The candidacy process is designed to be a vocational discernment experience. We encourage you to begin this process early in your call discernment. Beginning early allows you to take full advantage of the nurturing opportunities The United Methodist Church has in place to support you through your discernment. These supports include mentors, discernment texts, small groups, scholarships and more.
To begin the process:
- Speak with your campus chaplain, youth pastor or local church pastor about your call.
- Read “The Christian as Minister” and talk with them about it.
- Finally, reach out to your annual conference to learn its next steps for candidacy. (This next point of contact is typically your area’s district superintendent.)
Learn more about the ordination process and the requirements for each step along your discernment journey here
Once you are a candidate, you’ll be granted access to the UMCARES portal so that you and your new mentor can track your progress. Explore our UMCARES Setup and FAQ page to learn more about setting up your profile and monitoring your progress.
- Deacons: Must receive a master of divinity degree or obtain a master’s degree in their work field, plus 27 theological study hours.
- Elders: Must have a Master of Divinity degree from a seminary approved by the church.
- Local Pastors: Must complete the Basic Five-Year Course of Study.
GBHEM encourages prospective candidates to explore our Loans and Scholarships section to learn more about their financial aid options.