Ordination Questions Preamble

Ordination Questions Preamble
As Adopted by BOOM at Nov. 2-3, 2012, Orientation

Evaluation of candidates for Ordination represents the culmination of the church’s discernment process with those women and men who seek to serve God as clergy in the New York Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. The candidate has already invested years with various communities of faith, committees and the Board of Ordained Ministry. In order to be at this point in the journey the Candidate has:

  • Demonstrated Fitness for Ministry: The Abilities and Personal Characteristics identified as necessary for effective ministry. (This assessment of “fitness” is the initial responsibility of the local church or ministry setting from which the candidate began to explore his or her call. The SPRC, Charge Conference and finally the District Committee on Ordained Ministry must affirm by super majorities that the candidate is “fit.”
  • Demonstrated Readiness for Ministry: The Academic Knowledge necessary for a credentialed professional clergyperson. The District Committee on Ordained Ministry must affirm that the candidate has the necessary knowledge to explore the practice of ministry and recommend the candidate to the BOOM. BOOM must affirm the candidate’s knowledge and approve the candidate for a period of provisional or residency in ministry so that she or he can apply knowledge and develop practical skills.
  • At the conclusion of the residency period the candidate seeks to give witness to her or his mastery of primary skills (Core Competencies) by providing evidence of effectiveness in ministry.

The Ordination Event is designed to provide BOOM members with the opportunity to interact with each candidate during a 24 hour period. Through a variety of pathways including sermons, papers, interview times, meals, worship, and reports; board members are expected and encouraged to gather sufficient knowledge and experience of each candidate so as to be able to make an informed decision regarding each candidate’s current effectiveness in ministry. This discernment is an assessment of the candidate’s present competencies and signals confidence that the candidate is ready to be ordained as a deacon or elder in the United Methodist Church who will serve with excellence in the New York Annual Conference.

The ordination event interview sessions are designed to explore the candidate’s ability to apply knowledge appropriately, evaluate the candidate’s skills for ministry, and discern if the residency period has provided sufficient experience so as to demonstrate excellence in ministry in accordance with The Book of Discipline (2008).

Each successful candidate must demonstrate an appropriate practical understanding of ministry in terms of his or her own gifts and graces. It is expected that the experiential learning and reflection upon his or her years in provisional/residency appointment(s) will undergird the candidate’s effectiveness in his or her current ministry setting. The BOOM must be confident that ordained candidates will be able to apply existing skills and work to develop additional skills so as to be effective in a wide variety of settings.

In each interview session board members are to evaluate a candidate’s effectiveness in ministry as an Elder or Deacon in light of the following categories:

  • Leadership (Ability to cast a faithful vision, build a collaborative community, and facilitate an inspiring connection to God through Jesus Christ)
  • Pastoral sensitivity and insight
  • Personal awareness and Administrative skills
  • Spiritual maturity and the ability to continue to grow
  • A celebration of the United Methodist connection
  • Multi-cultural awareness and a desire to develop cross-cultural relationships that will foster insight and build the broader community of faith.