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Conference Committee

Board of Ordained Ministry

Ministries of Faith in Action

The Board of Ordained Ministry (BOOM) is responsible for leading and serving the church in inviting, equipping, and supporting faithful and effective spiritual leaders from all cultural, ethnic, and racial backgrounds, who serve as ordained deacons and elders, licensed local pastors, diaconal ministers, certified persons in specialized ministries, and clergy endorsed for extension ministries in order to fulfill the mission of The United Methodist Church and the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ The division’s work includes all men and women who are serving in categories of appointment by a bishop (BOD¶1421). In short, BOOM exists to equip and support clergy, and encourage and prepare those who feel called to ordained or licensed ministry become clergy.

News & Events

The Gathering 2022

The Gathering 2022

THE GATHERING2/22/2022 – 2/24/2022At The Redemptorist Renewal Center, 7101 W. Picture Rocks Road, Tucson, AZ 85743, www.desertrenewal.org The Gathering is the yearly meeting of the retired and active clergy and appointed pastors of the Desert Southwest Conference....

Contact

Sharon Ragland

Sharon Ragland

Chair

Rev. Dee Dee Azhikakath

Rev. Dee Dee Azhikakath

Registrar and Candidacy Coordinator

Email Sharon

Email Dee Dee

Call the Desert Southwest Conference

Visit explorecalling.org

BOOM Archives

Team Members

Rev. Rula Colvin – Association of Retired Ministers & Spouses (ARMS)

Rev. Rick CaseboltChair, East District Board of Ordained Ministry

Rev. Dan Hurlbert – Chair, West District Committee of Ministry

Rev. Mike Higgs – Chair, North District Board of Ordained Ministry

Pastor Kimber Govett – Chair Fellowship of Local Pastors & Associate Ministers

Rev. Lynn Bartlow – Chair, Orders for Elders

Rev. Khalif SmithChair, Conference Board of Religion & Race

Rev. Doug HandlongChair, South District Board of Ordained Ministry

Rev. Melissa Rynders  – Cabinet Rep, Mission Strategist & East District Superintendent

Rae Lathrop – Chair, Scholarships and Grants

 

 

 

 

Rev. Tina Rees – Chair, Orders for Deacons

Rev. Sandy Johnson – Secretary, Board of Ordained Ministry

Alberta FarnsworthConference Lay Leader

Rev. Paul Cho – Treasurer for the Board of Ordained Ministry

Rev. Nancy Cushman – Coordinator of Residence in Ministry Program

Rev. Timote Piukala – Member

 

 

Rev. Misty HowickMember

Rev. James O’NealMember

Stephanie Beverage  – Member

Rev. Brenda SmithMember

Liz RacicotMember

Pastor Linda Stanley Member

Delia Gomez – Member

Rev. Katherine Tang – Member

 

Candidacy

How do I get started?

Meet with your Pastor first.

If you feel like you might be called to ordained ministry, seek out some time to talk with your pastor. She will be the one to help you discern the path God is leading you down. He will likely offer you a book to read called, Christian As Minister.

Contact your District Superintendent.

If you and your pastor feel that licensed local ministry or ordained ministry is the work God is calling you to, your next step is to write your District Superintendent.  Ask your pastor if you are not sure who that is.  In your letter or email talk about your call to ministry and ask to begin the candidacy process.  Your District Superintendent may want to meet with you so that you can discuss your call in person.  You will tell your call story many times; this is a great way to practice.   Depending on your conversation with your District Superintendent you will become a declared candidate and be registered in Passage and assigned an advisor and mentor to help you complete the next steps of the process.

East: Rev. Melissa Rynders
West: Rev. Javier Olivares
South: Rev. Matt Ashley
North: Rev. Dan Morley

Using UMCARES

Every step in the candidacy process is now tracked and completed online using Passage.  You, your mentor and your District Superintendent have different tasks to complete through this system, and some of the information the District Committee on Ministry will need to meet with you should be accessed through this system.

Then broaden the conversation.

If this experience continues to affirm your call to ordained ministry, you are ready for the Orientation to Ministry event (O2M). This free event happens once a year, the day before annual conference in June. During O2M you will have the opportunity to hear about the various paths of ministry, learn more about the ordination process, speak with representatives from the UM seminaries and more. O2M is also a requirement to become a certified candidate and registration is mandatory to attend the event.

In the meantime, have your pastor bring you to your church’s Pastor-Parish Relations Committee (or equivalent body) to involve a wider group of people in your call. The Pastor-Parish Relation Committee will interview you in light of these historic questions from John Wesley (¶ 310.1.d The United Methodist Church Book of Discipline):

  1. Do they know God as pardoning God? Have they the love of God abiding in them? Do they desire nothing but God? Are they holy in all manner of conversation?
  2. Have they gifts, as well as evidence of God’s grace, for the work? Have they a clear, sound understanding; a right judgment in the things of God; a just conception of salvation by faith? Do they speak justly, readily, clearly?
  3. Have they fruit? Have any been truly convinced of sin and converted to God, and are believers edified by their service?

The Pastor-Parish Relation Committee (or equivalent body) will then vote to approve you to continue in the process.

And that’s when your church will Make It Official.

Making it Official

Congratulations! Your church and pastor have confirmed your call from Christ into ordained ministry!

It’s time to be officially voted on by your Charge Conference.

This can be done in the regularly set charge conference meeting held each year for your church, or it can be done by a special charge conference. Your pastor can provide information about when and where this will be held.

Now you’re ready for Certification!

Your Charge Conference has voted to support your call into ordained ministry? That’s great! Now plan to report annually to your charge conference on your journey as a declared candidate until you are a certified candidate. Your charge conference needs to turn the form linked below into your District Superintendent and the District Committee on Ministry annually.

Download form here.

Becoming a Certified Candidate

Preparing to meet with the District Committee on Ministry.

You and your mentor will work to complete all the following steps as you prepare to meet with the District Committee on ministry.

  1. Finish all steps on the UMCARES dual tracks of Candidacy and Psychological Assessment.  Your mentor should contact UMCARES to order your on-line psychological assessment tests. This should be done a few days before you intend to take the on-line tests with your mentor.   Once the on-line tests are taken, you may contact Dr.  Dan Blackwood to arrange for your in-person Psychological Assessment. This process involves a bit of back and forth communication between our conference and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry so give yourself around 4 months to complete it. This information will be passed along to your District Committee on Ministry as well as the conference Board of Ordained Ministry. Most of all, it’s useful to you as a Candidate!
  2. Write a statement of call.
  3. Provide your written responses to the following questions from The Book of Discipline: (¶310.2a)

(i) the most formative experience of your Christian life;
(ii) God’s call for you to enter licensed or ordained ministry and the role of the church in your call;
(iii) your beliefs as a Christian;
(iv) your gifts for ministry;
(v) your present understanding of your call to ministry as elder, deacon, or licensed ministry; and
(vi) your support system

Please fill out and mail the following two documents to the BOOM Registrar at the Desert Southwest Conference office.

1. Complete the Candidacy Disclosure Form.

2. Complete Background and Credit Check Form.

There might be additional information your DCOM will ask for so contact your chair to ask what else they need.

Your pastor or mentor can tell you which district you are in as a part of the Desert Southwest Conference. See? You’re learning the lingo already! Send an email to the chair of your committee so you can be included on the agenda of their next meeting. Typically, meetings are held twice a year in the spring and fall. Even if you have not finished all the steps for certification you can still meet with your DCOM, so contact the chair to find out when the meetings are.

East District: Rev. Rick Casebolt
West District: Rev. Dan Hurlbert
South District: Rev. Doug Handlong
North District: Rev. Mike Higgs

After the meeting, you’ll either be recommended to do further discernment work or be approved as a Certified Candidate!

If you are asked to continue working on your discernment, here are a few tips.

Listen carefully to what your District Committee tells you. They are the most valuable place for feedback. You can also ask them questions that will help guide your direction before you come back to meet with them again. Then take their feedback or suggestions and share them with your mentor. Be sure to keep your mind open to things that may be difficult to hear, but are perhaps things you had not thought of before.

Your District Committee will inform you of your next steps both in person at your interview and also by letter, make sure you receive a letter from your DCOM after each meeting you have with them.

How to be a Great Certified Candidate

Congratulations on becoming a Certified Candidate for Ordained Ministry!

You can be a candidate anywhere from 1 year to 12 years. Seems like a big gap, right? That’s because every person and every call from God takes a unique path. Your time as a candidate is when you will fully explore that path and as a church, we want to make space for this important work.

Many things are available to you as a certified candidate for ministry:

You can serve as a licensed local pastor, if you are interested in this kind of ministry let your District Superintendent know, appointments depend on availability and are not guaranteed but the work of the local pastor is vital to many communities across our connection and some of the most exciting ministry in our conference happens in these churches.

Also if you have decided to pursue a Master of Divinity some scholarships are available to you as a certified candidate.

As a Certified Candidate, you should…

Meet regularly with your mentor assigned by your District Superintendent. Together, you two will continue your work of discernment as a certified candidate. If you struggle with your mentor relationship, please contact your District Superintendent for assistance.  Every year your mentor should submit a letter of recommendation and information about your progress together to the DCOM chair.

Meet annually with your District Committee on Ministry.  They will ask you about your continued progress in ministry as a licensed local pastor or your discernment as a certified candidate, or your progress in seminary depending on your path.

Pursue a Master of Divinity or other approved degree according to the Order to which you feel called. It is possible to start this prior to an approved Candidate, but not usually recommended because of the cost required.

Deacons may receive a Master of Divinity (M.Div.), or they may obtain a Master’s degree in their work field plus 27 theological study hours.

Elders need a Master of Divinity from a seminary approved by the church.

Local pastors complete the Basic Five-Year Course of Study and then Advance Course of Study

The next steps for you are:

If you are ready to seek ordination as a deacon or elder here are the steps.

Request recommendation from your District Committee on Ministry to the Board of Ordained Ministry.  Once that has happened:

  • Submit an Application for Provisional Clergy Membership. Pay attention to the Nov. 1 and Nov. 15 deadlines.
  • Acceptance of your Application and completed paperwork.
  • An examination by the Desert Southwest Conference Board of Ordained Ministry
  • Approval at the Executive Clergy Session at Annual Conference
  • Commissioning and licensing at Annual Conference

Full Member

Full Membership and Ordination Application

FULL MEMBER APPLICATION

Welcome to the last big step before ordination. It’s been a great journey and your Board of Ordained Ministry and the Desert Southwest Conference is excited to support you in pursuing this final stage.

Second verse is not the same as the first.

This is your opportunity to show the Board of Ordained Ministry how much you have grown since the last time you interviewed. We are looking for your original work demonstrating where you are in ministry at this point of your career. We want to see where the power of Jesus Christ is working in your ministry, and where the Holy Spirit has lead you.

To apply for Full Membership in the Desert Southwest Annual Conference, please use the following links and instructions.

All communication should be sent to Rev. Dee Dee Azhikakath, BOOM Registrar, at boom@dscumc.org

Due on November 1, 2022

Application for Clergy Relationship to the Annual Conference

After your application has been received, you will be contacted by the Registrar accepting your paperwork and giving you access to a private Google folder where you can submit your application. All items, with the exception of numbers 4 & 5, should be submitted through the Google folder. Items 4 & 5 should be mailed to Rev. Dee Dee Azhikakath, 1550 East Meadowbrook Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85014-4040.

Due on January 1, 2023

  1. Submit UPDATED official college/university and seminary transcripts to the Registrar. If your transcripts have not changed since submitting them at the Provisional level, you do NOT need to resubmit.
  2. Biographical Information Form
  3. Medical Report Form (BOM will pay a maximum of $50 for medical fees to acquire this)
  4. Background Check Please mail this form via USPS.
  5. Notarized statement detailing convictions for felony or misdemeanor or written accusation of sexual misconduct or child abuse, and a description of previous ordination process. Please mail this form via USPS.
  6. List of References Form
  7. Full Member Doctrinal Exam Each answer should be complete in and of itself. References to answers in other exams are not appropriate. Answers are dependent on each individual response to the question. Recognizing that some questions will require more of a response than others, most readers look for 2-3 pages per question. The Board of Ordained Ministry is expecting your best scholarly work, which includes punctuation and grammar. You will not be granted an interview if your work does not meet these standards. It is strongly recommended that you prepare your answers well before the deadline, and even have a mentor preview them for feedback.  Then you will upload your documents to a private BOOM Google folder. Each answer should be on its own Word document file as demonstrated by the template.
  8. Digital photo headshot.

After your COMPLETE packet of work has been received, you will be contacted by the Registrar by January 30th, accepting your paperwork and giving you further instructions. Interviews will not be granted for incomplete submissions. 

Full Member Interviews with the Board of Ordained Ministry will be held March 28-30, 2023 in Phoenix area.

Provisional Member

Associate Membership

Local Pastor to Associate Membership

A Local Pastor may feel called to change into an Associate Membership relationship with the Desert Southwest Annual Conference (¶ 321).

Working with DCOM

Before applying for Associate Membership, a Local Pastor must meet the following requirements in accordance with ¶ 322 of the Book of Discipline.

  1. Annual renewal of license for pastoral ministry with service as a full-time local pastor for four years.
  2. Reached the age of 40.
  3. Will have served four years as full-time local pastor by the next Annual Conference.
  4. Completed the five-year Course of Study in addition to the studies for license as a local pastor (up to one half of which may be taken by correspondence or online/distance learning courses) OR received a Master of Divinity degree that includes the basic graduate theological studies form a school of theology listed by the University Senate.
  5. Completed a minimum of sixty semester hours toward the Bachelor of Arts or an equivalent degree in a college or university recognized by the University Senate.
  6. Completed a new psychological assessment if your prior report (during certified candidacy) is older than 5 years.
  7. Acceptable Legal Background Check in file.
  8. Notarized Declaration Regarding Sexual Misconduct Form.
  9. Declared their willingness to their District Superintendent to accept a continuing full-time appointment.

Once items 1-9 have been completed, you may request to be recommended to apply for Associate Membership from your DCOM. This interview is preferably done at the DCOM’s spring meeting.  With a recommendation vote of a ¾ majority, you will be eligible to apply for Associate Membership with BOOM.

Due on November 1, 2021

Application for Clergy Relationship to the Annual Conference

After your application has been received, you will be contacted by the BOOM Registrar confirming your request and giving you access to a private Google folder, so you may submit items 1-6 listed below. Likewise, the Registrar will request items 4-8 listed above be forwarded to your application file.

Due on November 15, 2021

  1. Associate Membership/Provisional Doctrinal Examination. Each answer should be complete in and of itself. References to answers in other exams are not appropriate. Answers are dependent on each individual response to the question. Recognizing that some questions will require more of a response than others, most readers look for 2-3 pages per question. The Board of Ordained Ministry is expecting your best scholarly work, which includes punctuation and grammar. You will not be granted an interview if your work does not meet these standards. It is strongly recommended that you prepare your answers well before the deadline, and even have a mentor preview them for feedback.  Then you will upload your documents to a private BOOM Google folder. Each answer should be on its own Word document file as demonstrated by the template.
  2. Biographical Information Form
  3. Medical Report Form
  4. List of References: The Registrar will request and collect references from the list you provide.
  5. Field Work Evaluation
  6. Digital Photo Headshot

After your COMPLETE packet of work has been received, you will be contacted by the Registrar by December 15th, accepting your paperwork and giving you further instructions. Interviews will not be granted for incomplete submissions. 

Provisional and Associate Member Interviews with the Board of Ordained Ministry will be held January 11-13, 2022 OR March 29-31, 2022 in the Phoenix area. Please save both sets of dates. If you are granted an interview, you will be notified of your interview date block by December 1, 2021.

A recommendation by BOOM with a ¾ majority vote will put you in front of clergy session, from which you will also need to receive approval by a ¾ vote to become an Associate Member. Once an Associate Member, you may choose to voluntarily participate in the two year Residence in Ministry program (RIM.) This would be of no cost to you, but something BOOM highly recommends and mandates from our Provisional Members.  

Provisional Member Application

Welcome! We are excited that you are seeking to minister in the name of Jesus Christ and are considering ordained ministry in our conference.

Writing these papers are a requirement, but it can also be a gift.

This is your opportunity to take what you learned at seminary and what God has revealed to you and share it with the world, starting with the Board of Ordained Ministry.  We want to know how your individual classes at seminary have influenced your theology and how your experience has further shaped your call to ministry. This may be the thing you reference back to, year after year in your ministry.

Create your masterpiece.

You may complete the necessary paperwork to apply for Provisional Membership in the Desert Southwest Annual Conference by clicking on the links below.

Before applying, you must be approved by your District Committee on Ordained Ministry in order to have your papers accepted. Please make sure your District Committee notifies the Registrar of their decision. It is also highly recommended to have completed/enrolled in the three UMC studies classes (polity, doctrine and history) before interviewing with BOOM, as the interview will include questions around United Methodists beliefs.

Please contact the Registrar when you have questions!
Rev. Dee Dee Azhikakath

Due on November 1, 2022

Application for Clergy Relationship to the Annual Conference

After your application has been received, you will be contacted by the Registrar accepting your paperwork and giving you access to a private Google folder for submission of items 4-9.

Due on November 15, 2022

Please submit items 1-3 to: Rev. Dee Dee Azhikakath, 1550 East Meadowbrook Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85014-4040.  Submit items 4-9 to the private Google folder provided by the Registrar.

  1. Submit official college/university and seminary transcripts
  2. Criminal Background and Credit Check
  3. Notarized statement detailing convictions for felony or misdemeanor or written accusation of sexual misconduct or child abuse, and a description of previous ordination process.
  4. Provisional Doctrinal Examination. Each answer should be complete in and of itself. References to answers in other exams are not appropriate. Answers are dependent on each individual response to the question. Recognizing that some questions will require more of a response than others, most readers look for 2-3 pages per question. The Board of Ordained Ministry is expecting your best scholarly work, which includes punctuation and grammar. You will not be granted an interview if your work does not meet these standards.It is strongly recommended that you prepare your answers well before the deadline, and even have a mentor preview them for feedback.  Then you will upload your documents to a private BOOM Google folder. Each answer should be on its own Word document file as demonstrated by the template.
  5. Biographical Information Form
  6. Medical Report Form
  7. List of References: The Registrar will request and collect references from the list you provide.
  8. Field Work Evaluation
  9. Digital Photo Headshot

After your COMPLETE packet of work has been received, you will be contacted by the Registrar by December 15th, accepting your paperwork and giving you further instructions. Interviews will not be granted for incomplete submissions. 

Provisional Member Interviews with the Board of Ordained Ministry will be held January 24-26, 2023 OR March 28-30, 2023 in the Phoenix area. Please save both sets of dates. If you are granted an interview, you will be notified of your interview date block by December 1, 2022.

Provisional Membership Period

During the provisional period (two to eight years), you will serve under appointment by the bishop during the provisional years in areas of service appropriate to your calling. Provisional members may be appointed to congregations (deacons or elders), to attend school, to extension ministry (elders), or in appointments beyond the local church (deacons)They are supervised by a district superintendent, to whom they submit an annual report.The provisional period is a time to gain experience in ministry. To be approved for ordination, the provisional member must demonstrate fruitful ministry. Partial evidence of that fruitfulness is the preparation of a project “that demonstrates fruitfulness in carrying out the church’s mission of ‘making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.’” Each annual conference develops guidelines for the project.

The provisional period is a time to gain experience in ministry. To be approved for ordination, the provisional member must demonstrate fruitful ministry. Partial evidence of that fruitfulness is the preparation of a project “that demonstrates fruitfulness in carrying out the church’s mission of ‘making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.’” Each annual conference develops guidelines for the project.

During your provisional period, your annual conference will prepare a residency in ministry training program to expand on your seminary education in practical ways, as well as prepare you for your ordination examination. This is an important time of developing supportive and accountable relationships among your clergy colleagues, learning from experience, and clarifying your sense of call.

Take responsibility for your growth in ministry. Attend your residency in ministry gatherings, participate openly and honestly, and ask your Board of Ordained Ministry for clarification, if necessary, on their standards for ordained ministry.

Transfer Membership

Transferring Between Orders

If you have been ordained as an Elder or Deacon in the United Methodist Church and are in good standing, but are now feeling called to the other order, this page will help you with how to begin the journey of transferring your order from Elder to Deacon and from Deacon to Elder.

Transition from Elder to Deacon – Two-Year Plan

Appointment Year One

  • Meet with District Superintendent, Chairperson of the Order of Elders, and Order of Deacon and discuss the rationale for change.
  • Meet with the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry
  1. Request change of Ordination.
  2. Write your statement of call.
  3. Two-year provisional period will be assigned.
  4. No sacramental authority for time of provisional.
  5. If working outside of the local church, must affiliate with a congregation and provide leadership role as a Deacon.
  • Deacon Mentor assigned by District Superintendent and Conference Board of Ordained Ministry.
  • Quarterly meetings with Mentor for probationary time.
  • Read The United Methodist Deacon by Margaret Ann Crain. Discuss and complete questionnaire, include the understanding of the Diaconate in UMC.
  1. Begin the process of reviewing questions for doctrinal papers.
  • At the end of year one, meet with Conference Board of Ordained Ministry describe/express your reasons for changing orders and role/accomplishments with the affiliated congregation.

Appointment Year Two

  • Continue with quarterly mentor meetings.
  • Complete the following for review by the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry by the designated deadline.
  1. Write your statement of call.
  2. What new insights have caused you to review your call from your first completion of doctrinal papers?
  3. Give a summary of your ministerial accomplishments and goals that reflect your understanding of Ordained Deacon.
  4. Why do you need to change your ordination?
  5. Explain the importance of not having sacramental authority during this two-year provisional time. Will you covenant not to perform them? 
  • Compile theological rationale for ministry outside of the local church setting with an explanation of the need for this ministry if you are appointed beyond the local church OR for a specialized (non-itinerant) ministry inside the local church if you are to be appointed inside the local church.
  • The District Superintendent and the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry will contact you with an interview time.
  • A written vote will be taken after the interview, and the candidate must pass with a 3/4 majority.

 

Transition from Deacon to Elder – Two-Year Plan

Appointment Year One

  • Meet with District Superintendent, Chairperson of the Order of Elders and Order of Deacons and discuss rationale for change.
  • Meet with the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry.
  1. Request change of Ordination.
  2. Write your statement of call.
  3. Two year provisional period will be assigned.
  4. Recommend candidate for License for Pastoral Ministry to clergy session for approval (¶ 315.1)
  5. Work with appointive cabinet to find leadership opportunity within a local church for two consecutive years.
  6. * Elder Mentor assigned by District Superintendent and Conference Board of Ordained Ministry  Elder Mentor assigned by District Superintendent and Conference Board of Ordained Ministry.
  • Quarterly meetings with Mentor for provisional time.
  • Read By Water and the Spirit: Making Connections for Identity and Ministry by Gayle Carlton Felton. Discuss with mentor.
  1. Begin the process of reviewing questions for doctrinal papers.
  • At the end of year one, meet with Conference Board of Ordained Ministry describe/express your reasons for changing orders and role/accomplishments with the affiliated congregation.

Appointment Year Two

  • Continue with quarterly mentor meetings
  • Complete the following for review by the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry by the designated deadline.
  1. Write your statement of call
  2. What new insights have caused you to review your call from your first completion of doctrinal papers?
  3. Give a summary of your ministerial accomplishments and goals that reflect your understanding of Ordained Elder?
  4. Why do you need to change your ordination?
  5. Do you offer yourself without reserve to be appointed and to serve as the appointive authority may determine? Please explain.
  • Compile theological rationale for change of ministry.
  • District Superintendent and the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry will contact you with interview time.
  • A written vote will be taken after the interview, and candidate must pass with a 3/4 majority.

Transferring Between UMC Conferences

If you have been ordained as an Elder or Deacon in the United Methodist Church and are in good standing with your conference, but would now like to transfer your membership to the Desert Southwest Annual Conference, this path is for you. 

 

Transition Membership from a UMC Annual Conference to the DSC

You will find the Transfer Guidelines From Another Annual Conference in ¶ 347.1 of the 2016 Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church. Below are the policy and requirements of The Desert Southwest Conference regarding transfers of conference membership for ordained clergy: 

1) To transfer clergy membership a person must have served in an appointment in the Desert Southwest Conference for a minimum of two full years.

2) After serving a minimum of two full years the ordained clergy must write a letter to the Bishop requesting transfer of membership.

3) The Bishop of the Desert Southwest Conference will consult with the Bishop of the clergyperson’s home conference.

4)  If the request for transfer is approved by the Bishop, the Bishop submits the recommendation for transfer of clergy membership to the Board of Ordained Ministry.

5)  A request for the clergy file may be made by the Bishop of the Desert Southwest Conference to the Bishop of the home conference of the ordained clergy.

6) Ordained clergy must secure two reference letters.  One must be from a colleague from their sending conference whom they have known for at least five years,  and the second from a clergy member of the Desert Southwest. Letters must be submitted directly by the reference writer via email to boom@dscumc.org or mailed to  Rev. Dee Dee Azhikakath, P.O. Box 32830, Phoenix, AZ 85064. Letters will only be accepted if they are coming directly from the reference writer.  

7) A request may be made by the Chairperson of the Desert Southwest Conference Board of Ordained Ministry to the Chairperson of the Board of Ordained Ministry of the home conference for the file of the ordained clergy seeking to transfer their membership.

8) A request may be made by the Chairperson of the Desert Southwest Conference Board of Ordained Ministry for a background check and a credit report of the ordained clergy.

9) There will be an introductory meeting of the ordained clergy seeking transfer and the Board of Ordained Ministry.

10) The Executive Committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry must recommend to and receive approval by the clergy session at Annual Conference of the Desert Southwest Conference prior to the transfer.

Transferring Outside the Methodist Denomination

Welcome. We are honored you feel called to carry out your ordained ministry through serving with the Desert Southwest Conference (DSC) of the United Methodist Church. You most likely have already met with other United Methodist ministers in our conference and prayerfully considered this calling. If not, we encourage you to meet with a few of them to make sure that we are a good fit for you theologically and you would be comfortable being part of our covenant. One person you should speak with as you make this decision is the District Superintendent who oversees the area where you currently are in ministry. If you are unsure of who that is, you can find a list here. Once you are ready to make the commitment to transfer your ordination, below are the steps to do so.

Steps Into Full Membership for persons ordained in another denomination and desiring to transfer into the United Methodist Church

Apply for provisional membership

  1. Submit a letter requesting provisional membership to the chairperson of the Board of Ordained Ministry (BOOM), with copies to the BOOM registrar and District Superintendent (DS). Your letter should: demonstrate your assurance of Christian Faith and experience, give evidence of your agreement with and willingness to support and maintain UM doctrine, polity and discipline. Please note: BOOM meets in September, January, March and June. To ensure enough time to be placed on the agenda, it is recommended you submit your letter 30 days before the next meeting. Likewise, the Residence in Ministry (RIM) program only allows new candidates to begin in September. If you are interviewed in September, you will need to wait 12 months before you can enter the RIM program. 
  2. Submit to BOOM the following required paperwork with your letter of request:

A. Ordination certificate
B. Statement of call
C. Academic transcripts
D. Criminal background and Credit check
E. Reference forms. One of your additional six references must include a colleague who worked with you and is a member of your current denomination.
F. Certificate of good health and medical form
G. Notarized statement detailing convictions for felony or misdemeanor or written accusation of sexual misconduct or child abuse, and a description of previous ordination process.
H. Arrange to take a psychological exam, coordinated through your DS, BOOM Registrar and Ministerial Assessment Specialist (MAS).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

BOOM, in conjunction with the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), will review these statements, forms and educational requirements.  Ordained clergy seeking admission into an annual conference on credentials from another denomination, who have previously withdrawn from membership in the effective relation in an annual conference of the UMC or one of its legal predecessors, shall not be admitted or readmitted without the consent of the annual conference from which they withdrew or its legal successor or the annual conference of which the major portion of their former conference is a part, such consent to be granted upon the recommendation of its BOOM.

  1. Meet with the Desert Southwest BOOM for possible recommendation to the annual conference clergy session for acceptance as a provisional member. (To be recommended, candidates must pass with a 3/4 affirmative vote from BOOM members.)  In that meeting, persons should be prepared to be interviewed about their call and experience. It is highly recommended to have completed/enrolled in the three UMC studies classes (polity, doctrine and history) before interviewing with BOOM, as the interview will include questions around United Methodists beliefs.  Any requirements for full membership will then be clearly stated, including completion of United Methodist studies classes. Orders must be recognized and approved upon by the DSC clergy session of the Annual Conference.
  2. Upon approval, participate in the Residence in Ministry (RIM) program, and complete any requirements of that process.
  3. After completion of RIM, apply for full membership, including meeting with BOOM. This includes submission of all required paperwork listed on the full membership application website including the doctrinal exam and other required paperwork.
  4. Be interviewed by BOOM, and recommended for full membership to the clergy session of the Annual Conference.

Transfer as a Provisional

For those who are Provisional Members in the United Methodist Church and are looking to transfer your Provisional Membership to the Desert Southwest Annual Conference, please contact Rev. Sharon Ragland, the Chair of the DSC Board of Ordained Ministry. Provisional Membership transfers are on a case-to-case basis.

Transferring within a Methodist Denomination

If you have been ordained in another Methodist denomination and want to be a member of the Desert Southwest Conference (DSC) of the United Methodist Church (UMC), you are in the right place.  If you are unsure if your denomination is an officially recognized Methodist denomination, please check the World Methodist Council list.  The process for you is a little different than those who have been ordained in other Christian denominations.

Steps into Full Membership for persons ordained in other Methodist denominations and desiring to transfer into the Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church

  1. Submit a letter requesting a transfer of membership to the chairperson of the Board of Ordained Ministry (BOOM), with copies to the BOOM registrar and District Superintendent (DS). Your letter should: demonstrate your assurance of Christian Faith and experience, give evidence of your agreement with and willingness to support and maintain UM doctrine, polity and discipline.  Please note: BOOM meets in September, January, March and June. To ensure enough time to be placed on the agenda, it is recommended you submit your letter 30 days before the next meeting. Likewise, if it is recommended you participate in the Residence in Ministry (RIM) program, new candidates are only allowed to begin in September. An interview in September would require you to wait 12 months before you can enter the RIM program.  
  2. Once BOOM receives your letter, we will work with your home conference’s BOOM or equivalent body to validate or transfer the following items. If they cannot be obtained, you will need to submit them directly to the DSC BOOM.  Only fill out the forms below if you know they cannot be obtained from your home conference.

A. Ordination certificate

B. Statement of call

C. Academic transcripts

D. Criminal background and Credit check

E. Reference forms. One of your additional six references must include a colleague who worked with you and is a member of your current denomination.

F. Certificate of good health and medical form

G. Notarized statement detailing convictions for felony or misdemeanor or written accusation of sexual misconduct or child abuse, and a description of previous ordination process.

H. Psychological exam

  1. Meet with the Desert Southwest BOOM. This introductory meeting will allow BOOM to get to know you and know more about your call and your fruitfulness in ministry. Any requirements for full membership will then be clearly stated, such as the participation in our Residence in Ministry (RIM) program or completing a United Methodist polity class.
  2. After your initial meeting with BOOM, you will need to serve under appointment in the DSC a minimum of two years and be interviewed by BOOM a second time before you are eligible to be recommended to the clergy session of the Annual Conference for full membership. A recommendation by BOOM to clergy session requires a 3/4 affirmative vote by members. 

Forms

Forms

Clergy Change in Relationship to the Annual Conference

Application for Change in Clergy Relationship to the Annual Conference (Form 106)

To request a change in relationship to the Desert Southwest Conference (e.g. retirement, family leave, medical leave, etc.),  please email the completed form to boom@dscumc.org with a statement supporting why you are requesting this change in relationship to the annual conference. Anyone on leave or honorable location need to request this change annually by submitting the above form and submitting a detailed statement of why you are requesting to continue in this relationship for an additional year.

If you are seeking a voluntary leave of absence, please review our VLOA guidebook.

 Certified Candidate & Local Pastor Forms (DCOM)

Annual Local Pastor Continuance (Form 204)

BOOM Mentor Report (Form 30)

Candidacy Discernment Assignment Wesley’s Questions (Form 42)

Candidacy  Discernment Re-certification Assignment  (Form 43)

Candidate Certification Interview (Form 201)

Candidacy Certification Renewal (Form 202)

Recommendation for Associate Membership (Form 205)

Recommendation for Provisional Membership (Form 203)

 Local Pastor Handbook 2022

 Declaring Candidacy Forms (Local Church)

Background and Credit Check Form*

Biographical Information (submitted to your District Superintendent)

Candidacy Disclosure Form*

Charge Conference Recommendation – Declaration of Candidacy (Form 104)

Background and Credit Check Form*

Pre-certification Letter after February 1, 2021

Personal Data Inventory

*These forms should be mailed in via USPS to: Rev. Dee Dee Azhikakath, 1550 East Meadowbrook Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85014-4040.

Funding

Funding for Certified Candidates

Loan to grant financial assistance for those willing to serve the Desert Southwest Conference

The Desert Southwest Annual Conference (DSC) offers a loan-to-grant program to which certified candidates may apply. Candidates may receive up to $4,000 as a loan. If, upon graduation, the candidate serves the DSC for three years in appointed full-time ministry, as a provisional or associate member, the loan then becomes a grant. A candidate shall not receive more than $12,000 of support during seminary through this program, and shall not be obligated to serve more than six years to repay the full loan. ** Applications are due March 1, 2022.

Apply Here.

The Donald G. Sapp Scholarship Fund

Certified Candidates in the Desert Southwest Annual Conference enrolled in graduate theological seminary and pursuing full ordination in the United Methodist Church are able to apply for funding from this scholarship fund.**  Applications are due March 1, 2022.

Apply Here.

Don’t forget to look for funding with the General Board of Higher Education & Ministry!

GBHEM has loans and grants for certified candidates pursuing careers in ministry, funding for specialized training, funding for doctorate programs and loan hardship assistance.  As of August 2018, GBHEM has doubled the amount students can borrow. Find out more here!

 **To submit your applications, please save your completed PDF document to your computer and then email it to Rev. Dee Dee Azhikakath at boom@dscumc.org  

Scholarships for Current Clergy

Continuing Education Assistance for Clergy

Ordained, commissioned and licensed local pastors who are members of the Desert Southwest Conference and are under appointment are eligible for scholarship assistance for continuing education. Clergy seeking financial aid for continuing education can click the button below to download the application for funds. The Board of Ordained Ministry provides up to $1,000 every quadrennium through our MEF funds. Please request funds at least one month before the event to ensure approval. ** Payments can be designated to go directly to the institution or group for registration fees or can be reimbursed to the minster in cases of airfare, etc. Money that is given directly to the minister without receipts for reimbursement is considered taxable income. If you are looking for a new continuing education course, try one of these courses recommended by fellow clergy in the DSC.

** Covid-19 update: We understand that many continuing education classes have been postponed or canceled. Likewise, since General Conference has also been postponed and budgets cannot be voted on until the fall of 2021, the window for applying for a MEF scholarship has been extended through December 31, 2021. If you have not taken advantage of your scholarship this quadrennium yet, you may apply for MEF funds through the end of 2021. 

Apply Here.

Assistance for Overwhelming Medical Expenses for Clergy

The William C. & Elizabeth A. Botkin Ministers’ Emergency Emergency Fund, Donald G Sapp Fund and John R. Scott Clergy Crisis Fund clergy are available to active and retired clergy in the Desert Southwest Conference who are experiencing unusual and burdensome medical expenses. Clergy can apply for all scholarships through this one application, which includes details as to eligibility for each fund. Applications are considered year-round by BOOM based on clergy need. **

Apply Here.

MEF Pulpit Fund

MEF Pulpit Supply Funds are available for churches whose pastors are on leave for six weeks or greater, with a priority for those whose leave is an emergency and not scheduled. Amount requested must not exceed 50% of the cost of pulpit supply while the pastor is on leave. Limited funding is available and at a first-come, first-served basis. **

Apply Here.

Don’t forget to look for funding with the General Board of Higher Education & Ministry!

GBHEM has loans and grants for certified candidates pursuing careers in ministry, funding for specialized training, funding for doctorate programs and loan hardship assistance.  As of August 2018, GBHEM has doubled the amount students can borrow. Find out more here!

 **To submit your applications, please save your completed PDF document to your computer and then email it to Rev. Dee Dee Azhikakath 

Education

Education

There are many different educational options available for people exploring a call to ministry.  Take time to find the option that best meets your needs.

  • Seminary – If you feel certain that a career in ministry is where you are being called, seminary is a recommended option.  Seminary programs include two, three, and four year masters programs that allow you to earn a degree that will equip you for professional ministry.  The expected degree for ordained ministry is a Master of Divinity.  Learn more about whether seminary is the right option for you or find a list of  UMC approved Seminaries below.
  • Licensing School and Course of Study – there are many reasons why seminary may not be the best option if you are exploring a call to ministry.  Serving as a licensed local pastor offers an affordable and flexible option if: 1) you are not sure you want a career in ministry but you are being called to serve as a pastor in a local church, 2) family, cost, or other life circumstances make relocating for a three year educational program impossible, 3) you are specifically called to ministry as a licensed local pastor.  Licensing school is an 80 hour program that prepares and equips you to begin serving in a local church right away.  Course of Study is a 5 year ongoing educational program that offers students a variety of ways to pursue education in and affordable and convenient way.
  • Ministry as a Lay Person – all people are ministers in the United Methodist Church and there are a variety of ways to enhance and expand your skill set and even serve in a local church without pursuing a pastoral license or ordained ministry.  The word lay and laity refers to people who serve in ministry when they are not ordained.
    • Certified Lay Ministry (CLM) is an educational process that enables a lay person to assist and even be assigned to serve in a local church.  For more information about this process visit umcdiscipleship.org and contact your district superintendent.
    • Certified Lay Servant Ministry is an educational process that builds your skills as a disciple so that you are better equipped to lead as a lay person in your local church.  For more information about Certified Lay Servant Ministry visit umcdiscipleship.org and look for information on Lay Servant Ministry, or contact Sheryl McKinney our conference Lay Servant Ministry Coordinator
    • Lay Leadership Opportunities are everywhere, contact your district or conference lay leader to learn more.