In the United Church of Christ, ministerial formation and authorization are overseen by Committees on Ministry in local Associations (and Conferences acting as Associations). It is important for those who are exploring God’s call to partner early with their home congregation and a local Committee on Ministry. Once an individual is in covenant with a local church and a Committee on Ministry, the person is designated by the Association to be a Member in Discernment.
To begin your process of requesting a meeting with the NCNC-UCC Committee on Ministry, Section A to become a member in discernment contact the Committee Scheduler Rev. Carol Barriger.
Documents for Persons Beginning the In Discernment Process (click each item to read)
- Member In Discernment Checklist
- Manual on Ministry, Section 2: Student In Care of the Association
- Flow of the MID and Authorization Process
- Covenant for a Time of Discernment
- Background Disclosure Form
- Release of Information Agreement
- Background Screening Form
As of July 2016 all Member’s in Discernment of the NCNC-UCC are required to complete one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education prior to their Ordination Interview. For a listing of Clinical Pastoral Education Centers by location you can refer to this directory: http://www.pacificregionacpe.org/centersPrint.php
All meetings with the Committee on Ministry Section A take place at: Hillcrest Congregational Church, UCC
Important Contact Persons – (If you have questions, need documents or want to reschedule your appointment) These persons and many others, as well as important facts, maps, and resources are also listed in our Online NCNC Directory. If you need the password to view password protected content like the directory, please contact Miranda at the Conference Office.
Guidelines for Churches with Members in Discernment – Does any of this sound familiar: “What does it mean for a church to vote to receive a person as a Member in Discernment?” “What is the role of the local church in their member’s discernment process after the official letter?” “Help! We have a member who just decided that they want to go in care/discernment/whatever and I have no idea what happens now…” If so, then this guide is for you.
The Role of the Advisor – You’ve been taken in discernment by the Committee on Ministry and assigned to an Authorized Minister with standing in the NCNC UCC who will be your Advisor for the duration of your discernment journey. This document briefly outlines the relationship and responsibilities of both the Member in Discernment and the Discernment Advisor. If you want to know what is supposed to be in the yearly updates from Advisor to Committee on Ministry, all is revealed in this document.
At your meeting you and the committee will have shared time of prayer, conversation, and discernment about your call to authorized ministry with you and your accompanying guests. Appointments last up to an hour, and you will be seated for the majority of the time together. The Committee on Ministry Section A is made up of a group of Ordained Clergy, and lay members from churches in the Northern California Nevada Conference consisting of up to 15 members nominated cyclically through our Annual Gathering. It also includes a seminarian member from a local seminary, who is often also a Member in Discernment, appointed yearly.
Individuals appearing before the committee should dress semi-formal, similar to what you would consider wearing if you were serving in a local church pastoral role or to a job interview. Candidates are encouraged to wear what feels both formal enough for the occasion, and culturally aligned for themselves and their communities of origin.
The meeting room is wheelchair accessible, but the bathrooms on site are not. Bathrooms are gender designated. If you have any access requests about the space, or your communication with the committee please email or call our Offices so we can work with you to meet your needs.
Members in Discernment seeking scholarships should review www.ucc.org/scholarships as well as www.ucc.org/ministry_education_scholarships; additionally, updated information on the Brown Scholarship can be found at http://ucfunds.org/the-brown-endowment/.
To connect to the Conference Newsletter, or the Member In Discernment mailing list please email or call our offices requesting to be added to these lists.
Paperwork for those continuing in the In Discernment Process:
As of 2018 all Members in Discernment preparing for an ID Renewal, Ordination, or ministers with Privilege of Call, Transfer of Standing, Dual Standing, or Ordained Ministerial Partnership Standing Meeting must send all the materials for the files before they will be scheduled for an appointment.
Documents for In Discernment Renewal
- In Discernment Renewal Checklist
- Mandatory Reporting (Online Training Module)
- Vocational Psychological Assessment Process
- All Member’s in Discernment of the NCNC-UCC are required to complete one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education prior to their Ordination Exam. For a listing of CPE Centers by location you can refer to this directory: http://www.pacificregionacpe.org/centersPrint.php
For document guidelines for Ordination Interviews, Dual Standing, OMPS, Privilege of Call etc: click here
For any questions, concerns, or to learn more about the process contact Miranda Samaile
Miranda@ncncucc.org (510) 247-8990