Section 6

Board of Ordained Ministry

We envision a Great Plains United Methodist Conference (GPUMC) Board of Ordained Ministry (BOM) that provides strong leadership in the areas of Call, Competency and Covenant. We will support congregations in identifying and nurturing leaders (a culture of Call), equip and credential excellent clergy leadership for GPUMC churches (Competency) and encourage continued development of deployed clergy while maintaining standards of excellence (Covenant). 

1. Board Structure: the 2013 sessions of the Kansas East, Kansas West and Nebraska conferences, upon nomination of the bishop, will each elect 17 people to serve as their respective Board of Ordained Ministry from July 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013. Upon the creation of the GPUMC, January 1, 2014, these 51 people will constitute the BOM for the GPUMC. A slate of officers for the Great Plains BOM will be suggested by the Clergy Excellence Task Force. The officers of the Great Plains BOM will be elected by its members soon after the Uniting Conference in August of 2013. While legally remaining three separate boards for necessary business in the fall of 2013, the Great Plains BOM will, as far as possible, make decisions together and act as one Board of Ordained Ministry in preparation for 2014.

2. Membership of the board after January 1, 2014, will be as follows, at least:

  • 1 person from each district
  • 2 associate members or local pastors who have finished Course of Study
  • 11 lay people
  • 1 retired clergy person
  • 1 clergy serving in extension ministry
  • 2 deacons
  • 2 people under 35 years of age
  • 1 district superintendent

Except as otherwise allowed, all will be full member elders or deacons. 

3. BOM will organize itself with an executive committee and three teams: Call Team, Competency Team and Covenant Team. One person serving on BOM from each district will be appointed as a representative to their respective District Committee on Ordained Ministry. The Conference Relations Committee (¶635.1(d)) will be a sub-team of the Competency Team.

As far as is possible, interviews of all candidates will happen in one “interview week” in the spring, in a central location, involving all BOM members.

Changes to Candidacy

After contacting their district superintendent and registering for candidacy online, inquiring candidates will attend a candidacy summit (offered bi-annually) where all testing and background checks will be done, an orientation of ministry given, and a mentoring group assigned (6 candidates for every 2 mentors). As far as possible, mentoring groups will remain intact until Provisional Membership. The first candidacy summit will occur in June of 2014, and every 6 months following. 

Changes to Residency

Newly commissioned and appointed elders and deacons as well as clergy from other denominations and local pastors who have completed Course of Study in Kansas East, Kansas West and Nebraska conferences will participate in a unified residency program for the Great Plains starting in August 2013. People who by that date have completed one year of residency (July 2012-July 2013) in their respective conference will be given full “credit” for that year and enter the Great Plains Residency Program as if the first year’s requirements had been completed. Participation in the residency program will be for 2 years (or until ordination for provisional elders and deacons) and will occur in 5 retreats per year in a central location consisting of 1 to 2 days of instruction, reflection, mentoring and spiritual growth. 


Clergy and Conference Email Addresses

Every clergyperson under appointment in the Great Plains United Methodist Conference (GPUMC) will receive a GPUMC email account, (ex:, for all official conference correspondence including electronic communications newsletters and messages from the bishop. This conference email will be portable and travel with a pastor to each appointment. 

Churches also will be assigned a GPUMC email account for official conference correspondence. The church treasurer or business administrator will be one of the main users of this internal email address. The GPUMC church email account should not replace other church email addresses and will not be listed in the conference’s online church directory. 

Following the Uniting Conference in August, a roll-out process will begin. Clergy will receive information needed to claim their accounts in the fall. Kansas West will begin the move immediately after the Uniting Conference and Kansas East will begin the process November 1, 2013. For Nebraska, all email addresses using ‘’ will transfer to the domain automatically by January 1, 2014. 

Clergy under appointment and church treasurers or business administrators are expected to claim their email account by January 1, 2014. Retired clergy and lay leadership will be invited to sign up for a GPUMC email address. 

Claiming the email account will be as automated as possible. However, all users have the responsibility of claiming their account. Help desk, help documentation and support will be made available at the district and conference levels. 

Assistance will be provided for linking GPUMC email accounts to another email account for those who do not wish to make the conference address their primary email account. Instructions will be provided for users wishing to forward the address to another account. Users needing assistance with forwarding will be assisted with the initial request. 


Certified Lay Ministry (CLM)

1. District superintendents (DS) and their teams will have the responsibility to identify and enlist individuals who are called to the Certified Lay Ministry (CLM). Such individuals may be called to serve in very small churches as the primary pastoral leader or as a specialist on the ministry team of a larger church.

2. Once a candidate is identified for a particular ministry and recommended by his or her pastor and church council or charge conference, the DS shall:

  • Organize a mutual ministry team for the CLM candidate. This team will include individuals from the local church where the CLM is to be assigned, who will share the journey, providing support and feedback. (This team is the equivalent of the Staff Pastor/Parish Relations Committee (SPRC) in churches where the CLM is the primary pastoral leader.) The DS will also assign a supervising elder, who will work closely with the CLM, provide sacramental functions and meet regularly with the mutual ministry team.
  • Work with the district registrar to initiate a background check and to schedule an initial interview with the District Committee on Ordained Ministry (DCOM).
  • Require the CLM candidate to complete Safe Gatherings certification and Boundary Training.
  • Arrange for the completion of Module 1 training, Covenant and Call for Ministry, in the local context, such work to include the development of a Mutual Ministry Covenant.
  • After items a-d above are completed, the DS will assign the CLM to the place of service.

​3. Upon assignment, the CLM will be referred to the coordinator of lay leadership development, who will serve as the staff liaison for the CLM process

4. The coordinator of lay leadership development will assist the CLM candidate to enroll in CLM courses that will satisfy the requirements for Modules 2, 3 and 4.

5. The CLM candidate is expected to become a Certified Lay Speaker during the first year of service if he or she does not already have that designation.

6. Upon timely completion of all coursework, satisfactory service, and the recommendation of the DS and the DCOM, the candidate may be certified as a CLM.

7. The CLM serves at the discretion of the district superintendent, and his or her assignment may be terminated at the discretion of the DS. Failure to make timely progress in completion of coursework shall be automatic grounds for termination.