experience, and continuing study to serve with excellence in an area of specialized ministry.

Why Certification?

Those who’ve earned United Methodist specialized ministry certification demonstrate that they are committed to excellence and to continuing to improve their skills and knowledge. They are explicitly prepared to lead others in United Methodist churches and contexts. Deacons who lead in a specialized ministry area can earn specialization as part of their required education.
 
Professional certification entails training in Bible, theology, United Methodist studies, and skill development; professional experience; a community of support; and accountability to the annual conference. Follow the links on the left to learn the specific requirements and procedures on how to earn professional, undergraduate, or paraprofessional certification.
 

Three Tracks for Certification in The United Methodist Church

  • Professional (for lay, licensed, or ordained leaders who have an undergraduate degree and take graduate level courses)
  • Undergraduate (for undergraduate students)
  • Paraprofessional (for those who do not have a college degree and are working or volunteering in a specialized ministry)

Each track is available in twelve areas of specialized ministry: camp/retreat ministry; children’s ministry, Christian education, collegiate ministry, evangelism, ministry with the poor, ministry with people with disabilities, music ministry, ministry with older adults, spiritual formation, urban ministry, and youth ministry.

Certification Requirements

  1. Recognized Christian character, personal competence, integrity, and commitment to the church’s total ministry and mission
  2. Ability to relate to people, to work with volunteers and staff, to function in the role with emotional maturity and sound judgment
  3. Demonstrated leadership, ability to integrate theory and practice, an understanding of and commitment to the church’s ministry
  4. A member of The United Methodist Church for at least one year before enrolling in the certification process (affiliate or full member)
  5. Knowledge of The United Methodist Church’s structure, polity, resources, program, and mission
  6. Completion of education and work experience required by the specific certification program
  7. Evaluation by the annual conference Board of Ordained Ministry
  8. Participation in a professional organization related to the area of specialization

Certification: Related Files

Certification: Camp/Retreat Ministry Certification Requirements Download
Certification: Children’s Ministry Certification Requirements Download
Certification: Christian Education Ministry Certification Requirements Download
Certification: Collegiate Ministry Certification Requirements Download
Certification: Evangelism Certification Requirements Download
Certification: Ministry with People with Disabilities Certification Requirements Download
Certification: Ministry with the Poor Certification Requirements Download
Certification: Music Ministry Certification Requirements Download
Certification: Older Adult Ministry Certification Requirements Download
Certification: Spiritual Formation Ministry Certification Requirements Download
Certification: Urban Ministry Certification Requirements Download
Certification: Youth Ministry Certification Requirements Download
Certification: Schools Approved to Offer Certification Courses Download
Certification: Short-Term Intensive Courses Offered at United Methodist Graduate and Theological Schools Download
Certification: Steps into Certification Download
Form HE4064: Enrollment Form for Professional Certification in Specialized Ministries in The United Methodist Church Download
Form HE4065: Enrollment Form for Paraprofessional Certification in Specialized Ministries in The United Methodist Church Download
Form 116: United Methodist Studies Scholarship for Part-time Students Download
Form 323790: Application for Professional Certification in Specialized Ministries in The United Methodist Church Download
Form HE4066: Application for Paraprofessional Certification in Specialized Ministries in The United Methodist Church Download
Form HE4012: Request for References for Professional/Paraprofessional Certification in The United Methodist Church Download
Form HE4004: Request for Biennial Review and Renewal of Professional/Paraprofessional Certification in The United Methodist Church Download

Need More Information?

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