United Brethren Ministerial Association
All ministers licensed by the denomination are automatically members of the United Brethren Ministerial Association. This includes ministers who are ordained or who hold a provisional, national conference, or specialized ministry license.
Here’s the actual wording in the Discipline: “All persons credentialed by the Pastoral Ministry Leadership Team are automatically members of the United Brethren Ministerial Association as outlined in the Pastoral Ministry Handbook. All such ministers must maintain the requirements for membership in the United Brethren Ministerial Association. Failure to do so will render the credentials null and void.”
This does not apply to persons holding a local church or lay minister’s license. They are not members of the UB Ministerial Association. Those licenses are granted by local churches, not by the Pastoral Ministry Leadership Team.
Here’s How It Works
- When you become credentialed by the Pastoral Ministry Leadership Team, you and your spouse automatically become members of the United Brethren Ministerial Association. That is where your membership is held.
- When you are assigned to a UB church, you and your spouse automatically become members of that church. You don’t need to formally join that church.
- If you leave a pastorate, your UB license and membership are secure in the UB Ministerial Association, even if a long time passes before you are assigned to another UB church.
- When you retire, your license remains in the UB Ministerial Association. You are free to join the church you attend, whether or not it is a United Brethren church.
As a member of the UB Ministerial Association:
- You must submit an annual report to the bishop’s office.
- You must continue meeting the other requirements for that license. This could include continuing education, progress in your course of study, and faithfulness to United Brethren membership, family, and social standards.
- Pastor Steve and his wife just moved from one UB church to begin pastoring another UB church. Their local church membership automatically transfers from the church they are leaving to their new church.
- Pastor Mick and his wife retired from their pastorate and moved into a retirement community in Miami, with no UB church nearby. His ministerial credentials remain in the UB Ministerial Association. When they find a church they like, whether not it is a UB church, they can become full members. Every year, he uses an online form on the UB.org website to submit his annual report to the bishop.
- Joe and his board agree that Joe should resign as pastor of the church. He resigns, and accepts a temporary job in the same community while awaiting another assignment. Upon resigning, his membership privileges in that church automatically end; same for his wife. He chooses not to continue attending that church, since he doesn’t want to interfere in any way with his successor. Instead, they begin attending a Wesleyan church down the road from the UB church. However, his UB ministerial license remains secure with the UB Ministerial Association.
- Pastor Connie and her husband have begun serving a non-UB church. The UB Ministerial Association will maintain her credentials for up to two years, as long as she submits annual reports and meets other qualifications. After two years, members of the PMLT will schedule an interview to determine the best next step for Pastor Connie—advising that she transfer her credentials, or agreeing to maintain her UB credentials for another two years.
- A real-life example: Dave Datema is an ordained minister who serves with the US Center for World Mission in Pasadena, Calif. As an endorsed UB missionary with Global Ministries, he must be a member of a United Brethren church. However, the closest UB church is over 150 miles away. The UB Ministerial Association provides for Dave’s UB membership, thereby meeting the Global Ministries requirement, and it also keeps his UB ordination secure. He is free to become a member of the church he and his family attend in California.