¶ 663. There shall be a district committee on ordained ministry.
1. The district committee on ordained ministry shall be amenable to the annual conference through the board of ordained ministry. It shall be composed of a representative from the board of ordained ministry, named by the board after consultation with the district superintendent, who may be named chairperson; the district superintendent, who may serve as the executive secretary; and at least six other clergy in the district, including women and ethnic clergy, wherever possible, nominated annually by the district superintendent in consultation with the chairperson or executive committee of the board of ordained ministry and approved by the annual conference. The committee shall include elders in full connection and, whenever possible, deacons in full connection and at least one elder who has taken the Course of Study. Interim vacancies may be filled by the district superintendent. The conference board of ordained ministry shall provide orientation for new members, including education regarding the ministry and roles of all clergy and distribution of any available written guidelines.
At least three professing members of local churches shall be members of the committee with vote, except on matters prohibited by ¶ 33, Article II, in the Constitution, nominated annually by the district superintendent and approved by the annual conference.
2. The district committee on ordained ministry shall elect its officers at the first meeting following the annual conference session when the members are elected.
3. The committee shall maintain a list of all persons who have declared their candidacy for the ordained ministry and are pursuing candidacy studies under a supervising pastor. A duplicate list shall be forwarded to the annual conference registrar for candidacy; such list being made current at least prior to each session of the annual conference.
4. The committee shall offer counsel to candidates regarding pre-theological studies.
5. The committee shall supervise all matters dealing with candidacy for the ordained ministry and with the license for local pastor.
6. The vote of the committee on all matters of candidacy shall be by individual written ballot, with a three-fourths majority vote of the committee present required for certification or approval or recommendation.
7. The committee shall maintain a service record and file on every local pastor and candidate for the ordained ministry until the individual becomes an associate or probationary member of the annual conference, at which time a copy of the files shall be forwarded to the registrar of the board of ordained ministry. The records and files of the committee are kept on behalf of the annual conference and shall be maintained under guidelines provided by the General Council on Finance and Administration in consultation with the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits.
8. The committee shall recommend to the board of ordained ministry those persons who qualify for associate and probationary membership, for license or continuance as local pastors, and for restoration of credentials. All persons shall have been professing members of The United Methodist Church for at least two years immediately preceding certification, shall have been recommended by their charge conference, and shall, in the judgment of the committee, show evidence that their gifts, evidence of God’s grace, and usefulness warrant such recommendation.86
9. The committee shall examine all persons who apply in writing for certification or renewal of certificate. Where there is evidence that their gifts, evidence of God’s grace, and usefulness warrant and that they are qualified under ¶¶ 315-319, and on recommendation of their charge conference or the conference board of ordained ministry, the committee shall issue or renew their certificate.
10. The committee shall examine all persons who apply in writing to be certified as lay ministers. When there is evidence that their gifts, evidence of God’s grace and usefulness, warrant and that they are qualified under ¶ 272, and on recommendation of their charge conference, the committee shall recommend their certification or recertification.
11. All persons interviewed by the district committee shall be informed of decisions and recommendations as soon as possible, both orally and in writing.
12. The committee shall assist the conference board of ordained ministry in providing support services for all clergy under appointment within the district.
86. See Judicial Council Decision 586.