Discipline ¶326

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  ¶  326. Probationary Service of Commissioned Ministers-All persons who are commissioned ministers shall be appointed by a bishop
(¶ 430) and serve a minimum of three years following the completion of education requirements for full connection as a probationary member of the annual conference. During the probationary period, arrangements shall be offered by the board of ordained ministry for all commissioned ministers to be involved in a curriculum that extends theological education by using covenant groups and mentoring to support the practice and work of their ministry as servant leaders, to contemplate the grounding of ordained ministry, and to understand covenant ministry in the life of the conference. The specialized service of probationary members shall be evaluated by the district superintendent and the board of ordained ministry in terms of the probationary member’s ability to express and give leadership in servant ministry.
  1. The commissioned ministers planning to give their lives as deacons in full connection shall be in ministries of Word and Service the entire probationary period. A commissioned person preparing for ordination as a deacon shall be licensed for the practice of ministry during probationary membership to perform the duties of the ministry of the deacon as stated in ¶ 328 and be granted support as stated in ¶ 331.14.
  2. The commissioned ministers planning to give their lives as elders in full connection shall be in ministries of Service, Word, Sacrament, and Order. A commissioned minister preparing for ordination as an elder who serving as pastor of a local church shall be licensed for pastoral ministry (¶ 315).
3. Commissioned ministers who are serving in extension ministries or graduate degree programs shall be accountable to the district superintendent and the board of ordained ministry for the conduct of ministry, and for demonstrating their effectiveness in the ministry of the order to which they seek to be ordained. In every case, they will demonstrate their effectiveness in servant leadership in the local church to the satisfaction of the board of ordained ministry.