Clergy Transfer FAQs

General FAQs for all OE/OF clergy persons

(all citations are to the 2016 Book of Discipline) 

¶346.1 indicates an OE clergy person is someone with permanent clergy credentials from another United Methodist conference or from another Methodist denomination (a member of the World Methodist Council)

¶346.2 indicates that an OF clergy person is someone who is in good standing and holds clergy credentials in an “other” (non-Methodist) denomination

Yes, per ¶346 (for appointment) both types of OE clergy are given preferential treatment compared to OF clergy.  Per ¶347 and Great Plains policy, Other Methodist OEs and OF clergy are treated the same – which is different than OE Other United Methodist clergy. Specific details are on the status specific OE and OF subpages.

Persons who are not clergy members of the Great Plains Conference are “approved for appointment” per the provisions in the 2016 Book of Discipline ¶346. While appointed in the Great Plains and presenting themselves as representing The United Methodist Church, the ministerial authority for Non-United Methodist clergy who are ordained or otherwise credentialed through their home denomination is limited to the scope of the appointment/ministry/context (similar to a licensed local pastor).

Yes. ¶346 covers the rights and privileges for OE/OF clergy.  All have voice at annual conference.  Per Great Plains policy, OF clergy who have completed the UM studies classes may be granted a limited vote at annual conference (¶346.2). OF clergy are also eligible to serve on a number of district/conference committees.

A local pastor is someone who has completed the initial (and annual) required credentialing process to be approved for appointment and who is then appointed. A local pastor is a clergy person only while approved for license AND in an appointment. The ending of appointment ends the clergy relationship with the conference. A local pastor is limited in the scope of their ministry, is not guaranteed an appointment, and is limited in their rights and responsibilities within the conference.

An associate member is a former local pastor who has met certain educational and service requirements, is at least 40 years old, and has completed all credentialing requirements. An associate member is not ordained but does receive a “permanent license for pastoral ministry” that continues into retirement. An associate member is itinerate and guaranteed appointment.

A provisional member is a commissioned and licensed clergy persons who is in the ordination process for either deacon or elder ordination. There is a maximum of eight years for provisional membership during which time there are certain credentialing and educational requirements that must be completed. Provisional membership ends either with withdrawal from the status or approval for full membership (elder or deacon). A provisional elder is guaranteed and appointment and s=considered itinerate. A provisional deacon follows the appointment process set out for full deacons. 

A deacon is a clergy person who is ordained to Word, service, compassion and justice. Deacons may serve within or outside a local church setting but are also called to be the bridge between the church and the world. A deacon seeks their own appointment (paid or unpaid) and presents the ministry setting to the bishop to be appointed to the identified work/setting. An ordained deacon has a permanent clergy status with full rights and responsibilities within the church – although a deacon may not serve as a District Superintendent (a role limited to full elders).

An elder is a clergy person who is ordained for Word, service, order and sacrament. Elders may serve an appointment within or outside a local church setting, but they are most often appointed to the local church. An elder is guaranteed and appointment and is itinerate. An ordained elder has a permanent clergy status with full rights and responsibilities within the church.

More information: