Petition 80321

Print this page
Submitted TextClose Window X

Transfer Requirements (80321-MH-¶347)

Amend ¶347 as follows:
  
¶ 347. Transfers
1. From Other Annual Conferences—Ordained clergy or probationary members from other annual conferences of The United Methodist Church may be received by transfer into probationary or full membership with the consent of the bishops involved. Consultation with the chairperson or executive committee of the board of ordained ministry shall be held prior to the transfer.
2. From Other Methodist Denominationsa) Ordained clergy from other Methodist churches shall be received by transfer into probationary or full conference membership or as local pastors, with the consent of the bishops or other authorities involved, without going through the process required for ministers from other denominations. Prior consultation with the chairperson or executive committee of the board of ordained ministry shall be held in order to determine that the minister meets the standards for conference membership established by the Discipline and the annual conference. A psychological report, criminal background and credit check, and reports of sexual misconduct and/or child abuse shall be required. They shall submit, on a form provided by the conference board of ordained ministry:
  
(1) a notarized statement detailing any convictions for felony or misdemeanor or written accusations of sexual misconduct or child abuse; or
(2) a notarized statement certifying that this candidate has not been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, or accused in writing of sexual misconduct or child abuse.
b) Ordained elders or ordained clergy being transferred from other Methodist churches shall meet the educational requirements of The United Methodist Church, or the equivalent approved by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.
c) The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry shall certify the satisfaction of educational requirements for conference membership and, in cases where additional education is required, shall develop an educational program in consultation with the board of ordained ministry.
3. From Other Denominationsa) On recommendation of the board of ordained ministry, the clergy members in full connection may recognize the orders of elders or ordained clergy from other denominations and receive them as probationary members or local pastors. They shall present their credentials for examination by the bishop and board of ordained ministry and give assurance of their Christian faith and experience. They shall give evidence of their agreement with and willingness to support and maintain United Methodist doctrine, discipline, and polity and present a satisfactory certificate of good health on the prescribed form from a physician approved by the board of ordained ministry. The board of ordained ministry, in consultation with the General Board of  
  
Higher Education and Ministry, shall determine whether they meet the educational requirements for conference membership. Prior to admission as probationary members, they shall provide evidence of completion of courses in United Methodist history, doctrine, and polity as defined in ¶ 335. A psychological report, criminal background and credit check, and reports of sexual misconduct and/or child abuse shall be required. They shall submit, on a form provided by the conference board of ordained ministry:
(1) a notarized statement detailing any convictions for felony or misdemeanor or written accusations of sexual misconduct of child abuse; or
(2) a notarized statement certifying that the candidate has not been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor, or accused in writing of sexual misconduct or child abuse.
b) Ordained elders or ordained clergy from other Christian denominations shall serve as probationary members for at least two years and complete all the requirements of ¶ 335, including courses in United Methodist history, doctrine, and polity, before being admitted into full conference membership.
c) Following the probationary member’s election to full conference membership as a deacon or an elder as provided in ¶ 326, the bishop and secretary of the conference shall provide a certificate of full membership in the annual conference.
4. The board of ordained ministry of an annual conference is required to ascertain from an ordained elder or ordained clergyperson seeking admission into its membership on credentials from another denomination whether or not membership in the effective  
  
relation was previously held in an annual conference of The United Methodist Church or one of its legal predecessors, and if so, when and under what circumstances the ordained minister’s connection with such annual conference was severed.
5. Ordained elders or ordained clergy seeking admission into an annual conference on credentials from another denomination who have previously withdrawn from membership in the effective relation in an annual conference of The United Methodist Church or one of its legal predecessors shall not be admitted or readmitted without the consent of the annual conference from which they withdrew or its legal successor, or the annual conference of which the major portion of their former conference is a part, such consent to be granted upon recommendation of its board of ordained ministry.

Rationale

To clarify the avenues of entry for elders, deacons, or ordained clergy transferring from other denominations and the requirements for United Methodist Studies.