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.  — 2016 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 (link updated 12/18)


Licensing School (See 2016 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:
Rev. Roger Mentzer:



Licensing School Brochure for Susquehanna, Spring 2019 (PDF)


Registration Form for Licensing School-2019 (DOCX)



February 8th-10th, 2019
March 29th-31st, 2019
April 26-28th, 2019

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.


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


1)      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.

2)      Full-time local pastors must complete Course of Study (20 classes) within eight years of being appointed as a full-time local pastor

a.       Part-time local pastors must complete the Course of Study (20 classes) within twelve years of being appointed as a part-time local pastor

                                                               i.      Both full-time and part-time local pastors may seek an extension to this rule through their District Superintendent and the Board of Ordained Ministry.


3)      Full-time local pastors must attend four classes per year

a.       Part-time local pastors must attend two classes per year

                                                               i.      Students who wish to take fewer than the “norm” of 4 courses for full-time and 2 courses for part time pastors MUST receive permission from their District Superintendent, DCOM and the Local Pastor Registrar.


4)      Full-time local pastors MUST attend a “regional” or a “satellite” Course of Study School to do their course work.

a.       Regional schools in our area are Wesley, METHESCO, and Duke

                                                               i.      Exceptions to attend an “extension” school may be granted with approval by the District Superintendent, DCOM, Local Pastor Registrar, Regional and Extension School Director, and Shannon Conklin-Miller (Assistant General Secretary for Clergy Formation GBHEM)


5)      Part-time local pastors may attend a “regional”, “satellite” or “extension” school to do their course work.

The Susquehanna Annual Conference offers a reimbursement of $225 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