Choosing your ministry path

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone.”  —1 Corinthians 12:4-6

If you feel called to professional ministry in The United Methodist Church, there are several ways in which to serve:

Elder: Elders are ordained for ministries of word (preaching and teaching), sacrament (communion and baptism), order (administration), and service. Most elders serve as pastors, though some serve as chaplains, campus ministers, professors, or in other ministry settings. Those ordained as an elder have met specific educational requirements. Read more about becoming an elder.

Deacon: Deacons are ordained for ministries of word, service, compassion, and justice and serve as a bridge between the church and the world. Many deacons serve in agencies outside the church, in ministries of outreach, mission, and justice. Others serve within the local church, as associate pastors, or in areas such as Christian education, youth, children, music, or missions. Those ordained as a deacon have met specific educational requirements. Read more about becoming a deacon.

Licensed local pastor (LLP): LLPs are licensed for ministries of word, sacrament, order, and service in a particular congregation. The educational requirements and procedures are different for LLPs than for elders. Read more about becoming an LLP.

Clergy from another denomination or conference: If you are already credentialed as a clergy, and feel called to serve in the Minnesota Annual Conference, we welcome your application. Read more about the application process.

Note: If you are called to ministry as a lay person, start here to learn about lay servant ministry opportunities within the Minnesota Conference. For those already on the elder or deacon track, read more about the provisional or full membership requirements.

In this video, you will learn more about each path into ministry from elders, deacons, and licensed local pastors currently serving in the Minnesota Conference. 


0:15 - Elder

7:52 - Licensed local pastor

14:12 - Deacon

Discover the many benefits and ministry opportunities that come with choosing to serve in Minnesota!

Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

122 West Franklin Avenue, Suite 400 Minneapolis, MN 55404

(612) 870-0058