Ordained clergy from non-Methodist Christian denominations may be appointed in the South Carolina Conference if they have been approved by the Approval for Service Committee. Appointments are made by the resident bishop of the conference in which the clergy person is to serve and may be terminated by the bishop.
Ordained clergy from non-Methodist Christian denominations who serve in the UMCSC retain their membership in their home denomination. As such, they are not members of the UMCSC and do not have security of appointment. Upon recommendation from the Board of Ordained Ministry, clergy in such appointments are granted voice but not vote in the annual conference to which they are appointed. Membership on conference boards and agencies is restricted to the denomination of which they are a member.
To apply to serve, ordained clergy from non-Methodist Christian denominations should submit an Approval for Service Application. The form must include the names and contact information of four references, one of whom must be an immediate supervisor. Family members cannot be used as references. The deadline for clergy in non-Methodist Christian denominations to submit this application is Nov. 1 each year.
Additional actions to be taken by Nov. 1 each year are:
- Submit a United Methodist Relationship Form.
- Submit a Notarized Criminal Background Statement and pay for and complete a criminal background check. A link to complete and pay for the background check will be emailed to you after the Notarized Criminal Background Statement has been received by the UMCSC.
- Submit a Credit Worthiness Form.
- Submit proof of high school graduation or equivalent. Can be a diploma or a college degree. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Answer and submit the Approval for Service Theology & Call Questions.
- Submit official college and graduate school/seminary transcripts to the Office of Clergy Services for evaluation by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and Clergy Services based on the University Senate and the UMCSC policy guidelines.
Ordained clergy from non-Methodist Christian denominations who complete their application by Nov. 1 may be granted an interview with the Approval For Service Committee. Approval For Service interviews happen only once a year, and coincide with the beginning of our Appointment Season. The interviews will take place the first week in January annually.
Those who receive a favorable recommendation from the Approval for Service Committee will be eligible to serve United Methodist congregations in South Carolina, if appointed.
If prospective ordained clergy from non-Methodist Christian denominations are going to be appointed, they will be expected to:
- Consent to the release of information from their home denomination to the UMCSC
- Consent to and complete psychological testing and complete an information release form and take the psychological at their own expense.
- Submit a Medical Report Form, to be completed by a physician of the applicant’s choosing.
- Complete a Sexual Ethics and/or Safe Sanctuaries course prior to the first day of the South Carolina Annual Conference session before beginning the appointment. In the case of an ad-interim appointment, the course must be completed prior to beginning the appointment.
- Submit their official college and graduate school/seminary transcripts to the Office of Clergy Services for evaluation by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and Clergy Services based on the University Senate and the UMCSC policy guidelines.
- Attend the Licensing School for Pastoral Ministry. Clergy appointed ad interim shall attend the next available School of Pastoral Ministry.
While serving a United Methodist congregation in the UMCSC, ordained clergy from non-Methodist Christian denominations will be enrolled in a program of theological education based on the evaluation of their transcripts by Clergy Services, until their seminary degree is considered to be at least equal to that of a United Methodist elder, or they have completed the Basic Course of Study and the Advanced Course of Study United Methodist Polity, History and Doctrine classes.
Approved to Serve
Approved ordained clergy from non-Methodist Christian denominations will remain on the Approved to Serve list:
- While appointed
- For no longer than three consecutive years without an appointment
After three consecutive years without an appointment, the clergy person must resubmit their application and begin the process again.
If you are considering becoming a candidate for ordained ministry, or you are an ordained or licensed clergy from another UMC annual conference or another Methodist denomination feeling called to serve in the South Carolina Conference, click the button below that best describes your credentials and situation for more information.