Is licensed or ordained ministry right for you?

Rev. Cindy M. Gregorson

Yes! You are interested in exploring a call to ministry. We are excited to join you in that journey of discernment.

So, why ministry in the Minnesota Annual Conference?

Because we are making a difference, and you can be a part of it.

We are captivated by Jesus’ promise of abundant life for all people (John 10:10) and we have committed ourselves to being partners in that abundant life in Christ movement in Minnesota. We are seeking leaders who have a passion and heart to lead people and congregations towards growing in love of God and neighbor, reaching new people and healing a broken world so that all may experience life and live it abundantly.

Here is what you will discover about us.

We are investing in the future. Systems are in place to bring new leaders on board, including internships, coaching, financial education, and educational debt relief. New clergy are immediately eligible for financial benefits.

We are growing and innovating. We are starting new faith communities every year. We are experimenting with digital campuses. We provide grants to congregations to start up new ministries. Clergy are encouraged to be life-long learners and we come alongside them with significant training opportunities such as our Practical Church Leadership Certificate program and our Clergy Leadership Academy.

We are engaged in the work of justice. Climate change, anti-racism, disaster relief, food scarcity, homelessness, addiction and recovery are just a few of things we care about. We are working towards abundant life for all of creation as well as all people.

I ask that you prayerfully consider joining us to reach the next person for Jesus. As you discern, I and all United Methodists in Minnesota will be lifting you up in prayer.

In Christ’s love and service,

Rev. Cindy M. Gregorson
Director of Connectional Ministries and Clergy Assistant to the Bishop
Minnesota Annual Conference of the UMC

Why choose to become an elder, deacon, or licensed local pastor?

Do you have a heart for people and a passion for reaching new people with God’s message of grace?

Are you gifted with leadership skills and can you speak truth with compassion?

Are you open to the mystery of the Holy Spirit and are you growing in your relationship with God?

Does your heart break for the broken world and do you respond with actions, prayers, and finances?

Then you may be called to professional ministry! This is rewarding and challenging work that can provide meaning and purpose to your life and the lives you impact. The role of clergy is multi-dimensional, creative, and innovative and often brings abundant opportunities for deep personal fulfillment and growth. Studies have found that clergy have one of the highest levels of job satisfaction.

The Minnesota Conference of the United Methodist Church is looking for passionate leaders who are fruitful, on fire for Christ, and faithful in their work and witness. If you feel called to professional ministry, take a deeper look at your options and the first steps you’ll take in the journey to becoming clergy in the Minnesota Conference!

Why choose to serve in the Minnesota Conference?

We are a movement that’s about changing the world. We come alongside our leaders, invest in them, and develop their skills so that they are equipped to make a difference in their communities and reach new people for Christ.

We care about our leaders and are deeply committed to helping them fulfill our shared mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Here are a few ways in which we’re investing in our ordained and licensed leaders:

  • Seminary debt relief: The conference provides $10,000 over five years to shrink your educational loans. Eligible clergy can also apply for additional student debt reduction grants of up to $15,000 over three years. Learn about the many financial aid programs and grants available to Minnesota's current and future clergy.
  • Clergy Leadership Academy: We know clergy need support, especially in their first appointment. The conference offers a three-year program for new pastors to learn about leadership styles and strengths, building leadership capacity, and practices of fruitful congregations.
  • Strategic appointments: We intentionally place clergypersons in settings where giftedness and congregational needs match.
  • Lilly grant to strengthen leaders: The Dakotas-Minnesota Area of The United Methodist Church received a $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment to address challenges facing pastoral leaders. Funds are being used to help pastors develop stronger financial literacy skills, reduce or eliminate personal debt, and become equipped to foster a theology of generosity within their congregations.
  • Proven help for “stuck” churches: The conference invests significant resources in three established transformational processes for churches of all sizes and supports church leadership with specific prescriptions and coaching.
  • Church planting: The conference consistently has at least a dozen new church starts being nurtured and is planting more churches all the time in high-potential geographic areas. We are committed to reaching new people for Christ.
  • Church-school partnerships: More than 55 churches in the conference have partnered with a local school to provide abundant life for God’s children. Partnerships include everything from supplying backpacks, clothing, or weekend meals to tutoring students.
Photo credit: jpellgen

Why live in Minnesota?

  • The Land of 10,000 Lakes (actually 11,000) has more shoreline than California, Hawaii, and Florida combined and is home to the beautiful Lake Superior coastline stretching from Duluth to Canada.
  • We have four distinct seasons; yes, there is winter, but Minnesota excels at snow removal! We also have gorgeous springs, warm and sunny summers, and crisp autumns. We love them all.
  • In 2021, U.S. News & World Report named Minnesota the second-best state based on factors including health care, education, economy, opportunity, infrastructure, crime and corrections, fiscal stability, and environment. It’s home to a whole host of well-known companies, including Target, Cargill, General Mills, 3M, Best Buy, U.S. Bank, Medtronic, and Mayo Clinic—and it has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation.
  • Minnesota has some of the best K-12 schools anywhere and in 2021 had the highest average SAT scores in the country.
  • There are fantastic hiking, cross-country skiing, camping, and canoeing opportunities throughout the state, which also has a strong bike culture, a vibrant arts scene, a wide variety of music, ample coffee shops, and three United Methodist camps that offer a wide array of programs and opportunities.

In their own words: licensed and ordained leader profiles

Read the call to ministry stories of several of our church leaders, and why they like serving in the Minnesota Conference.

Andrew Buschena, Licensed Local Pastor

I truly believe that Minnesota is one of the best places to live. As a Conference, we have a collaborative spirit among the clergy and conference staff that allows us to be resourced well and learn from each other.  Read more

Isiah Dennis, Licensed Local Pastor

As a new clergy to the conference, I am grateful that the conference has a heart for clergy, lay staff, and other members when it comes to our self-care. There are support, grants, and a host of other programs and opportunities... I have the support I need so I don’t feel alone or burned out.  Read more

Paula Gaboury, Licensed Local Pastor

I find the Minnesota Conference very user-friendly, and it offers much needed support. While navigating the church through the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minnesota Conference offered a lot of opportunities and help. Read more

Kevin Gregory, Provisional Elder

I have found the Minnesota Conference to be a place of clear vision and focus. Through much of the on-boarding process I’ve been able to meet a bunch of great colleagues and have been resourced and set up for effective ministry. Read more

Sara Hein, Clergy from another denomination

The conference has given my husband and me so many different tools, resources, and coaches to relaunch our church. We honestly could not do what we do without all of that support!  Read more

Ralph Holbrook, Licensed Local Pastor

It took me 10 years to respond to the call to ministry. When I finally acknowledged the call, I sat down with my family to discuss it with them. I’ll never forget my daughter’s response: “Dad, we always knew you would go into ministry!”  Read more

Terri Horn, Ordained Elder
God called me when I was in college, and I finished my master of divinity soon after, but family challenges sent me into nursing, where I spent the next 20-plus years believing that God would let me “off the hook.” But God was quite persistent, despite all of my dodging... One week after I left nursing, I stepped into my role as pastor. I am now where I have always belonged!  Read more

Hope Hutchinson, Ordained Deacon

I knew that I felt called to serve as a deacon in a more specialized role, but for many years I felt pulled in two directions: faith formation ministry and social justice ministry... When I started to articulate my call to do faith formation in ways that help Christians connect to social justice movements that they are passionate about, I knew that I had found my calling.  Read more

Leah Rosso, Ordained Elder 

The Minnesota Conference has a collective mission of growing in love of God and neighbor, reaching new people, and healing a broken world. I appreciate this three-fold focus because it means that I get to be a healthy, whole person, even as I am leading a healthy and whole church.  Read more

Tyler Sit, Ordained Elder

My friends and I started New City Church. As a church plant, we built everything from scratch, which was perfect because we knew we wanted to do church differently... In seminary, I realized that I could not not church plant—I knew that for the sake of my community and the gospel, we needed New City Church. The Minnesota Conference not only embraced me with open arms but also funded extended learning experiences so I was well prepared to start a church. My clergy colleagues and I have received enormous receptivity to trying new things and starting new communities.  Read more

Whitney Sheridan, Ordained Elder

I was not raised attending church. It wasn’t until I was 16 that my parents felt compelled by the Spirit to join a church... Very quickly, church became part of our life as a family. During a mission trip that summer, it was affirmed to me by a classmate that I had gifts for pastoral ministry, and my discernment process began.  Read more

Riva Tabelisma, Provisional Elder

When I became part of the Minnesota Conference, I felt supported in many aspects of ministry. As a person or color, I appreciate how the conference is trying its best (even with limitations) to continue to make Minnesota a safe space for ministry.  Read more

Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

122 West Franklin Avenue, Suite 400 Minneapolis, MN 55404

(612) 870-0058