PASTORAL MINISTRY HANDBOOK | CHAPTER 12

Exemption from Assignment

All national conference ministers and elders are assumed to be available for assignment. The Church of the United Brethren in Christ, USA, recognizes that life situations may warrant a time of unavailability and establishes the following exemptions:

Ministry-Related Service

Ministers serving in ministry-related positions, such as chaplaincy, educational positions, or other ministries in which ministerial credentials are helpful, may request Ministry-Related Service status from the bishop. This status exempts a minister from assignment during the tenure of this service.

Ministerial credentials are considered to be in good standing with this status. Ministers are expected to submit an annual minister’s report.

Retired Status

At age 65, ministers may request Retired Status from the bishop. This status exempts a minister from assignment and does not need to be renewed.

Ministerial credentials are considered to be in good standing with this status. Retired ministers are free to engage in ministry roles at their discretion without compromising their retired status.

Leave of Absence

Ministers may request Leave of Absence from the bishop while actively pursuing further education or for other personal reasons. This status exempts a minister from assignment for the period of one year. Ministerial credentials are considered to be in good standing during this exemption period.

A leave of absence may be renewed annually for up to three consecutive years, after which the minister shall be assigned to Inactive status.

Ministers are expected to submit a request for status renewal and rationale along with their annual minister’s report.

Medical Leave

Ministers who cannot perform their duties because of a physician-certified medical condition may request Medical Leave status from the bishop. This status exempts a minister from assignment for the duration of this status.

Ministerial credentials are considered to be in good standing during this exemption period. Ministers will enjoy all rights and privileges of their credentials, and are expected to submit an annual minister’s report.

Inactive

Ministers who desire and/or require exemption from assignment for a period beyond the Leave of Absence may request Inactive status from the Bishop.

During this period, such ministers shall not perform any of the duties of the ministry except at the discretion of the bishop. After remaining in this status for two years, ministers shall surrender their credentials to the bishop to be held in trust until such time as they re-enter ministry.

Ministers are expected to submit an annual minister’s report.

Probation

Ministers who are living inconsistently with the expectations and obligations of ministers as described in the Discipline, or who are under investigation for such, will be assigned Probation status by the bishop in consultation with the PMLT. Ministerial credentials shall be suspended during this exemption period.

During this period, ministers shall not perform any of the duties of the ministry and must surrender their credentials to the bishop to be held in trust until such time as the full restoration process is completed (as detailed in Chapter 15 of the Pastoral Ministry Handbook). 

The entire Pastoral Ministry Handbook can be downloaded as a PDF file.