Overview of UB Ministers
The United Brethren church views ministers in these ways:
- They have received a specific call from God.
- This call has been recognized by the church.
- This call has been confirmed through a process of study and examination.
- They have been equipped to perform specific pastoral responsibilities.
We have These Categories of Ministers
- Lay ministers. This is for laypersons who don’t intend to become “professional” ministers.
- Provisional Ministers. This license is the entry level for persons pursuing ordination or a Specialized Ministry license.
- National conference ministers. They are working on meeting the requirements for ordination.
- Specialized ministers. They serve on staff in a specific area, like youth, music, etc.
- Ordained elders. The highest level. Only ordained ministers can be bishop or serve in certain other areas.
- Ordained chaplains. Recognizing professional chaplains in hospitals, the military, and other settings.
Who is in Charge of Ministerial Licensing?
The lay ministry is granted by local churches. All other ministerial licenses are for what we would describe as the “professional” ministry. For such licenses, everything is centralized under the Pastoral Ministry Leadership Team.
In some denominations, regional districts grant licenses, and requirements may differ from district to district. Not so in the United Brethren church. If you receive a national conference license in Pennsylvania, you’re good to go in California or Florida, or anywhere else. There are no further hoops to jump through. If you move from one church to another, your license is automatically transferred along with your membership. You don’t need to be “accepted” by another region.
The Pastoral Ministry Leadership Team (PMLT) oversees ministerial licensing. Working under them are several Ministerial Licensing and Ordination Teams, each serving a geographic region. The MLoTs examine candidates for the various licenses and for ordination, and then pass on a recommendation to the Pastoral Ministry Leadership Team.
What about Women Serving as Ministers?
The United Brethren church does not discriminate in granting ministerial licenses. Throughout our history, we have ordained women and have had women serving as pastors and in other ministry roles.