Program Criteria








Selection as a TiM pastor, mentor pastor or congregation will be based upon select criteria. Learn more about the qualities sought and expectations for participants in the program by clicking the links below:

TiM Associate or Solo Pastor
TiM Mentor Pastor
TiM Congregation for Associate Pastor
TiM Congregation for Solo Pastor


TiM Associate or Solo Pastor (Mentoring Phase)


Selection will be based on promise for excellence in pastoral leadership demonstrated by:

  • Commitment to the mission and vision of the United Methodist Church
  • Seminary graduate by Spring 2021
  • Preference for applicants 35 and younger
  • Certified candidate and eligible for a full-time appointment starting in July in the Great Plains Conference
  • Shows promise for excellence in pastoral leadership (TiM application)
  • Interview in person or via Skype
  • Willing to make a five-year commitment to the TiM program


  • Evidence of promise for pastoral ministry in a United Methodist context
  • Teachable spirit (open to feedback, supervision, mentoring, dialogue, etc.)
  • Life-long learner (open to diverse experiences)
  • Desire and commitment to succeed in effective pastoral leadership
  • Clarity about learning goals with peers, mentoring pastor and lay teams; define what they want to give and receive in these relationships
  • Collegial – commitment to time and engagement with peers, mentors, church staff and conference persons
  • Accountable
  • Commitment to mature holistically


  • A clear assessment of his/her own gifts and growing edges
  • A clearly articulated understanding of what he/she hopes to gain from the program
  • Someone who will relish this opportunity
  • Emotional/spiritual maturity
  • Enter into a covenant for mutual learning
  • Meet weekly or monthly with mentor pastor
  • Develop competency in the practices of pastoral ministry
  • Time commitment for additional learning opportunities 
  • Meet bi-monthly with peer groups
  • Meet monthly with TiM committee for encouragement, support and feedback
  • Attend at least one workshop on spiritual renewal
  • Attend at least one workshop on personal/professional development
  • Attend at least one experience with TiM peers and TiM mentor pastors
  • Participate fully in conference residency education/formation requirement per The Book of Discipline (2012).   

TiM Mentor Pastor Criteria (Mentoring Phase)

Selection of the mentor pastor will be based on an application, with approval from their district superintendent.


  • A strong commitment to the mission and vision of the United Methodist Church
  • Has stability in ministry and excels in pastoral leadership
  • Has clarity about the purpose and commitment to the TiM program for at least two years
  • Has a commitment to and is accountable to the UM connection, are respected by their colleagues
  • Exhibits pastoral competencies
  • Is an adaptive leader
  • Has a commitment for his/her own ongoing personal, professional, spiritual, physical development
  • Has high emotional and spiritual intelligence, is accessible, vulnerable, and teachable
  • Has a passion for developing leaders and will enter into a covenant of learning


  • Will commit to the time to invest in the program design by working with TiM pastor
    • At least one hour weekly for reflection/dialogue for associate pastors (3 hours monthly for solo pastors)
    • Sermon and worship review
  • Will commit time to participate in the TiM mentor pastor peer group every other month
  • Will establish clear and measurable goals for TiM program outcomes and provide ongoing evaluation
  • Will attend at least one experience or workshop with TiM associate


TiM Congregation Criteria for Associate Pastors

Selection of the TiM congregation will be based in part on having a senior pastor candidate who has approval from their district superintendent and the TiM congregation will need a vote of approval from the church/charge administrative body.


  • Identify themselves as a learning/teaching congregation
  • See part of their identity as a congregation who helps prepare young clergy for effective pastoral ministry
  • Have clarity about the purpose and commitments of the TiM program
  • Be a multi-generational church


  • Will have district superintendent recommendation
  • Pay 100% of apportionments
  • Have approval from church/administrative council
  • Shall have a stable staff and environment, free of unhealthy conflict
  • Have a strong lay, clergy partnership
  • Can be a singular church (congregational size and location will be considered) or a multiple point charge (cooperation among the churches will be considered)
  • Will create a committee of lay members who will meet with the TiM pastor on a monthly basis for encouragement, support and feedback (training will be provided by the TiM director and/or Board)
    • The TiM committee will work with the TiM pastor to articulate what is needed by each party, which will be reflected in a covenant for learning
    • This TiM committee would be different than the Staff Pastor Parish Relations Committee, but could include a member from that committee


TiM Congregation Criteria for Solo Pastors

  • Selection of the TiM congregations for first time solo pastors will be made by the Bishop and Cabinet.

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