Manual on Ministry

A Guide to Authorizing Ministry in the United Church of Christ

The role of the Manual on Ministry (MOM) in the United Church of Christ is to serve as a living guide, a grounding perspective, and a resource for shared expectations in the essential ministry of Committees on Ministry.

Manual on Ministry is maintained by the Ministerial Excellence, Support, and Authorization (MESA) Team. The 2018 edition of MOM is available in PDF, and hard copies of the new edition can be purchased through UCC Resources.

Access to the Manual on Ministry and associated material is publicly available and for use by individuals and ecumenical partners for their information, Committees on Ministry and Conference staff for their work of authorization and oversight, and others for non-commercial use.  Use of Manual on Ministry materials for training for staff, Committees on Ministry, and clergy on the oversight procedures is limited to MESA staff and designated current Conference or Association staff with appropriate and relevant training and experience in the field.  Click here for more information on how to share our content. 

Outline of the Manual on Ministry

Section 1: Theological Grounding (available in PDF or hard copy as referenced above)
Covenantal Polity
Theology of Ministry and Ordination
Marks of Faithful and Effective Authorized Ministers
Ministry of Committees on Ministry

Section 2: Ministerial Authorization (available in PDF or hard copy as referenced above)
Article 1: Members in Discernment
Article 2: Ordained Ministers from Ecumenical Bodies
Article 3: Ordained Ministerial Standing
Article 4: Lay Ministerial Standing
Article 5: Calls, Covenants, and Endorsements
Article 6: Accountability and Support

Section 3: Resources for Committees on Ministry
Online Resources (listed below, referenced by Section and Article)
Glossary of Terms (included in the PDF/hard copy)
Letter from the Habakkuk Group (included in the PDF/hard copy)


Members in Discernment – Section 2, Article 1

Ecumenically Ordained Ministers – Section 2, Article 2

Ordained Ministerial Standing – Section 2, Article 3

Lay Ministerial Standing – Section 2, Article 4

Calls, Covenants and Endorsements – Section 2, Article 5

Accountability and Support – Section 2, Article 6

Manual on Ministry: A Resource for the Whole Church

These resources, templates, and best practices of the Manual on Ministry’s Section 3 are updated, amended, added to or subtracted from, by the MESA Team in order to support faithful and effective Committees on Ministry. These resources are dated and identified specifically as MESA- or MOM-related resources. Additional materials that are not specific to MESA may be linked as relevant references for understanding the Manual on Ministry and the polity of the United Church of Christ.


Rev. Elizabeth Dilley
Minister and Team Leader: Ministerial Excellence, Support and Authorization