Nurturing Leaders. Changing Lives.

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Lead on. We're with you.

For those who’ve heard God’s call to leadership, we’re here to make the journey with you, connecting you with what you need to flourish as difference-makers. That’s our commitment as the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. GBHEM.

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Are there many licensed local pastors serving in The United Methodist Church?

Today more than one-third of United Methodist churches are served by local pastors and associate members, and that number is growing.

Do licensed local pastors make the same salary as ordained elders?

No. As ordained clergy and graduates of theological schools, elders are paid a higher salary than local pastors who are licensed and educated through the Course of Study.

Is a local pastor ordained?

The local pastor is not ordained in The United Methodist Church but is licensed for pastoral ministry to perform the duties of a pastor as described above.

Does a licensed local pastor do the same things as an ordained elder who is pastoring a local church?

Yes and no. The local pastor performs all the duties of a pastor, including preaching; leading worship; performing baptisms, confirmations, and funerals; officiating at weddings; presiding over communion; and receiving new members. The difference is that the local pastor is authorized to do this only at his or her particular congregation, while the elder may perform these functions anywhere.

Who is a licensed local pastor?

A local pastor has answered the call from God to serve the mission of Jesus Christ through the work of the local congregation in The United Methodist Church.

Read the full FAQ about Licensed Local Pastors.

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