2016 Wesleyan Discipline: 738

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738. Associate Pastor. An associate pastor is an ordained minister or a commissioned or licensed minister, who is called of God and appointed by the Church to serve along with the senior pastor and under the direction of the senior pastor as assigned by the senior pastor and approved by the local board of administration; this assignment normally includes a broad range of the shepherding and teaching responsibilities and such administrative responsibilities as are delegated, but may be concentrated on one or more specific aspects of ministry (cf. 2016 Wesleyan Discipline:675). The calling and assignment of the associate pastor shall be subject to the following guidelines:

(1) The associate pastor shall have training, experience, and ministerial standing compatible with those of the senior pastor.
(2) The associate pastor is recommended to the local board of administration by the senior pastor. The associate pastor cannot be employed initially without the express recommendation of the senior pastor and the written approval of the district superintendent. The call cannot be renewed without the express recommendation of the senior pastor. Otherwise, the call is made and renewed by the local church conference in the same manner as that of the senior pastor, except that the termination point for the call can never be later than that of the senior pastor.
(3) The associate pastor’s appointment may be terminated in the same manner as that for a pastor, with the additional provision that the term of service will end whenever there is a change in senior pastor in the local church where service is rendered. Whenever a senior pastor terminates service at a time other than the uniform time of pastoral change (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:700), the associate pastor’s term shall expire at the succeeding uniform time for such change. The newly called senior pastor may recommend renewal of the call for the associate pastor to the local board of administration.
(4) If a clergy couple is appointed to the pastoral staff, only one shall be designated as senior pastor, unless the local church conference should vote to call the persons as co-pastors. In such case, the district shall appoint them as co-pastors and they shall be listed as such in the district journal (2016 Wesleyan Discipline:1332:8).