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Duties and Service of an Elder

Elders in The United Methodist Church serve as parish pastors, university or seminary teachers, military or institutional chaplains, pastoral counselors, spiritual directors and in many other places where they nurture people in God’s love and order God’s people in worship and ministry.

Elders are authorized to preside over the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion, in addition to the pastoral duties of leading worship, preaching and conducting weddings and funerals.

The United Methodist Endorsing Agency [LINK TO THE UMEA] provides endorsement, training and support for elders and deacons who serve outside of a congregation as chaplains or pastoral counselors. The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry provides training and other resources for elders as they navigate the changing world and new ministry challenges

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.

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.

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