Explore Calling: How Do I Begin?
If you decide you are called to ordained ministry, talk to your pastor, campus minister or chaplain, or someone else who is ordained. They will be able to help you contact your District Superintendent (DS). Let your DS know that you would like to enroll in the candidacy process. Ask the DS for the name of the person you should contact on the district committee on ordained ministry (dCOM). It is at this time that the DS will help the dCOM assign to you a mentor who will help you navigate the ministry process. That will get the ball rolling. Be persistent. You’re not bothering people; you’re simply reminding them that you’re interested. They like to hear that, and the more you remind them, the more they will remember you, and see to it that you get the right info at the right time.
If at all possible, you want to become a “certified candidate” before you enter seminary so that you will qualify for more scholarship opportunities from The United Methodist Church and from your annual conference. If you can’t become certified before seminary, you can still attend; however, it’s better for you to become certified during your senior year in college. You should always check with your district committee or the annual conference’s candidacy registrar to be sure you are following the process in the correct order – it may be different in different conferences. The DS can give you those names.
If you decide you are called to serve as a layperson in the Church, work with your pastor or other church members to identify ways you can serve. Try out different ministries to discover what you enjoy doing and where your skills are. The Church has many ministries and certifications for full-time vocational service.