¶ 710. Membership Qualifications-1. Members of all general agencies shall be professing members of The United Methodist Church except as provided in ¶ 705.3i.
2. Members of all general agencies shall be persons of genuine Christian character who love the Church, are morally disciplined and loyal to the ethical standards of The United Methodist Church as set forth in the Social Principles, and are otherwise competent to serve as members of general agencies.
3. All youth representatives (¶ 256.3) elected to general agencies shall be at the time of organizational board meetings twelve to sixteen years of age. All young adults (¶ 256.3) elected to general agencies shall be at the time of organizational board meetings seventeen to thirty years of age.
4. A voting member of a general agency shall be eligible for membership on that agency for no more than two consecutive four-year terms. The four-year term shall begin at the first organizational meeting of that agency following General Conference. Service of more than one year in fulfilling an unexpired or vacated position shall be considered as a full four-year term. To provide a continuing membership on these agencies, it is recommended that each nominating and electing body give special attention to continuing and effective membership on these agencies. If a general agency is merged with another agency, the years served by members prior to the merger shall be counted as part of the maximum specified above.9
A person who has been a voting member of general agencies for four consecutive quadrenniums shall be ineligible for election to a general agency in the succeeding quadrennium. The foregoing shall not apply to episcopal members.
5. No person shall serve at the same time on more than one general agency or any part thereof, except where the Discipline specifically provides for such interagency representation; provided, however, that if this limitation would deprive a jurisdiction of its full episcopal representation on an agency, it may be suspended to the extent necessary to permit such representation.10 (See ¶ 906.1a.)
6. A voting member of a general agency, by virtue of such membership, shall become an ex officio (voting) member of the corresponding agency or its equivalent structure, if any, in the annual conference in accordance with the provisions of ¶ 608.6; unless such membership would conflict with ¶ 611.2b(2). Elected lay members
of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry may serve as lay observers in their annual conference board of ordained ministry (¶ 634.1) if so nominated by the resident bishop.
7. No person who receives compensation for services rendered or commissions of any kind from an agency shall be eligible for voting membership on that agency.11
8. No elected member, officer, or other employee shall vote on or take part in deliberations on significant matters directly or indirectly affecting his or her business, income, or employment, or the business, income, or employment of a member of his or her immediate family.
9. a) If any clergy member of a general or jurisdictional agency who was elected to represent a certain annual conference ceases to be a member of that annual conference, or if any lay member so elected changes permanent residence to a place outside the bounds of that annual conference, that member’s place shall automatically become vacant.
b) If any clergy member of a general agency who was chosen to represent a certain jurisdiction ceases to be a member of an annual conference in that jurisdiction, or if any lay member so elected changes permanent residence to a place outside the bounds of that jurisdiction, that member’s place shall automatically become vacant.
c) If any clergy member of a jurisdictional agency ceases to be a member of an annual conference in that jurisdiction, or if any lay member so elected changes permanent residence to a place outside the bounds of the jurisdiction, that member’s place shall automatically become vacant.
10. If a member of a general agency is absent from two consecutive meetings of the agency without a reason acceptable to the agency, that person shall cease to be a member thereof. In that case the person shall be so notified, and that place shall be filled in accordance with the appropriate provisions of the Discipline.
11. When a bishop is unable to attend a meeting of an agency of which that bishop is a member, that bishop may name another bishop to attend that meeting with the privilege of vote. When an alternate to a central conference bishop must be named, that alternate shall be another central conference bishop.
9. See Judicial Council Decision 495.
10. See Judicial Council Decision 224.
11. See Judicial Council Decision 139.