The Candidacy Process

Please scroll down to find information, applications, and forms related to Certified Candidacy, Local Pastor, Provisional Membership, Associate Membership, Full Membership and Certified Lay Minister (in that order).


Becoming a certified candidate is required to apply for local pastor licensing or to apply for ordained ministry.
The official list of requirements to become a certified candidate in the New England Conference are found in this checklist:  Certified Candidacy Requirement Checklist

More detailed instructions related to the certified candidacy process and the required evaluations (psych, medical, background, credit) can be found in this document:  
Candidacy & UMCARES Advice/Instructions for candidates and candidacy mentors

Certified Candidacy Forms and Links:



Local Pastor in the New England Conference must apply for a license to serve in a local church or other ministry. See the requirements in this document:  Local Pastor Requirement Checklist 
Most candidates for local pastor must successfully complete an approved Local Pastor Licensing School prior to licensing and other educational while serving. For information on Local Pastor Licensing School, the New Pastor Orientation, and the Course of Study, please click on this link to the education page: Local Pastor Education 



Provisional membership in the Order of Deacon or Order of Elder

To be eligible to apply for provisional membership one must:

  • Be a certified candidate for at least 1 year, and no more than 12 years (see requirements for becoming a certified candidate, Candidacy Checklist, above)
  • Have completed a bachelor's degree
  • Have completed an M.Div. (Elder or Deacon) or master's (Deacon) degree from a seminary listed by the University Senate. Seminaries approved by University Senate 
  • Have completed 1/2 of the Basic Graduate Theological Studies (BGTS) and be able to complete all BGTS before FULL membership (para 324.4a; BGTS include Old Testament, New Testament, theology, church history, mission of the church in the world, evangelism, worship/liturgy, UM History,UM Doctrine, and UM Polity
  • Have an up-to-date psych. If your psychological assessment is over 7 years old, you will need a new one. Please contact the BOM Registrar ( or 603-892-0359).
These Application Packets contain instructions, requirements, and forms in the pdf format. MS-Word formatted forms (forms only) are also available below.
  • Applications for Provisional Membership for Feb 2018 exams will be posted here before July 1st.                                            

Word-formatted forms for February 2017 Provisional Membership Exams:
Use of these Word Forms does not excuse one from the instructions in the pdf packet!
Please be sure to read the entire pdf packet!

Application Packets and forms are also available by contacting the BOM Registrar at (603) 892-0359 or 



Fruitfulness Project
The 2012 Book of Discipline introduced some changes to the requirements for full elder and deacon membership. The most significant change (required for both Orders) was the Fruitfulness Project which is "a project that demonstrates fruitfulness in carrying out the church's mission of 'Making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World'".
Order of Elder Changes:
With the addition of the Fruitfulness Project to the requirements for full membership in the Order of Elder, the New England Conference will no longer require Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) for Elders.
  • Two different applications will be available for full membership in the Order of Elder: (1) the "Project Application" which requires the Fruitfulness Project and (2) the "Alternative Application" which does not require the fruitfulness project.
  • If you began an approved Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program prior to July 1, 2014 (and completed that CPE), you are eligible to choose which application you prefer to use.
  • If you had not begun CPE prior to July 1, 2014, you will be required to use the Project Application (some folks commissioned prior to 2014 may also be allowed a choice, please contact the BOM Registrar).
  • If you are eligible to choose an application, once the choice has been submitted (in Part 1 of the application), the application type cannot be changed. Requirements cannot be interchanged between applications.
  • Deacon candidates are not required to do CPE, and are required to complete a Fruitfulness Project regardless of the dates that they may have taken a CPE program.
  • Please direct questions about full member requirements to the BOM Registrar (
  • Please read this additional information on the Fruitfulness Project:
    What is a Fruitfulness Project?

         Please submit a proposal form until your Project has been approved: Proposal Form

         Please submit an update from each April following your project's approval: Update Form

Full membership in the Order of Deacon
(para.330) or the Order of Elder (para.335)
Applicants must:

  • Have completed all of the following Basic Graduate Theological Studies (para 324.4a):? Theology, Old Testament, New Testament, Church History, Mission of the church in the world, Worship/Liturgy, Evangelism, UM History, UM Doctrine, and UM Polity.
  • Have been a provisional member for 3 to 8 years
  • Have served full-time (or equivalent) under episcopal appointment for at least 3 full annual conference years
  • Have completed the Provisional Leadership Academy (if commissioned 2011 or later).


Electronic Application Forms (WORD format) for Full Membership ONLY:
If you need WORD forms more suitable for printing (not electronic forms), please contact the BOM Registrar.
All Application Packets and Forms are also available by contacting the BOM Registrar, Deborah Venator, (603) 892-0359, or


Applicants must (para.322):
  • Have reached age 40
  • Have served 4 years as full-time local pastors
  • Have completed licensing studies and the 5-year Course of Study
  • Have completed a minimum of 60 hours toward a B.A. or equivalent            
  • A complete checklist of submission requirements can be found in the application packet:               

Applications for the February 2018 exams will be posted before July 1st
Application Packets and other forms are also available by contacting the BOM Registrar, Deborah Venator, (603) 892-0359, or


Certified Lay Minister (CLM)

A Certified Lay Minister is a qualified United Methodist layperson called to congregational leadership as part of a ministry team under the supervision of a clergy person.  This person enters the certification process, which includes training, support, supervision and accountability while serving in a local church assigned by the District Superintendent.

CLMs may preach the word, and guide the program ministry and mission of a congregation.  However, CLMs may provide leadership in many other contexts and have responsibility for other expressions of mission and ministry both within the congregation and in the community, district, or annual conference.

While CLMs can provide the essential guidance and pastoral leadership and services necessary for effective mission and ministry in churches, they are not intended to replace clergy, but rather to work beside them and with them as part of a team ministry.  (

CLM Requirement Checklist - Official list of requirements to become a CLM in the New England Conference.

Certified Lay Minister Course Materials

Frequently Asked Questions about Certified Lay Ministry

General Information on CLM certification


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