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Expedited Local Pastor Process

Expedited Process for Local Pastors from other Conferences to be approved to serve in
The Florida Conference of the UMC

Key Eligibility Criteria for Expedited Process:

  • Three years of consecutive fruitful service as a licensed local pastor in another UMC conference, with no more than a two-year gap since the consecutive service
  • Positive recommendation from current District Superintendent and SPRC of the last church served in prior conference
  • Positive recommendation from Florida District Superintendent
  • Transferred as a certified candidate for ministry from their prior conference
    • If prior conference will not transfer them as a Certified Candidate, then the District Superintendent and DCOM in consultation with the Office of Clergy Excellence may still recommend the expedited process or may recommend the applicant begin the candidacy process in FL from the beginning
  • Satisfactory background check and credit check
  • Satisfactory psychological assessment (less than 5 years old at time of application, and comparable to Florida assessment)
  • Satisfactory progress in Course of Study or completion of M.Div. from a UMC Senate-approved seminary
  • Completed Licensing School or have completed 1/3 of an M.Div. From a UMC Senate-approved seminary.

Overview of the Process:

  1. Applicant requests a transfer of their files from their home conference to The Florida Conference of the UMC by contacting their Office of Clergy Excellence or Ministerial Affairs. Conference files should be sent to Sara McKinley , Director of the Office of Clergy Excellence in the Florida Conference.  The files sent to the Florida Conference OCE must include a copy of their most recent psychological assessment, background check and DCOM Letters. Note: the transfer of files does NOT equate to a transfer of candidacy or clergy status.
  2. Applicant completes an online background check via email from Safe Gatherings.
  3. Applicant meets with one of the District Superintendents of the Florida Conference to receive their approval to begin the process of transferring their candidacy and to be placed on the expedited application track to serve as a licensed local pastor in The Florida Conference. The Florida District Superintendent will notify the Office of Clergy Excellence via email if approval is granted to transfer as a candidate AND if approval is granted for expedited processing.
  4. Upon approval of a FL DS, the applicant asks their home conference if they are willing to transfer them as a “Certified Candidate for ministry”, since Local Pastor Status does not transfer. If a conference is not willing to transfer the individual as a certified candidate, the DS and DCOM in consultation with the Office of Clergy Excellence may still recommend the expedited process. If the applicant is not transferred as a Certified Candidate or recommended by the District Superintendent, DCOM, and Office of Clergy Excellence they would not be able to use the expedited process and must begin the candidacy process in Florida, beginning with the retreat.
  5. If the home conference agrees to transfer the LP as a “Certified Candidate for Ministry” and all other conditions are met, then they may complete the Expedited Application for a Licensed Local Pastor from another UMC to serve in Florida.  
  6. If the applicant’s psychological assessment is not satisfactory or is not comparable to that conducted in The Florida Annual Conference or if their assessment is more than five years old at the time of their request to serve as an Local Pastor in Florida, they will be required to retake the psychological assessment in Florida at a cost of $500.  Arrangements to take the psychological assessment may be made. This is required for both the expedited and normal Local Pastor process.

The Expedited Local Pastor Application for Local Pastor Applicants from Other United Methodist Conferences is available to those who meet the following conditions:

Notes: This application would be in lieu of the regular Local Pastor application.

  1. Demonstrated positive track record of effective appointments for at least three consecutive years with their home conference prior to their request to serve as a Licensed Local Pastor in Florida. A gap of no more than two years of service since this consecutive service is permitted.
  2. Received a positive written recommendation from the District Superintendent in their home Conference and from the SPRC of their most recent appointment in their home Conference.     
  3. Transferred as a Certified Candidate for ministry to a DCOM of The Florida Conference our recommended by a Florida DS, DCOM and The OCE to use the Expedited LP application. (Must be re-certified annually in Florida, with the approval of a local charge conference and DCOM, until another clergy status is conferred).
  4. Completed a satisfactory background and credit check.
  5. Completed a comparable psychological assessment to that administered in Florida which is less than five years old at the time of their application for an LP appointment in Florida or has satisfactorily completed a new psychological assessment in Florida. ($500)
  6. Demonstrated satisfactory progress in the Course of Study as evidenced by a transcript from GBHEM. (Full time local pastors are required to take four courses a year and complete the 20 courses in eight years. Part time local pastors are required to take two courses a year and complete the 20 courses in twelve years. Those with a M.Div. from a UMC senate approved seminary or who are enrolled in such may be exempted from COS).
  7. Completed 80 hours of licensing school. Unless they have completed 1/3 of a M.Div. at a University Senate Approved Seminary.