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A ministerial candidate is a member of a Free Methodist Church who is seriously pursuing entrance into credentialed ministry, has been granted the status of an honorary member of the conference (with voice but not vote) and is under conference supervision in studies and service.

In order to become a ministerial candidate, a lay minister must:

Demonstrate a serious desire to pursue God’s call to ministry within the FMCIC by submitting the following to the credentialing coordinator:

  • a copy of the lay minister’s licence (see ¶381a or ¶381a-CP);
  • a resume (Candidates are encouraged to attach personality/ministry aptitude inventory results.);
  • required educational transcripts;
  • required personal references;
  • a ministerial candidate’s Statement of Affirmation (see ¶871);
  • a police clearance certificate
  • written confirmation that an accountability partner relationship has been established
  • a reflection paper on his/her call to ministry
  • completed Family of Origin assignment
  • completed SHAPE profile
  • completed Myers-Briggs Type Indicator© inventory

Receive the church’s confirmations of suitability for ministry by being:

  • a lay minister in good standing;
  • able to demonstrate leadership ability by establishing a small group;
  • endorsed by his/her pastor’s personal letter of recommendation. The pastor will assist in the development of an educational and ministry experience plan that will be submitted to MEGaP;
  • recommended to MEGaP for ministerial candidacy by the official board (see ¶383B); (board should only recommend a lay minister for ministerial candidacy if the board anticipates a recommendation for his/her appointment at its local church once s/he is approved by the conference as a ministerial candidate);
  • (if married) spouse and lay minister together meeting with a MEGaP subcommittee for spousal support interview
  • cleared by MEGaP if there is a history of divorce (see ¶816);
  • interviewed and recommended by the MEGaP committee to the conference;
  • approved by the conference and admitted as a non-voting member.

Demonstrate critical thinking and communication competencies by having:

  • a high school diploma;
  • successfully completed 30 semester credits in an accredited liberal arts or bible college or mature applicants may demonstrate these competencies through life-learning/experience evaluations.

Receive basic orientation for ministry in the FMCIC by:

  • successfully completing the following courses:
    – Heart of Canadian Free Methodism (history and polity);
    – Introduction to the Bible; (or an equivalent)
    – Introduction to Christian Doctrine; (or an equivalent)
    – Wesleyan Theology; (or an equivalent)
  • successfully completing Bases 1,2,3,4 (or their equivalent)

If a Lay Minister disagrees with a recommendation from MEGaP after his/her interview, s/he may appeal that decision by sending a letter in writing to the bishop and the director of leadership development and church health outlining the reasons for the appeal. The bishop will review the MEGaP notes, the recommendation and the appeal from the candidate and decide whether or not the recommendation should be reconsidered.

When the candidate is presented to the board of administration or conference, it will be reported that the candidate has affirmed the following in a signed ministerial candidate’s Statement of Affirmation (see form in ¶871).

1. Do you acknowledge Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and offer yourself in service to Him as a ministerial candidate in the Canadian General Conference of the
Free Methodist Church?
2. a) Will you further equip yourself spiritually, morally, and intellectually for the Christian ministry?
b) For what type of ministry are you preparing yourself – ordained or commissioned? If commissioned minister, what will your specialty be?
3. Having studied The Manual of The Free Methodist Church in Canada carefully, do you believe the Articles of Religion and accept the moral vision as articulated in Chapter 6 and do you embrace the purpose, vision, mission, and core values of The Free Methodist Church in Canada? Will you abide by the Manual’s instructions?
4. Will you submit to the guidance of the conference through the MEGaP committee?

Ministerial Candidates maintain their memberships in the local church, and as such they have both a voice and a vote. Ministerial Candidates should abstain from voting on budget/financial, employed personnel or other issues that would directly impact or involve the Ministerial Candidate and would be considered a conflict of interest.

Though ministerial candidates maintain their memberships in a local church, they are not eligible to serve as delegates to the conference once they have been received into the conference as ministerial candidates. If they are delegates when they become ministerial candidates, they must resign as delegates.

Ministerial candidates continue as honorary members of the official board and at the discretion of the lead pastor may participate in all official board meetings except when the board is dealing with delicate matters related to the life and ministry of the lead pastor or other pastoral staff.

A ministerial candidate or a person recommended to the conference to be received as a ministerial candidate may not serve on the MEGaP committee.

Ministerial candidates maintain their standing in the conference by an annual recommendation of the MEGaP committee.

Ministerial candidates must be appointed by the conference in order to track toward being ordained or commissioned minister. Once appointed, they may solemnize marriages and administer the sacraments. If a ministerial candidate’s appointment is discontinued, the ministerial candidate credential is automatically withdrawn and the tracking process becomes ‘inactive’. If another appointment request is sent to the director of leadership development and church health, MEGaP will vote on both the reinstatement of the
ministerial candidate credential and the appointment request. If both are approved, the ministerial candidate can resume the tracking process.

A ministerial candidate may be appointed as a church planter upon recommendation to MEGaP from the director of church planting.