The Candidacy Process & Applications

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 new 4-15-2022 (aka Checklist for Certified Candidacy)

Certified Candidacy Forms and Links:    Contact with any questions!


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 the 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
    *Also, see BOD 324.6 for alternative requirements for Local Pastors with 4 years of full-time service. 
  • 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, UM Polity
  • Have an up-to-date psych and background check. If these assessment are more than 7 years old, you will need a new one. Please contact the BOM Registrar ( or 603-892-0359).

These Application Packets (pdfs) contain the official instructions, requirements, and forms.  2024 Applications are for Examination in February 2024 and Commissioning in June 2024, but most deadlines are in 2023! 
Please notice the first deadline is August 1, 2023.  Please tell your dCOM now if you are planning to apply.

  • Official Application Packet for Provisional Membership in the Order of Deacon Feb 2024
  • Official Application Packet for Provisional Membership in the Order of Elder Feb 2024
  • Contact the BOM Registrar (, 603-892-0359) with any questions or for any applications or forms. 


FORMS FOR April 2023 Continuation Interviews


Fruitfulness Project
A requirement for full membership in both the Order of Elder and the Order of Deacon is 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'".

         What is a Fruitfulness Project? 
Read this document for a basic explanation.
         FP Details for Candidates (must be Provisional Members)
         FP Proposal Form   Submit a proposal form until your Project has been approved.
         FP Update Form   After proposal is approved, submit an update form each April for BOM Interview.
         Approved FP Proposal Library  Every Fruitfulness Project proposal must be approved by the BOM ahead
         of time.  We have a "library" of proposals that have been approved. New England provisional members can 
         access these sample proposals by contacting the BOM Registrar (
         Order of Elder Application Options
         With the addition of the Fruitfulness Project to the requirements for full membership, the New
         England Conference decided to no longer require Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE).
         To clarify:

         (A) 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.

         (B) If you began an approved Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program prior to July 1, 2014 (and
         completed 1 unit of CPE), you are eligible to choose which application you prefer to use.

         (C) 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).

         (D) If you are eligible to choose an application, once the choice has been submitted (in Part 1 of the a
         application), the application type cannot be changed. Requirements cannot be interchanged between    

         (E) 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.

         (F) Please direct questions about full member requirements to the BOM Registrar

         (G) Please read this additional information on the Fruitfulness Project (FP) above.

Applying for Full Membership
in the Order of Deacon
(para.330) or in the Order of Elder (para.335)
 To be eligible to interview for full membership, 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.
  • been a provisional member for 3 to 8 years.
  • served full-time (or equivalent) under episcopal appointment for at least 3 full annual conference year
  • completed the Provisional Leadership Academy (if commissioned 2011 or later).
  • completed all other application requirements and submitted them on time.

These Application Packets (pdfs) contain the official instructions, requirements, and forms in various formats. If the applications here have deadlines that are passed, they are here only for reference. New applications should be posted here each Feb/March. If you have questions in the meantime, contact

Questions or problems? Contact Deborah Venator, BOM Registrar (


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:               

The Application Packets (pdfs) contain the official instructions, requirements, and forms.  

Coming soon!

  • Contact with any questions.

Contact the BOM Registrar ( or 603-892-0359) with questions or for other forms.

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.  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 pastoral leadership and services necessary for effective mission and ministry in churches, they are not intended to work alone, but rather as a  part of a ministry team.  More info at Discipleship Ministries.

A person enters the CLM certification process only with the permission of the District Superintendent. Please see the requirement checklist below for all the details. If you would like to speak to someone in New England about CLM you can contact the Chairperson of the Conference Committee on LSM/CLM, Jennifer Jordan (

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

Lay Servant Ministries Catalog 2022 (lots of useful info)

CLM Guideline Booklet (Discipleship Ministries resource)

CLM Certified Lay Minister Course Information

CLM Annual Report Form for charge conference

Frequently Asked Questions about Certified Lay Ministry

Looking for Something? 

If you are unable to find what you need on the BOM webpages, or if you find any incorrect links, please email Thank you!

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