Information on various pastoral ministry roles: Ministry of the ElderMinistry of the Local PastorMinistry of the Deacon


For any questions or additional information, please contact Jessica Wells at (859) 299-6260, or by email at

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Contact Pastor
To begin, a candidate contacts the pastor in a local church, another clergy, or the District Superintendent to inquire about the process of candidacy.

Read “The Christian as Minister”
Candidates are required to use the resource “The Christian as Minister."

Member of UM Church for 1 Year
A person beginning candidacy shall be a member of the UMC or a baptized participant of a recognized UM campus ministry or other UM ministry setting for a minimum of 1 year. 

Apply to DS in Writing
Apply to the District Superintendent in writing for admission to the candidacy program.  Email/mail a copy of the written letter to the DS. 

              Next steps: Contact the District Committee Registrar for more details about a candidacy retreat or questions related to candidacy.

               Jessica Wells can be reached at (859) 299-6260. 

Background Checks
The candidate releases the required criminal background and credit checks.The cost is $75 and the responsibility of the candidate.

Candidate’s Disclosure Form
Candidate completes the Candidate Disclosure form and has it notarized. The candidate then uploads it and submits the original form to your district office.

Apply online to Passage
The candidacy mentor informs and assists the new candidate in logging into the Passage system to complete Form 101-New Candidate Application, order a Candidacy Guidebook, and pay the enrollment fee which includes the cost of the Candidacy Guidebook and other administration expenses.  Also, mentor helps candidate navigate the file management system.  This will happen at the candidacy retreat.

High school degree or equivalent
In order to become a certified candidate, a person shall have graduated from an accredited high school or received a certificate of equivalency. A copy of the high school diploma or transcript must be uploaded or, if a GED has been earned, a certificate must be uploaded.

Biographical Information Form 103
Candidate provides the requested biographical information on Form 102. The candidate then submits the form to the district office in a pdf format.

Request recommendation from S/P-PRC
The candidate will consult with the pastor and Pastor/Staff Parish Relations Committee of the church where membership is held, sharing a written statement reflecting on the call and requesting recommendation for certification. The committee shall interview the candidate, complete and submit the SPRC form to the district office, and make a recommendation to the charge conference.

Recommendation by charge conference – Form 104
The charge conference votes on whether to recommend the candidate to the District Committee on Ordained Ministry (DCOM).  The recommendation must be confirmed by a two-thirds majority vote. Upload Form 104 and submit the original to your district office.

Attend Candidacy Retreat
Ministerial Services hosts a retreat twice each year for exploring candidates.  On this retreat candidates complete the first few mentoring sessions, take the written portion of the psychological assessment (see below), and receive training on, Passage, the online system used for candidacy.  You must complete the above paperwork and receive approval from the dCOM to attend.  The cost is $500 for the psychological assessment, and is the responsibility of the candidate.  After the retreat you will join a mentoring group.

Psychological Tier I Assessment Completed
Candidate has completed the Tier I Psychological Assessments and has been interviewed by one of the approved psychologists on the website. Approved psychologists can be found by going to, clicking on the Ministerial Services tab and then selecting the link for Approved Psychologists. Choose the psychologist who is assigned to your district.

Medical Report
The candidate contacts a physician and has a physical examination done. Before the examination, the candidate fills out the first part of Form 103; the doctor must fill out the second part of the form. The candidate then: 1) submits a copy of the entire report to the district office, and 2) sends the original to: Ministerial Services Office, Kentucky Annual Conference, 7400 Floydsburg Rd, Crestwood, KY 40014.

Complete Exploration of Candidacy
The candidacy mentor/mentoring group helps the candidate examine the call of God in light of the Biblical record, the role and function of United Methodist clergy, personal gifts and graces, and evidence of leadership. After completing the first two sections of the Candidacy Guidebook, the candidate makes a commitment to ministry as a deacon, elder, or local pastor.

Written Response to Ministry Questions
The candidate submits a written response to questions regarding God’s call to ordained ministry, identifying personal beliefs, gifts, and future usefulness and communicating an understanding of the ministry of the deacon and elder in the United Methodist Church.

Call to Ministry Reflection Paper
The candidate submits a written paper which reflects on his/her call to ministry.

Examination and approval by DCOM
The candidate appears before the DCOM for examination and approval.  The candidate agrees to maintain the highest ideals of Christian life as set forth in The Book of Discipline. The candidate fills out Form 113 on Passage, prints out two copies and sends one to: Ministerial Services Office, Kentucky Annual Conference, 7400 Floydsburg Rd, Crestwood, KY 40014. The other copy is submitted to the district office.