Ministerial formation in the UCC
is a person formed for ministry?
When we are called and claimed by God, we are also opened to the action of the Holy Spirit. Formation is God’s work within us which is ongoing and creative. We cooperate with God’s formation of us as we grow through our participation in the following:
♦ Church community
♦ Spiritual life and practice
♦ Education and study
♦ Service and learning in the world
But now thus says the LORD, who
created you, O Jacob, who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed
you; I have called you by name, you are mine."
shape does a call from God take?
As Christians we believe all persons are called and claimed by
God. We recognize this essential “calling” through the sacrament of
baptism. Formation begins with baptism and continues for a lifetime. The
United Church of Christ recognizes that God calls the whole Church and every member to participate in and extend the ministry of Jesus
Christ by witnessing to the Gospel in church and society. Some members
participate in ministry through involvement in faithbased social justice or social
service. Others live out their calling through a variety of secular vocations.
Still others are called to serve the institutional church through authorized ministry
in the United Church of Christ. These different forms of ministry are often
combined in any given person’s life.
"The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet."
does it mean to be “authorized” for ministry?
The United Church of Christ recognizes that God calls
certain of its members to various forms of ministry in and on behalf of the church for which
ecclesiastical authorization is required. Authorization is granted by an
Association or Conference of the UCC for three different kinds of ministries:
♦ Ordained: authorization
to preach and teach the gospel, to administer the sacraments and rites of the church and to exercise pastoral care and
leadership. Ordination is ongoing.
♦ Licensed: authorization
by an Association to perform specific duties in a designated local congregation, mainly preaching and conducting
worship, for a designated time under the guidance and supervision of the Association. A
licensed minister may also be authorized to administer the sacraments within a local
congregation. Licensure is renewable.
♦ Commissioned: authorization
for a specific church related ministry such as church musician, Christian
educator, parish nurse, etc. Commissioning continues for the duration of service.
For more detailed information on the
process in the UCC, please visit