Ministerial Authorization (Committee on Ministry)

The authorization and oversight of professional clergy in the United Church of Christ is the responsibility of the Committee on Ministry (COM). Each COM includes lay members and Authorized Ministers elected from the broader UCC membership in its area. The six Associations in the Northern California Nevada Conference have delegated this responsibility to a single Conference-wide COM, divided into five Sections. Members serve three-year terms and are identified through the Committee for the Recruitment of Conference Leaders (“nominating committee”), elected by the Annual Gathering.

Section A (COM-A) is composed of at least 18 members. One Member in Discernment is annually appointed as a full member of the Section, serving as notetaker. Section A relates to individuals seeking initial authorization or Standing in this Conference. COM-A oversees processes for Members in Discernment seeking Ordination or Lay Ministerial Standing, Full Communion ministers seeking Ordained Ministerial Partner Standing (OMPS) or Dual Standing in this Conference and their home denomination, or ministers seeking a Privilege of Call to bring their ordained ministerial Standing into the United Church of Christ and relinquishing their home denomination’s authorization. In addition, this Conference may also provide a local license for ministry in a specific setting, which is not recognized between Associations or Conferences of the United Church of Christ. Conference Ministerial Staff: Rev. Davena Jones

Section B (COM-B) is composed of at least 18 members. One Member in Discernment is annually appointed as a full member of the Section, serving as notetaker. Section B relates to Authorized Ministers holding Standing in this Conference, providing support and resourcing for the continued authorization for professional ministry. It also receives Ministers seeking Transfer of Standing into this Conference from another Association/Conference of the United Church of Christ. It is the Section that supervises the Lifelong Learning Policy requirements for Authorized Ministers, including professional boundaries, mandated reporter, and racial justice/anti-racism trainings along with continuing education standards. COM-B oversees processes of Vocational Support Consultations, Situational Support Consultations between Authorized Ministers and other covenantal partners, Authorized Ministers seeking Ecclesiastical Endorsement, periods of Leave of Absence, and requests for Exempt Standing. COM-B is also the appeal process body following actions of COM-E. Conference Ministerial Staff: Rev. Dr. Celestine Fields

Sections C & D (COM-C & COM-D) relate to and support the ministry of Local Churches. At present, neither Section functions as a standing Section of COM.

Section E (COM-E) is composed of at least 21 members. Section E, formerly known as the “Ethics Subcommittee,” responds to questions of Ministerial Fitness in accordance with the Ordained Ministerial Code of the United Church of Christ. Individuals who wish to raise a formal question of Ministerial Fitness regarding any Authorized Minister with Standing in this Conference may deliver their confidential report to the Committee through any Conference Minister. Conference Ministerial & Administrative Staff: Rev. Davena Jones

All appointments with Sections A & B take place via Zoom.

Meetings with Section E will be communicated at the time of scheduling.