Becoming A UCC Pastor

The United Church of Christ (UCC) celebrates that through the act of baptism, God calls all people to a vocation of love and service. The particulars of each person’s call and ministry vary with time, place, talents, experience, personal situation and responsibilities, and, importantly, the needs of the world.

The Church also recognizes a specific need for representative servant leaders “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12). The UCC affirms God’s call to some individuals to be such leaders who help the Church to be what God intends it to be. Those called to serve and lead on behalf of the UCC and the Church Universal commit and engage in process of discernment, learning, growth, and formation. 

If you or someone in your congregation is discerning a call to ministry in the UCC, read below for more information on the various processes towards UCC Ministerial Authorization and Standing.

Member in Discernment

The process lay members of the UCC who are discerning a call to serve in the UCC and for those seeking ordination in the UCC

Privilege of Call

The process for those ordained in another denomination seeking to change their authorization and standing to the UCC

Dual standing through the formula of agreement

The process for ordained pastors from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Reformed Church in America to serve in a UCC congregation

Ordained Ministerial Partner Standing

The process for ordained ministers from the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) or The United Church of Canada to serve in a UCC setting

TFAM, Kirchengemeinschaft, & Ordained Ministers from Other Communions

The processes for ministers ordained by TFAM, denominations not currently included in the Formula of Agreement Communions