Licensing School is May 17-20th at the Catholic Conference Center, and June 6-7th and July 24-25th at the Conference Office. More information will be available in early 2020.
On behalf of the Board of Ordained Ministry and the faculty of the Western North Carolina Conference Licensing School I greet you in the name of our risen Lord. We are grateful that you have responded to God’s call to serve the Church in this important way and we look forward to being a part of your ongoing process of vocational formation and discernment.
The Licensing School provides an introduction to the theology and practice of ministry for persons who will be available for appointment as soon as the license studies are complete. The Licensing School is in no way a substitute for seminary education or the Course of Study. All licensed local pastors are required to pursue further education for ministry in college and seminary or the Course of Study. Please note that completion of the Licensing School does not earn a candidate a license or guarantee an appointment. Licenses are granted by the Bishop upon appointment and all appointment questions should be directed to your District Superintendent.
Please carefully review the guidelines, application, schedule and syllabus. Confirm the dates on your own calendar as attendance for both weeks is required.
If you have any questions regarding the school and course work, please do not hesitate to contact me. If you have questions about the housing and other logistical arrangements, contact Adri Bullard-Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kim Ingram at email@example.com. I look forward to our time together and pray God’s blessings upon you and your ministry.
Peace be with you,
Rev. David S. Greene, Director
Studies for License as a Local Pastor
Studies for License as a Local Pastor is a joint enterprise between the district Committee on Ordained Ministry (dCOM), the annual conference Board of Ordained Ministry (BOM), and the Division of Ordained Ministry (DOM).
The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) prescribes the curriculum for licensing a local pastor, but the operation of a licensing school is the responsibility of the annual conference BOM. GBHEM offers guidelines based on competence in the skills of ministry rather than academic achievement. Within these guidelines, however, each annual conference will have considerable latitude as to method, time, place, instructors, accents, and interest.
The basic concern is that the quality of this initial preparation for ministry be maximized. The concern of the studies is for relevance and applicability to the local situation always keeping the goal of high standards in mind.
Scope and Purpose of Studies
License for pastoral ministry – All persons not ordained as elders who are appointed to preach and conduct divine worship and perform the duties of a pastor shall have a license for pastoral ministry. ¶315
The studies are the first exposure for most candidates to the practice of ministry. They are in no way a substitute for seminary education or the Course of Study schools. These studies are a crash course for persons who will be available for appointment as soon as the license studies are complete. The license is for regular appointment and should not be recommended unless those administering and teaching can conscientiously recommend that a candidate is fit and has the beginning competencies to be the pastor in charge.
Further, the granting of license is an initial stage. A period of 80 hours or equivalent does not give adequate preparation for any kind of parish work. A candidate granted license then must be prepared to continue in preparation for annual conference membership, either through college and seminary, or through the Course of Study schools. (¶319) In addition, local pastors will participate in a mentoring program.
Although local pastors will be appointed to a charge, they also may receive an appointment to an extension ministry. (¶316.1) Two important limitations to the license must be noted: First, after the requirements of study are met, the faculty and/or administrator of the school can certify the completion of the prescribed studies; the dCOM and BOM can recommend the license; and the executive session of the annual conference can approve granting of the license. However, it is important to note that, “Award of the license shall not be made until an appointment to a pastoral charge is made in accordance with ¶337.” (¶318). Second, the license is limited by three specific provisions that are repeated for emphasis several times in the Discipline:
- authority of the license extends only within the regular pastoral appointment or extension ministry made by the bishop – such authority does not extend within any other charge or setting
- is under specific and direct supervision of the district superintendent and the mentor(s)
- is subject to annual renewal by the dCOM and BOM.