Equipping for Call

While all Christians are called to serve in ministry, some are called to a specific type of ministry within the United Methodist Church. Those who feel called to vocational ministry may explore the clergy roles of deacons, elders, and licensed local pastors. In the UMC, candidates for ministry explore their call through conversations with their pastors, district superintendent, and ultimately, by attending a Candidacy Summit.

Additional resources include 5 Cups of Coffee discussion starters, CALLED Bible study and Call Sunday.

Are you a member of the Great Plains and considering seminary or Course of Study? Check out the Board of Ordained Ministry Scholarships here: https://www.greatplainsumc.org/boomscholarships


Staff Parish Relations Committees

The SPRC has an important role in cultivating a Culture of Call in their congregations. Consider using the following video to equip your SPRC with some tools to impact your congregation by identifying gifts, asking key questions, supporting people who are exploring a call, and interviewing candidates for ministry. This handout is a companion to the video.

Did you ever want to know what it’s like to be a deacon, elder or local pastor? Listen to some stories of Great Plains clergy tell you about their ministry in the conference.


Deacons are ordained for ministries of Word, Service, Compassion and Justice. They serve as a bridge between the church and the world. Some serve in local congregations, but most serve outside of a traditional church.

View more about the ministry of deacons.



Elders are ordained for ministries of Word, Sacrament, Order and Service. Most elders serve as pastors of local congregations, but some serve as chaplains, campus ministers, professors or in other ministry settings.

View more about the ministry of elders.


Licensed Local Pastor

Licensed local pastors are licensed for ministries of Word, Sacrament, Order and Service when appointed to a particular congregation.