A. District Superintendent
1300. Function. The district superintendent is to be the spiritual and administrative leader of the district.
1303. Qualifications and Tenure. A district superintendent shall exhibit the desire to live a holy life and demonstrate the same in practice; shall live in full accord with the vision and values of The Wesleyan Church; have passion and compassion for the lost and the least; and exhibit vision and administrative leadership. The regulations for a district superintendent are (cf. 1255-1272):
- (1) Election. The district superintendent shall be elected by the district conference, by ballot and by majority vote, from among the ordained ministers of The Wesleyan Church (1180:29). A favorable vote of less than two-thirds majority requires General Church approval. If the district superintendent who is elected is from outside the membership of the electing district, the district superintendent shall immediately arrange for the transfer of local and district membership.
- (2) Term of Office. The election of a district superintendent shall be for a term of four years. The initial term of a newly elected district superintendent begins at the rise of the district conference. The salary of a district superintendent should be continued for one month beyond the date for the termination of service, unless the salary is removed by the district board of administration.
- (3) Reelection. Unless a district superintendent whose term is expiring shall give notice to the General Superintendent and district board of administration no less than ninety days prior to district conference, the district superintendent shall be considered available. The General Superintendent shall lead the district board of administration in a formal evaluation of the district superintendent’s job performance in relation to established missional goals and objectives prior to any vote on reelection to office. If necessary, by a majority vote the district board of administration may request procedural intervention by the General Superintendent to declare that reelection by a “yes/no” vote shall not occur but that the nomination process in Discipline 1303:7 must be followed. When an incumbent district superintendent does not receive a majority vote on the initial “yes/no” ballot for reelection, the provision of 1303:7 for the special committee on nominations shall become effective.
- (4) Term of Reelection. One of the following alternative procedures shall be followed:
- (a) A vote for a four-year renewal of the call shall be taken. If the vote on a four-year renewal of the call is favorable, the district board of administration, after consulting with the district superintendent and upon approval of the General Superintendent, may then recommend to the district conference that a ballot vote be taken to renew the call for an extended period.
- (b) Or, prior to the vote on renewing the call, the district board of administration, after consultation with the district superintendent and upon approval of the General Superintendent, shall recommend to the district conference a specific call for four years or an extended call.
- (5) Ex Officio Duties. The district superintendent is a ministerial member of the General Conference (325; 1503:1a), vice-chair of the district conference (350:3; 1120), chair of the district board of administration (1221; 1310:6), chair of the district board of ministerial development unless electing to appoint another to serve (1381), and chair of the district conference nominating committee.
- (6) Vacancy. Whenever the office of superintendent is vacated other than at district conference, or when other existing circumstances warrant, the district board of administration, in consultation with the General Superintendent, shall appoint an interim superintendent to serve until the next annual session of the district conference, or until a successor is elected or the district board of administration declares the period of service ended. An interim district superintendent shall be granted full authority to carry out the duties assigned to a district superintendent by The Discipline.
- (7) Committee for Nominations. Whenever a vacancy has resulted in the appointment of an acting superintendent, or whenever a district superintendent shall announce unavailability for continued service, the General Superintendent shall chair the district board of administration. The district board of administration shall screen and select persons believed to have the qualities needed for the office of district superintendent and present one or more nominees to the district conference session. The district conference shall elect in accordance with 1303:1, and shall not be limited to the persons nominated by the district board of administration.
1307. Amenability. The district superintendent is amenable, as provided in the Constitution, to the General Board (323:1). The district superintendent may be removed from office by the General Board, by a two-thirds majority vote of all its members, for cause or whenever the General Board deems it necessary for the best interests of the Church or the preservation of the district (1655:37, 40a).
1310. Duties. The district superintendent shall administer this office in accord with The Discipline and any other official directives from the General Conference, the General Board, the General Superintendent, the district conference, and the district board of administration. The duties of the district superintendent are (1300; 1303:6) to:
- (1) Have the oversight of the Church within the district, endeavoring to lead the district forward in the fulfillment of the mission of The Wesleyan Church (100-105).
- (2) Give special attention to the initiation and promotion of an aggressive program of evangelism and church growth, as approved by the district conference or the district board of administration (537; 510; 518; 1233:3, 20; 1413; 4840:6).
- (3) Carry on a spiritual and inspirational ministry, teaching the people concerning the doctrines, purposes, and programs of The Wesleyan Church.
- (4) Cooperate with the General Superintendent and the General Board in the oversight of the district work.
- (5) Assist the General Superintendent in presiding over the district conference. If the General Superintendent is not present, it is the duty of the district superintendent to preside (350:3; 1120).
- (6) Be the chair of the district board of administration (1203; 1221), and to submit recommendations to the district board of administration that will provide for a more efficient administration, and advancement of the district work.
- (7) Be the chair of the district board of ministerial development, or to appoint another to serve instead, subject to ratification by the district board of administration (1381); and to be the chair of the district conference nominating committee (1172).
- (8) Exercise administrative supervision over all district officials, boards, leadership teams, committees, auxiliary organizations, missions, developing churches, churches, ministers, and other workers (3260:2) of the district with the exception of those who are amenable to the General Board (323:1; 1180:11), and to see that the plans and policies of the General Church and district are carried out.
- (9) Meet with any district committee, or other district entity at the discretion of the district superintendent, and make such recommendations as deemed advisable.
- (10) Cooperate with the district board of administration and General Superintendent in evaluating the health of the district; establishing policies, goals, and objectives for more effectively fulfilling the mission of the district; pursuing the goals and objectives within the established policies and through the district’s pastors and members; and periodically providing performance reports regarding progress.
- (11) Examine all written instruments and legal papers for the conveyance of property acquired by local churches (4700:5) or the district and to approve them as to their conformity with the requirements of The Discipline (4590-4880; 4000-4070), the inclusion of the proper trust clause (4610), and conformity to local laws (4510); and to have the custody, under the direction of the district board of administration, of property and legal records for both the district and the local churches as provided for in 4760.
- (12) Visit, or to appoint an assistant district superintendent or other representative to visit, each church in the district according to a schedule of visits approved by the district board of administration, making careful inquiry into the progress and administration of the church and seeking to advance its spiritual life, and to preserve a written report of such visits in the district office for future reference and for the successor in office.
- (13) Investigate carefully concerning the support of pastors and to advise and encourage the local churches to provide for their adequate support.
- (14) Recommend that the district board of administration authorize the establishment of a mission (537), a developing church (510), a church (518), the reclassification of a church (518:7); and to preside over the organization of an established church or appoint a representative to do so (520); and to report the organization of new churches to the district board of administration and to the district conference (520:6).
- (15) Supervise and promote the process of a developing church, approving the reception of members (510:2; Gen. Bd. Policy on Ch. Disc. 5105), appointing the local advisory council in cooperation with the pastor (510:3), and approving the plans of the pastor and the local advisory council in the interim of sessions of the district board of administration (510:3).
- (16) Approve the date for the regular session of a local church conference (630:1), to preside over a local church conference whenever present (635); to convene, when deemed advisable, a local board of administration or a local church conference and preside over the same (633:1; 712; 722:2-3; 773); and carry out any other provisions for a local board of administration or conference as prescribed in The Discipline.
- (17) Counsel with a local board of administration for the securing of a pastor (705:1-3), proactively assessing the needs of the church and providing it with specific recommendations and names of potential pastors who best fit the profile to help meet those needs. The local board of administration and the district superintendent shall approve a pastoral candidate before that person is recommended to the church for a vote. The district superintendent shall also carry out the provisions of The Discipline concerning the call, the review and termination of a call, the resignation and release of a pastor from the pastoral agreement, and other matters pertaining to pastoral relations for the pastoral charges under district care (633:2; 692:2; 705:1-3; 710; 712; 720-722; 773).
- (18) Work directly with the pastors and leaders of local churches in setting goals and objectives, or appoint another district leader to do so. The district superintendent, in consultation with the district board of administration, may advise a pastor and local board of administration to consider a pastoral change if goal progress remains unsatisfactory.
- (19) Approve the transfer of any ordained minister or commissioned or licensed minister from another district, in concurrence with the General Superintendent (313:6; 705:2; 3100:1) and, when objecting to such a transfer, to state any reasons if requested to do so.
- (20) Recommend the removal of a pastor to the district board of administration, whenever the best interests of the church involved demand it, and to recommend to the district board of administration the appointment of a supply or interim, if necessary, until another pastor has been obtained (712; 715; 722:3; 1233:29).
- (21) Perform all the functions of a pastor for a local church within the district when such church is without a pastor, or to recommend to the district board of administration the appointment of a supply pastor or interim pastor until the local church obtains a pastor (1233:29, 36; 3260:2; 3261:2).
- (22) Counsel with the ministers and special workers under district care, giving special attention to the encouragement and guidance of candidates for the ministry.
- (23) Be responsible, if the General Superintendent is absent, for leading the Council of Ordination (3091; 1405) in conducting the ritual of ordination (3070:6; 5750-5792), and the ritual of commissioning a minister (5800-5845), a special worker (3470; 5855), or a lay missionary (3490; 5855); to sign, with the district secretary, such certificates, licenses, or other official forms as are required of this office and issued to such persons as are authorized by the district conference; to have charge of services for the installation of pastors (5905).
- (24) Provide or promote the ongoing personal and professional development of all ministerial personnel.
- (25) Request any special reports from the pastors, ministers, and churches that will facilitate oversight of the district.
- (26) Approve in writing the temporary service of an ordained minister in a district other than the one in which membership is held (3100:2); to grant a letter of transfer or standing to any ordained, licensed, or commissioned worker in good standing of the district (6440; 6460); to instruct the district secretary to enroll as a member of the district a minister who transfers from another district in the manner prescribed by The Discipline (313:6; 3100:1; 6440-6450), and to order the enrollment of a ministerial student or special worker so transferring (3015:3c, 5d; 3480; 6440-6450); to guide a minister or special worker from another denomination seeking recognition and membership in The Wesleyan Church (3104; 3470; 3117); and to provide oversight for the restoration of ministers (Gen. Bd. Policy on Ch. Disc. 5230).
- (27) Report annually to the district conference concerning official duties and personal ministry (1180:12), and to submit other reports to the General Board, the General Superintendent and the district board of administration as required; to counsel with the General Superintendent at least once a year concerning the plans and objectives for the district, reporting to the General Superintendent on the activities of the district and progress toward its objectives during the past year.
- (28) Receive any complaint or accusation against any person or local unit under the jurisdiction of the district (Gen. Bd. Policy on Ch. Disc. 5200:1-7; 5206; 5300-5320), and to give such complaint or accusation prompt and careful attention as required in the General Board Policy on Church Discipline (5206:2; 5300-5320), and to refer any matter requiring official investigation or judicial proceedings to the district board of administration for disposition (1233:33, 37]; Gen. Bd. Policy on Ch. Disc. 5212:2; 5320).
- (29) Forward to the Executive Director of Communication and Administration the credentials of a minister when such have been surrendered or removed by judicial process (3100:4; Gen. Bd. Policy on Ch. Disc. 5212:2; 5230).