Petition 80314

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Requirements for Deacons in Full Connection (80314-MH-¶330)

Amend ¶330 as follows:
  
330. Requirements for Ordination as Deacon and Admission to Full Connection
Probationary members who are applying for admission into full connection and who have been probationary members for at least three full annual conference years following the completion of the educational requirements for ordination as a deacon specified in .3 below may be admitted into membership in full connection in an annual conference by two-thirds vote of the clergy members in full connection of the annual conference, upon recommendation by two-thirds vote of the board of ordained ministry, after they have qualified as follows:  
1. They shall have served under episcopal appointment in a ministry of service for at least three full annual conference years the entire probationary period . Upon recommendation of the board of ordained ministry, the annual conference may equate less than fulltime or non-salaried service as meeting this qualification. Such equivalence is to be determined in light of the years of service involved, the quality of that service, the maturity of the applicant, and other relevant factors determined by the board. Supervision is to be : (a) by the district superintendent, and (b) by the board of ordained ministry. The applicant's service must be evaluated by the board of ordained ministry as effective according to written guidelines developed by the board and adopted by the clergy  
  
members in full connection. Lay persons directly involved in the applicant’s servant ministry shall be involved by the board in the annual evaluation.
2. They shall have B been previously elected as a probationary members.
3. They shall have met the following educational requirements: (a) graduation with a Bachelor of Arts or equivalent degree from a college or university listed by the University Senate or its equivalent as determined by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry; (b) graduation with a Master of Divinity degree or a master’s degree from a graduate theological school recognized by the University Senate, or a master’s degree in an area of specialized ministry; (c) or are candidates over the age of 35 with professional certification or license in their area of ministry including a minimum of eight semester hours of graduate academic credit; educational requirements in every case shall include the basic graduate theological studies of the Christian faith, as outlined in ¶ 324.4 (a).  
3  4. They shall have R responded to a written or oral doctrinal examination administered by the board of ordained ministry. The candidate shall demonstrate the ability to communicate clearly in both oral and written form. The candidate’s reflections and the board’s response shall be informed by the insights and guidelines of Part II of the Book of Discipline. The examination shall also focus upon the covenantal relationship of the applicant to God, to the Church, and to the Order of Deacon, as well as the understanding of diaconia, servant leadership, and the interrelatedness of the Church and the world. The applicant shall be able to articulate the call of God to the order of deacon and to relate that call to leadership within the ministry of all Christians, through the setting of their service, the local church, and the annual conference.
4.  5. The following questions are guidelines for the preparation of the examination:
a) Theology.
(1) How has the practice of ministry affected your experience and understanding of God?

Rationale

To make clear the requirements for those entering the Order of Deacons as members in full connection.