Conference Relations & Pastoral Nurture

Conference Relations

Information on changes in conference relationship (retirement, leave, honorable location), annual reporting, and MEF grants.  Find applications  for licensed or ordained ministry here: The Candidacy Process and Applications.
Conference Relations Co-Chairs:

Deadlines for changing conference relationship (requests must be in writing): 

¶358.  (120 days before effective) - if effective July 1, then request deadline is March 1.
Send written request to the Bishop and District Superintendent, with copies to the Conference Relations co-chairs (see above) and the Conference Benefits Office ( or (978) 682-8055 ext. 122 
Voluntary Leave of Absence
¶354 (personal, family, or transitional).  (90 days before Annual Conference, except transitional) - March 15.
Send written request to the Conference Relations co-chairs (see above) with copies to the Bishop and the District Superintendent.  Request to end voluntary leave (except transitional) must be in writing at least 6 months prior to Annual Conference.
Sabbatical Leave
¶352.  (6 months prior to Annual Conference)
Send written request to the Conference Relations co-chairs (see above) with copies to the Bishop and the District Superintendent.
Complete information on other changes to Conference relationship can be found here:

  • involuntary leave - ¶355
  • maternity/paternity leave - ¶356 (form & instructions below in Continuing Formation section)
  • medical leave - ¶357
  • involuntary retirement - ¶358.3
  • honorable location -¶359
  • withdrawal - ¶361
  • re-admission - ¶¶365-369
  • less than full-time service - ¶338.2


Conference Relations Annual Report Forms


For information or help with this website or EM360, contact

Local Pastor

All information about Local Pastor Education is available on the BOM education page or by contacting the Registrar, Deborah Venator, at or (603) 892-0359

Deacon/Diaconal Ministry/Certification in Specialized Ministries

For information concerning the Order of Deacon and Specialized Ministries contact:

Annual Report of the Deacon Form

Certification in Specialized Ministries - in the areas of Camp/Retreat, Christian Education, Evangelism, Music Ministry, Spiritual Formation, Older Adult Ministry, Youth Ministry

Annual Deacons Retreat will be held via Zoom
The New England Conference's Annual Deacons' Retreat is time of spiritual formation and connection for Deacons and those exploring a call to the Order of Deacon. The 2023 retreat TBA soon. Attendance is required for all provisional deacons. To register or to learn more, contact Elizabeth Kubota at

Continuing Formation/Spiritual Growth/Pastoral Nurture

For information concerning scholarships, continuing education, maternity/paternity leave, etc.

Maternity/Paternity Leave (
Inform District Superintendent, SPRC, Conference Relations co-chairs and Pastoral Nurture chair (see above) at least 90 days prior to beginning leave.

Maternity/Paternity Leave Form & Policy       
Applications for Scholarships and Grants
Short-term Grants: for any clergy under appointment in the New England Conference, to assist in providing funding for short-term continuing education programs or events
Short-term Grant Application - FILLABLE form
MDiv Grants: for certified candidates for ordained ministry who are in an MDiv or equivalent degree program
DMin Grants: for full or provisional members who have completed seminary, and diaconal ministers under appointment who are pursuing a graduate degree - DMin or equivalent
Life-long learning is critical to continued effectiveness in ministry and includes both transformational learning and development of basic ministry skills.  The New England Conference Guidelines for Continuing Theological Education policy states that the following persons are required to receive a minimum of one (1) CEU per year and at least eight (8) CEUs per quadrennium:

  • Full-time local pastors who have completed the Course of Study
  • Elders under appointment
  • Deacons in full connection under appointment
  • Provisional members under appointment
  • Diaconal ministers under appointment
  • Associate members under appointment
  • Retired pastors under appointment

A CEU is defined as ten (10) contact hours (instructional session or its equivalent) under qualified leadership.  It is assumed that programs sponsored by an agency of the general church, jurisdiction, conference, district, ecumenical, or community service institution or covenant study groups will have qualified leadership.  Half (1/2) credits will be given for contact time between five (5) and ten (10) hours.

The Continuing Education Committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry has compiled a list of Learning Experiences that support growth and development. More continuing education resources on UMCCYBERCAMPUS 

CEU Event Planner Request Form - For a sponsor of an event who would like to offer CEUs to those attending.  Completed form should be returned at least 6 weeks prior to the date of the event to:

Rev. Matthew Wissell
10 Chester Street
Danvers, MA 01923
(978) 777-7408