“For i know the plans i have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” jeremiah 29:11

By nature of our baptism, we are all called into ministry.  We are incorporated into the Body of Christ, where we are to utilize our God given gifts and talents for the furtherance of the Gospel and God’s kingdom.  It is within the community of faith that persons are identified as having gifts for set apart ministry to lead and provide spiritual nurture to the Body of Christ and be bridge builders between the church and the world.  A call to set apart ministry involves a discernment process in which a person not only senses a call from God, but is also affirmed in that call by the Body of Christ. 
If you are sensing God calling you to the set apart ministries of Elder, Deacon or Licensed Local Pastor within the Rio Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church, begin by taking these next steps in your discernment process: 

1)       Contact your pastor or campus minister and discuss with them your sense of calling. 

2)       Order the following resource to read and discuss with your pastor: The Christian as Minister available at www.cokesbury.com

3)       Download the Candidate Formation Checklist at www.riotexas.org and begin working through the steps outlined there.  Candidacy is the first formal step toward ordination as a deacon or an elder or licensing in The United Methodist Church.

4)       Prepare to attend a Candidacy Summit.


The Rio Texas Conference is committed to providing a clear, consistent framework for discernment, formation and public affirmation for those exploring and discerning a call to licensed or ordained ministry. We call this Candidacy Formation.  At the heart of our Candidacy Formation process is the Candidacy Summit and Mentor Groups.   The Candidacy Summit is a 28-32 hour retreat which all candidates for licensed and ordained ministry must attend. The Summit is offered ONE time a year, in May

During this Summit you will receive accurate information about the Candidate Formation Process; begin meeting together with Mentor Groups led by trained Candidacy Mentors; worship together; participate in an Orientation to Ministry (¶ 312) to learn about the varieties of set apart ministry (deacon, elder, licensed local pastor); meet Rio Texas leadership; set up future meeting dates with your Mentor Groups; and take optional Psychological testing, required for all pursuing Candidacy certification. You will meet with your mentor groups four more times after the Summit, if you are ready to move to the next stage of Candidacy you will be invited to interview with the District Committee of Ordained Ministry for consideration to become a certified candidate.

Candidacy Summit Schedule  
Day 1                                                                                                 
 9:00 am     Registration                                                                     
10:00 am    Opening Worship                                                            
11:00 am     Overview the Candidacy Process                               
12:00 pm    Lunch with Cabinet and DCOM Chairs                         
   1:15 pm    Orientation to Ministry                                                     
 2:45 pm     Break                                                                                 
 3:00 pm     Meet with Mentor Group
 4:00 pm     Individual Guided Reflection
 6:00 pm     Dinner
 7:00 pm     Meet with Mentor Groups
 9:00 pm     Refreshments and Vespers
Day 2
  7:30 am     Breakfast
  8:45 am     Meet with Mentor Groups
10:30 am    Q & A and Final Instructions
  11:15 am    Closing Worship
12:30 pm    Lunch
1:30 pm       Psychological Testing (~2-4 hours)

Upcoming Candidacy Summit Dates

  • May 01-02, 2020 (Application Deadline: April 01, 2020)

2020 Candidacy Summit Application

Please print, fill out, and bring these forms with you to the Candidacy Summit:
Credit Check Form
Background check - See riotexas.org/safe for the new process for Background Checks and register for this training.  You must complete the Safe Gathering Training before meeting with your DCOM (District Committee on Ordained Ministry).  
Biographical Form
Candidate’s Disclosure Form
Additional Forms for use after Candidacy Summit:
Physical Exam and Psychological Exam letter being updated.  
GBHEM Medical Form - Candidacy Process
Info for SPRC-Charge Conference-DCOM Interviews (New/Updated Form!)
SPRC Recommendation Form (New/Updated Form!)
Declaration of Candidacy Charge/Church Conf Form (New/Updated Form!)