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 United Methodist Church, consider taking the 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

3)       Click here to download the Candidate Formation Checklist 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.

5)       For the process at a glance, download A Simple Guide to Candidacy


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, formerly called 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 twice a year, in February and again in August. 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 District Superintendents and others; set up future meeting dates with your Mentor Groups; and take required Psychological testing. 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.

Please note:  If you are working toward attending Licensing School in May, following your attending the Summit, you will need to attend the August Summit in order to complete all that is necessary to be recommended for Licensing School.

Upcoming Candidacy Summit Dates

  • February 5-6, 2018 (Application Deadline: December 15, 2017)

2018 Candidacy Summit Application

Please print, fill out, and bring these forms with you to the Candidacy Summit:
Credit Check Form
Background check - See for the new process for Background Checks and register for this training
Biographical Form
Candidate's Disclosure Form

Additional Forms for use after Candidacy Summit:
2018 Psychological and Physical Exam Intro Letter
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!)