6. Surrender of Ministerial Credentials
5230. If an ordained minister or commissioned minister, because of guilt in an offense which disqualifies the minister from being an ordained minister or commissioned minister, has either voluntarily surrendered ministerial credentials (Disc. 3059:3d; 3085:4) or been required to surrender them, the credentials shall be forwarded to the Executive Director of Communication and Administration, to be filed and preserved.
5233. The district in which the disqualified person is a member shall take initiative to express its desire for and commitment to the restoration of that person, with God’s help, to a holy life and relationship. If the disqualified person expresses a repentant spirit and a desire to reestablish ministerial calling, practice and credentials with The Wesleyan Church, the district may initiate a process in accord with The General Board Policy for Church Discipline and Ministerial Restoration that potentially could lead to ministerial restoration.
5236. An ordained, commissioned or licensed minister, or ministerial student, who has been removed from the ministry of The Wesleyan Church, either through voluntary surrender of credentials because of guilt (Disc. 3059d; 3085:4) or through judicial process and disciplinary action, other than that considered in The Discipline 3124, may be restored to the previous level of credentialing in The Wesleyan Church, provided that the disqualified person shall have shown evidence of repentance and amendment of life, and provided that such is approved by the district board of administration of the district from which withdrawn or removed. In the matter of sexual immorality, to which the minister has confessed guilt or for which guilt was declared by judicial process, such restoration may be accomplished only with the additional approval of the General Board (5245).
5239. The district and the disqualified person, subject to the approval of the General Superintendent, shall develop a specific plan and process of restoration, in harmony with The General Board Policy for Church Discipline and Ministerial Restoration.
5242. If adequate progress is observed and restoration criteria are met, and if a mutual desire of ministerial restoration is expressed by the person, the district superintendent and the General Superintendent, then steps may be taken for restoration of credentials and, subsequently, opportunity for ministerial assignment. Based on such an approved program of spiritual restoration, the restoration of ministerial credentials could be effected after a minimum of three years from the time the plan of restoration was agreed upon, signed and implemented. The General Superintendent has authority to shorten the minimum time period when deemed appropriate.
5245. When a request for restoration of a minister in a matter such as that described in 5236 has received the approval of the appropriate local and district bodies, it shall be processed as follows:
- (1) The request shall be directed to the General Superintendent who shall ascertain if indeed all required district actions have been taken.
- (2) The General Superintendent shall review the entire matter with the Executive Board.
- (3) The General Superintendent shall then either recommend for or against restoration in presenting the matter to the General Board.
5248. In no case shall a minister who has been restored and then falls again be considered for restoration.