The Ordination Process

The Ordination Process

This three-fold approach is applied to two separate paths:

Consecrated Deacon

Ordination as an Elder

Both paths begin in the same way: When one senses a call to ministry, s/he will meet with their local church pastor to begin a process of prayerful discernment.  If the individual, the pastor, and the church board are in agreement, the woman or man sensing a call to ministry will begin the journey at the first stage as a Local Ministerial Candidate (LMC).  After a certain pre-determined level of mentoring, coursework, and ministry experience is met, the candidate and mentor will prayerfully determine the next steps:  apply their training to continued lay ministry, enter the path toward Consecrated Deacon Candidate, or begin the path of Conference Ministerial Candidate (CMC) toward possible ordination as Elder in the Free Methodist Church.


What is required of someone seeking ordination as an elder in the Free Methodist Church?

We seek to develop the heart, head, and hands of women and men called into ministry through a process involving mentoring relationships, academic courses, and practical hands-on ministry. The Head, Heart, Hands model outlines 15 outcomes that are developed through the Ordination Process.


What steps are required in the process?

The required steps in the ordination process are outlined in the Free Methodist Book of Discipline.


What Course of Study is Right for You?

We can help you determine the best educational path for you.

The Three Stages

of the ordination process
Stage 1 (text) over background of trees in the woods

Becoming a Local Ministerial Candidate

An individual, sensing the call of God and the church to pastoral ministry, is first licensed as a local ministerial candidate (LMC). The call is affirmed by service in the local church where initial training begins.

(This form is to be completed by the mentor pastor who is sponsoring the applicant.)

Stage 2 (text) over sunlight on wooded trees

Becoming a Conference Ministerial Candidate

The individual is accepted by the annual conference as a conference ministerial candidate (CMC) or consecrated deacon candidate. The candidate also prepares for the third step through course work and service.

Stage 3 (text) on a tree background

Becoming Ordained as Elder or Consecrated as Deacon

Upon meeting the respective core competencies and approval by the conference Ministerial Education and Guidance (MEG) Board, a candidate is recommended for consecration as a deacon or for ordination as an elder and as elder becomes a full member of the annual conference upon approval.

Roles and Requirements

Consecrated Deacon

Ordained Elder

Setting Apart

Consecrated by local church Board of Administration for service in the local church Ordained by Bishop at Annual Conference


No, remains at local church Yes, appointed to a church by Annual Conference


Yes, Can transfer to a new church if approved by receiving church. Can transfer to a new conference upon approval of releasing and receiving conferences


Specialized service and support Word, Sacrament, Order


Local church Board of Administration General Conference


Local Free Methodist Church Annual Conference


Local church Board of Administration MEG and Annual Conference