What is a Licensed Local Pastor?

All persons not ordained as elders who are appointed to preach and conduct divine worship and perform the duties of a pastor shall have a license for pastoral ministry.  — 2012 Book of Discipline, ¶¶ 315

Licensed to Word, Sacrament, and Service

The licensed local pastor has answered the call from God to serve the mission of Jesus Christ through the work of the local congregation in The United Methodist Church. The licensed local pastor while appointed to a particular charge shall perform all the duties of a pastor, including proclamation of the Word of God, leading in worship and liturgy, performing the sacraments of baptism and holy communion, the services of marriage (where state laws allow), burial, confirmation, and membership reception. The licensed local pastor has the authority of a pastor only within the setting and during the time of the appointment and shall not extend beyond it.

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Susquehanna Conference Local Pastors Handbook

Licensing & Course of Study

GBHEM Forms, Licensing School listings, and more

Licensing School (See 2012 Book of Discipline, ¶315)

Studies for license as a Local Pastor are a joint enterprise between the District Committee on Ordained Ministry , the annual conference Board of Ordained Ministry , and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, Section of Elders and Local Pastors. The Licensing School seeks to provide a basic theological foundation for the practice of ministry and to provide beginning skills for those persons who are about to begin serving a local church as a Licensed Pastor. They are the minimal knowledge and skill components essential to the practice of ministry. Licensing School is the beginning of the educational process and is to be followed by Course of Study or Seminary.

A person must be a certified candidate to attend licensing school. The application may be obtained from your district superintendent. You may contact Rev. Cathy Boileau or Rev. Greg Milinovich through the district superintendent or by the contact information given below. Contact the Local Pastors’ Registrar of the Board of Ordained Ministry for information on other licensing schools. Licensing schools charge a registration fee, which is paid by the candidate.
To be considered for an appointment as a Local Pastor a person must attend one of these schools and successfully complete the course. However the attending of this school does not guarantee an appointment to a local church. The license as a Local Pastor will not be granted until such time as one is appointed to a charge.

When you attend your interview with the District Committee on Ordained Ministry, if you are interested in attending licensing school and receiving an appointment, you should indicate this to the Committee and District Superintendent.

When you have been certified, you may contact the Deans of the Licensing School,
Rev. Cathy Boileau:
Rev. Greg Milinovich:

Licensing School Brochure for Susquehanna, Spring 2018

Registration Form for Licensing School (DOCX)


February 9th-11th, 2018
March 9th-11th, 2018
April 13th-15th, 2018

Every weekend begins promptly at 1 p.m. on Friday, and ends no later than 4 p.m. on Sunday. Attendance is expected at all sessions.

Please note:

Boundaries II Training will be offered as part of the school. 



Fee: $600

Licensing School covers these core areas:
   • United  Methodism 101      • Worship
   • Christian Education               • Pastoral Care
• Preaching                                • Church Administration

* Additionally, Sexual Ethics Boundaries basic training is included as well as presentations by the Local Pastors' Registrar and a District Superintendent.


Course of Study

Persons licensed as Local Pastors who are not provisional members shall continue in college, in a program of theological education at an approved seminary, or in the Course of Study.

Full-time Local Pastors shall normally complete the Course of Study curriculum in five years, taking four courses per year. Curriculum shall be completed within eight years. Part-time Local Pastors shall complete the Course of Study curriculum, taking two courses per year and finishing within twelve years. Failure to complete studies in a timely manner may result in discontinuation or no appointment.

Local pastors under full time appointment will complete their COS in the residential on-campus program. This is the policy of the Division of Ordained Ministry, to whom our Conference Board is accountable.

Extension courses offered only for part-time Local Pastors are held throughout the year at certain locations. These extension centers usually offer courses in a two or three weekend format, which allows bi-vocational Local Pastors to participate without taking a lot of time away from their work. A part time pastor can take up to 10 courses at the extension centers.

The Susquehanna Annual Conference offers a reimbursement of $200 per course with a minimum grade of “C”. Scholarships are not given for grades lower than a “C”.

Click on the links below for details about Course of Study Locations.

University Senate-Approved Seminaries
         • United Methodist Theological Schools