United Church of Christ

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.

The 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.

The Manual on Ministry includes the following sections and articles:

Section 1: Theological Grounding
Covenantal Polity
Theology of Ministry and Ordination
Marks of Faithful and Effective Authorized Ministers
Ministry of Committees on Ministry

Section 2: Ministerial Authorization
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
Glossary of Terms
Letter from the Habakkuk Group


As of February 2019, the following resources are regularly being published and uploaded. MESA anticipates that all Section 3 resources for the 2018 Manual on Ministry will be available on this site by Summer 2019.

The following 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.


For reference, the 1986/2002 edition of the Manual on Ministry remains available online in ten sections: Partners in Authorizing Ministry, Student in Care of Association, Ordained Ministry, Dual Standing and Privilege of Call, Ordained Ministerial Partner, Commissioned Ministry, Licensed Ministry, The Oversight of Ministries, Ecclesiastical Endorsement, and Supplemental Materials.