Transferring Credentials

Thank you for your interest in transferring your credentials to and affiliating with the Free Methodist Church – USA.

This information is intended for interested individuals, congregations or groups to prayerfully consider the steps required for affiliation.

The Free Methodist Church is open to pastors and churches who are interested in affiliation. Like all covenant relationships, they should not be entered into lightly. Our Affiliation Process is a journey to a solid and healthy transition blessed by God and mutually affirmed.

For each pastor, church planter, or congregation desiring to transfer credentials and affiliate, variations in each affiliate’s realities will shape each scenario. It is our desire to help you initially identify the standard waypoints that guide the Affiliation journey.

Our view of church growth is to see lives and communities transformed, and to seek God’s coming Kingdom. Though we welcome affiliates, our focus is as it should be – rooted in evangelism and discipleship. We seek to see Christians discipled to become holy servants of God.

Is affiliation with the Free Methodist Church a good fit for you, your congregation or group? We invite you to begin and engage the entire process prayerfully, inviting the Holy Spirit to speak, lead, and guide you.

We look forward to joining you in prayer and investigating affiliation with you.

From the 2019 Book of Discipline:

Reception from Other Denominations

  1. Ministers from other evangelical churches who desire to unite with the Free Methodist Church may be received according to the church’s procedures, provided that they:
    1. produce documentation of current ministerial credentials held in good standing from the previous denomination;
    2. give satisfactory answers to the questions which the Church proposes to
      1. lay persons for membership; and
      2. ministers for admission to annual conference membership;
    3. indicate agreement with the Church’s doctrine, discipline, government and usages and give evidence of appropriate gifts, graces and usefulness;
    4. participate in classes or a cohort to complete either Free Methodist History & Polity and Wesleyan Theology and
      Wesleyan Theopraxis;
    5. complete an Outcomes-Based Ordination Assessment or equivalent interview with the MEG Board to ensure the minister’s health and theological compatibility with the FMC;
    6. meet with a conference-approved clinician capable of assessing the candidate’s emotional, mental, relational, and marital (if applicable) health, and
    7. receive the recommendation of the MEG Board and approval by the annual conference.
  2. No person may be ordained more easily by transfer from another denomination than through meeting the requirements of the Book of Discipline for Free Methodist ministers. Equivalency is the guideline. The candidates must qualify in both educational and service requirements.
  3. Where immediate transfer of credentials is not possible due to one or more of the above steps being incomplete, a candidate may be licensed as a Licensed Pastor (see ¶5640.A) for the period of 12 months to be renewed annually by the conference, thereby providing the time necessary for proper acclimation into the conference.
  4. The credential of ministers transferring from other denominations who have been divorced or are married to a spouse who has been previously divorced will only be recognized if the MEG Board votes to approve them for conference admission and such decision is approved by the conference superintendent and the bishop of record.
  5. Upon completion of the process, they shall be issued credentials.

Resources for Pastors Interested in Transferring