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 (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 (3210:3). The commissioned minister’s course of study must be completed within seven years of service under a ministerial license. The ministerial license shall not be renewed beyond the seventh 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.
- (e) Election by the district conference by a majority vote to a commissioned minister’s status (1180:26-27).
- (f) Public service of commissioning (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, 1935) or the representative appointed by the General Superintendent (1935; 3091), the district superintendent (1310:23), and Council of Ordination (1405).
- (g) Issuance and signing of a commission certificate by the General Superintendent, the district superintendent, and the district secretary (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 (313) to:
- (a) Preach the gospel and 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 (313:1).
- (b) 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) Contract the pastoral relationship with local Wesleyan churches subject to the approval of the district conference and other regulations of The Discipline (313:3; 323:1-2).
- (d) 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 (313:4); and to serve the pastoral charge without interference by unauthorized activities of another minister of The Wesleyan Church (313:5; 3114).
- (e) Be a voting member of the district conference if pastoring a Wesleyan church or serving as an assistant pastor of a Wesleyan church (317; 1083:3), or a nonvoting member of the district conference if appointed to some other category of service or in the process of transfer (317; 1090:3).
- (f) 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 (313:6; 3097; 3100:1).
- (g) 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 (313:7; Gen. Bd. Policy on Ch. Disc. 5200; 5206-5212).
- (3) Duties of a Commissioned Minister. A commissioned minister shall:
- (a) 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) Report annually to the district conference on the appropriate service report form (1402; 3059:4c), and to the district superintendent as required (725:30).
- (c) Voluntarily file all credentials with the district superintendent if service in one of the categories of ministry listed in 3250-3335 ceases for four or more consecutive years (3124); this does not apply to those listed under 3370-3371.
- (d) Voluntarily surrender credentials if guilty of an offense which would disqualify from service as a commissioned minister (Gen. Bd. Policy on Ch. Disc. 5230; 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 (Gen. Bd. Policy on Ch. Disc. 5206-5212).
- (b) 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 (Gen. Bd. Policy on Ch. Disc. 5206-5212).
- (c) A commissioned minister who fails to file the annual service report (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 (3059:3d), or is ordered to surrender it after due judicial process (Gen. Bd. Policy on Ch. Disc. 5212:4), it shall be lawful to publish such fact in the official church publication.