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Elders

Elders are ordained United Methodist clergy who are ordained to a ministry of Word, Sacrament, Order, and Service. This means elders preach and teach the Word of God, provide pastoral care and counsel, administer the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion and order the life of the church for service in mission and ministry. The servant leadership of the elder takes place both in parish ministry, as well as in extension ministries, like chaplaincy, campus ministry, teaching, missionary work, general agency work and other contexts. Elders itinerate, which means they serve in ministry settings (appointments) where the bishop assigns them.

Learn more about the duties of elders as defined by our Book of Discipline here.

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Duke University

Seeking ordination? GBHEM can connect you with one of the 13 United Methodist seminaries or other United Methodist-approved theological schools.

Students studying

Interested in training to become a local pastor? Learn more about licensing and the Course of Study process.

UMC Cyber Campus

The UMC Cyber Campus is a multilingual learning platform for theological and higher education that aims to enhance global access to affordable, high-quality digital educational resources.

Effective Ministry 360

Need assistance setting and reaching ministry goals for your congregation? Want some guidance with your own continuing formation? Effective Ministry 360 can help.

Message at podium

Find out how the Young Clergy Initiative (YCI) works to grow the next generation of clergy in The United Methodist Church.