The licensing of persons who may function as a local pastor is performed by the bishop (The Book of Discipline 2012, ¶ 316.1). Persons who may be licensed include provisional elders, local pastors, associate members of the annual conference, deacons in full connection pursuing ordination as an elder, and licensed or ordained clergy from other denominations.

Their licenses may be presented in a public ceremony, which may take place:

1) Following the Proclamation of the Word in a service of worship of the congregation the local pastor is serving, with the district superintendent or a representative of the district superintendent presiding
2) At a district conference
3) At a session of Annual Conference

A representative of the district Committee on Ordained Ministry says:

Brothers and sisters in Christ,
we present to you Name (these persons) to be licensed as a local pastor(s).

If more than one person is being licensed, their Names are then read.

Leader to congregation:

Dear friends,

Name has (these persons have) completed the requirements
for the license as a local pastor
and is (are) recommended by the District Committee on Ordained Ministry.
We have inquired diligently concerning him (her, them)
and have found him (her, them) to be fit for this sacred vocation.

Leader to candidate(s):

Do you believe you are moved by the Holy Spirit to serve as a local pastor?

I do.

Will you strive to live a life in keeping with what you preach?

I will.

You are hereby authorized to serve as a local pastor
in the congregation to which you are appointed.
Take care that you perform these duties faithfully
as much as you are able, the Lord being your helper.

Let us pray.

Almighty God, whose Word is truth,
in the keeping of which is eternal life:
We thank you for Name (these persons),
whom we set aside in your Name as a local pastor (local pastors).
Prepare him (her, them) in body, mind, and spirit for his (her, their) task,
and continue him (her, them) in your grace,
that he (she, they) may increase and bless your Church
through his (her, their) labors;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A hymn may be sung and a Dismissal with Blessing given.
See hymns listed in UMH under Discipleship and Service.

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Copyright: “An Order for Presenting Licenses to Local Pastors, Provisional Elders and Others” Copyright © 1964, 1965 by Board of Publication of The Methodist Church, Inc.; Copyright © 1992 UMPH; renewal © 1992 UMPH. Note: This order has been updated to include significant changes made to the Book of Discipline in 1996 and 2008 regarding the title and status of “provisional elders” and the nature of the relationship of “Other Denomination” pastors to the ministries of The United Methodist Church.

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