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