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Feeling an urge to consider ministry as a vocation, but unsure what that means? You are not alone.



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Steps to Ministry

Is God calling you?

God calls everyone to love and serve God. God calls some for licensed or ordained ministry. These steps serve two purposes; they help you to deepen your own understanding of your call, and they help us to know you and be a part of your discernment process to be a certified candidate in the United Methodist Church.

1. Ask

We celebrate the movement of God in your life that has brought you to this point. To be faithful to God and faithful also to those who sense a call, the United Methodist Church has many steps in this process of discernment. The intent of this process is to insure that both the candidate and the church affirm the same call to public ministry.


  • Ask a pastor to talk with you about answering God’s call
  • Talk with your family, friends or another ordained clergy. Share your thoughts and plans with these people and ask their advice. How do they see you sharing your skills, gifts and talents with others?
  • You might read The Christian as Minister among other books recommended in our resources section

2. Explore

Where you belong, how to apply and work with a mentor.


  • Your pastor will be able to help you contact your District Superintendent (DS).
  • Let your DS know that you would like to enroll in the candidacy process. You will also be connected to your District Committee on Ordained Ministry (dCOM).
  • Your DS may recommend that you attend a Candidacy Summit event, which happens twice yearly in January and July

3. Declare

You are ready, know your call, and your pastor and church recommend you.


  • After you have finished your peer mentor group and attended Candidacy Summit, you will need to request an interview with the Pastor/Staff Parish Relations Committee of your local church or equivalent in your ministry setting.
  • You will continue with the candidacy program towards your academic requirements and connection with the district committee.

4. Certify

Complete forms, take psychological test, become Safe Gatherings certified and interview with the District Committee on Ordained Ministry (DCOM) to seek approval.




Books Related to General Call, Discernment and Vocation

A list of books to help with your discernment process.

Books Related to United Methodism and Clergy Roles

A list of books specifically related to United Methodism and clergy roles in the denomination to help with your discernment process.

The Call to Ministry Web Resources

Online resources to explore as you discern your call.

United Methodist Glossary of Terms

A glossary of terms used in the United Methodist denomination.

Encouraging the Culture of Call in Your Church

Opportunities to encourage persons to consider ordained ministry are constant. We do not need to “create” moments. Still, as local churches and individuals, we could always be more alert to God and to opportunities and moments of contact with persons who might be exploring a call.


Call Stories

How were you called into ministry? Lay and clergy people around Missouri tell how God spoke into their lives and called them to the ministry.

Hear Call Stories