2016 Wesleyan Discipline: 3059
From Wesleyan Discipline
3059. Identification. A commissioned minister is one who may have demonstrated calling, gifts, and usefulness, who has responded to the call to ministry, yet after counsel with and agreement by the district board of ministerial development, has chosen not to pursue full ministerial development as an ordained minister, and has been separated to the service of Christ by the vote of a district conference and by a commissioning service and thus has been invested with those functions of the Christian ministry essential to this level of service. The commissioned minister shall be subject to the following regulations:
- (1) Qualifications for Commissioning. A licensed minister of The Wesleyan Church who has an abiding conviction of God’s call to be a minister (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3000–3006) may be commissioned as a minister by meeting the following requirements in order:
- (a) Forty years of age or older at the time of receiving a license as a ministerial student or a person who because of aptitude or other extenuating circumstances is approved by the district board of administration.
- (b) Satisfactory service as a licensed minister with appointment by the district for a minimum of two years.
- (c) Certification from the Ministerial Study Course Agency that the commissioned minister’s course of study or its equivalent has been completed (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3210:3). The commissioned minister’s course of study must be completed within six years of service under a ministerial license. The ministerial license shall not be renewed beyond the sixth year unless an extension of time is granted by the district board of ministerial development.
- (d) Recommendation of the district board of ministerial development after consultation with the district board of administration (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3059:1).
- (e) Election by the district conference by a majority vote to a commissioned minister’s status (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1180:28, 29).
- (f) Public service of commissioning (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:5800), in which the minister shall witness to a Christian experience, conviction of a divine call to the ministry, commitment to the doctrines and practices of The Wesleyan Church, and loyalty to The Wesleyan Church, after which the minister shall be separated to the Christian ministry through the laying on of hands in the person of the General Superintendent (if present, cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1935:34), or the representative appointed by the General Superintendent (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1935:34; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3091); the district superintendent (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1310:23) and a Council of Ordination (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1405).
- (g) Issuance and signing of a commission certificate by the General Superintendent, the district superintendent, and the district secretary (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:6280).
- (2) Rights of a Commissioned Minister. As long as a commissioned minister maintains spiritual life, moral character, and faithful ministry, and is neither under discipline nor expelled from the ministry, the minister shall have the right (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:313):
- (a) To preach the gospel and to administer baptism and the Lord’s Supper, to perform all parts of divine worship, and to solemnize the rite of matrimony wherever local laws will permit (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:313:1).
- (b) To be eligible for election to any office not restricted to ordained ministers or lay persons. The commissioned minister shall not be eligible for election as district superintendent, assistant district superintendent, member- at-large on the district board of administration, member of the district board of ministerial development, nor as a delegate to General Conference.
- (c) To contract the pastoral relationship with local Wesleyan churches subject to the approval of the district conference and other regulations of The Discipline (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:313:3; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:323:1–2).
- (d) To enjoy, if appointed as a pastor, the use for religious meetings of the church building or buildings of the pastoral charge to which appointed by the district conference (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:313:4); and to serve the pastoral charge without interference by unauthorized activities of another minister of The Wesleyan Church (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:313:5; cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3114–3117).
- (e) To be a voting member of the district conference if pastoring a Wesleyan church or serving as an associate or assistant pastor of a Wesleyan church (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:317; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1083:3), or a nonvoting member of the district conference if appointed to some other category of service or in the process of transfer (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:317; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1090:3).
- (f) To transfer in the manner prescribed by The Discipline from one district to another, subject to the concurrence of the district superintendent over the district into which transfer is sought (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:313:6; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3097; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3100:1).
- (g) To have recourse, even if under discipline, to a proper court of jurisdiction in any matters involving complaint against character or ministerial conduct and to appeal the decision of such court (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:313:7; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:5200; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:5206–5212).
- (3) Duties of a Commissioned Minister. A commissioned minister shall be responsible:
- (a) To be devoted without reservation to the Christian ministry, following the leadership of the Holy Spirit and the appointment of the district conference in determining and occupying the field of service.
- (b) To report annually to the district conference on the appropriate service report form (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1402; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3059:4c), and to the district superintendent as required (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:725:32).
- (c) To voluntarily file all credentials with the district superintendent if service in one of the categories of ministry listed in 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3250–3335 ceases for four or more consecutive years (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3124); this does not apply to those listed under 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3370–3371.
- (d) To voluntarily surrender credentials if guilty of an offense which would disqualify from service as a commissioned minister (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:5230; 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:5233–5236).
- (4) Regulations for a Commissioned Minister.
- (a) A commissioned minister is amenable to the district where membership is held, and may be deposed from the ministry and ordered to surrender credentials by judicial process as set forth in 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:5206–5212.
- (b) A commissioned minister’s credentials shall consist of the commission certificate (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:6280) and an annual pocket certificate of standing, issued and signed by the district secretary (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:6430).
- (c) A commissioned minister who fails to file the annual service report (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1402) for two successive years, shall be notified by the district board of ministerial development, and requested to report at the next session of the district conference. One who then fails to report shall be declared withdrawn from the district, and this person’s name shall be so entered upon the minutes of the district conference.
- (d) When a commissioned minister surrenders the commission certificate after acknowledging guilt for an offense (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:3059:3d), or is ordered to surrender it after due judicial process (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:5212:4), it shall be lawful to publish such fact in the official church publication.