Frequently Asked Questions

Read the full FAQ about Chaplains

What does endorsement mean?

Ecclesiastical endorsement is affirmation that a clergy person is performing a valid ministry of The United Methodist Church and has presented evidence of the special education, training, skills and, when required, professional certification necessary to perform that ministry. Endorsement is the authority granted by the denomination to be appointed to and provide ministry in a specific setting.

How many clergy are endorsed and/or ecclesiastically approved to serve in ministries beyond the local church?

The United Methodist Endorsing Agency currently has over 1,650 clergy serving in endorsed and/or ecclesiastically approved settings.

Who can be endorsed by The United Methodist Church?

Endorsement is for clergy (i.e., deacons, elders, local pastors) of the church appointed to extend the ministry of the church into specialized settings.

What are the types of specialized settings of ministry for which clergy are endorsed?

Ordinarily endorsement is a requirement for employment and professional credentialing in ministerial settings outside the church walls.  Such settings include:

Campus Ministry  Military Chaplaincy
Children’s HomePolice
Clinical Pastoral Education SupervisorPrison/Corrections
General HospitalRetirement Community
Hospice  Specialized
Life CoachSubstance Abuse
Marriage and Family TherapyVeterans Health Administration
Mental HealthWorkplace

 

What is the call to ministry as a pastoral counselor?

Call is God’s invitation to use God-given gifts and talents to minister in the church and in the world. A pastoral counselor is called to serve people, particularly the poor, the sick, the troubled, and the oppressed, in ministries of compassion, justice, and service in the world. Help in determining God’s call and specific resources are available at www.explorecalling.org.

Where are pastoral counselors employed?

Pastoral counselors are employed in the following settings: private practice, local church counseling centers, hospitals, group practices or counseling centers not in a church, annual conference staffs, or by private industry, government, or organizations. Pastoral counselors, both elders and deacons, are then appointed by their bishop to serve in that setting.

What is the process for becoming a United Methodist pastoral counselor?

The requirements for deacon, elder, licensed local pastor, and associated member are applicable to a pastoral counselor. To ensure high standards of competence and uniform standards, the United Methodist Endorsing Agency is responsible for enlisting, endorsing, and supporting ordained clergy serving in ministries of pastoral care in specialized settings. The specialized training of a pastoral counselor allows them to bring together the resources of Scripture, belief, and the traditions of the faith community with clinical and academic training in the skills of psychotherapy. More information, resources, and related links are available on the United Methodist Endorsing Agency website.

What is the relationship of an endorsed constituent (e.g., chaplain, pastoral counselor, etc.)?

A deacon in full connection, serving in an endorsed setting of ministry is accountable to the annual conference of which he or she is a member, and generally maintains a close working relationship with and effective participation in the work of the annual conference.

An elder in full connection, serving in an endorsed setting of ministry is accountable to the annual conference of which he or she is a member and generally maintains a close working relationship with and effective participation in the work of the annual conference. In addition, the bishop makes one annual visit to the ministry setting to observe the ministry.

Licensed Local Pastors (LLP) serving in an endorsed setting of ministry is amenable to the annual conference Fellowship of Local Pastors and meets annually with the District Committee on Ordained Ministry to discuss their ministry and to request renewal of their licensure.

Deacons, Elders and Licensed Local Pastors serving in endorsed settings of ministry also make annual reports on activities, continuing education, and copies of their personal evaluation to the annual conference.

Does the United Methodist Endorsing Agency (UMEA) provide continuing education opportunities for its constituency?

Yes. UMEA provides annual continuing education opportunities for its endorsed constituency. Continuing Education Credits are typically granted by higher education institutions and seminaries associated with The United Methodist Church. A listing of these annual Continuing Education opportunities are on the UMEA home page.

What is the Chaplains Supplemental Pension Grant Fund?

The Chaplains Supplemental Pension Grant Fund was established by the General Conference of The United Methodist Church to provide retirement benefits for clergy who served as chaplains, pastoral counselors, or in specialized ministries in which they do not qualify for pension or other denominational benefits.

Qualifying clergy must have been granted ecclesiastical endorsement by the United Methodist Endorsing Agency of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. The Fund is administered by both the United Methodist Endorsing Agency and the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of The United Methodist Church.  

Support the UMEA Endowment Fund

UMEA Continuing Education Opportunities:

UMEA Continuing Education Opportunities: Embracing Compassion and Hope in a Troubled World: with Robert Wicks, PsyD and Charles “Ray” Bailey, Ret. Deputy Chief of Chaplains, US Army and current Deputy General Secretary, GBHEM

Transition Workshop

  • August 14-16, 2018

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