Historic shift proposed by Comm. on Ministry & Higher Ed

The Committee on Ministry and Higher Education tackled an aggressive agenda of legislation this morning that could lead to a radical shift in the United Methodist Church.

Guaranteed Appointments…not for long?

The Committee began with one of the toughest issues before the General Conference: guaranteed appointments. After roughly 20 minutes of amendment and debate, the committee voted 68-7 to recommend the legislation to the General Conference. The proposed legislation includes what is being called the “Mueller amendment” which establishes accountability provisions for the bishop.

After the vote was announced, Chairperson David Allen Bard remarked, “I think some of us recognize the historic work of our body this morning.”

Transitional Leave for Elders

By a vote of 77-1 the Committee recommended establishing a process for placing clergy on transitional leave. Thought not explicitly stated in the legislation, this action is designed to make it easier for elders without an appointment to have an option other than involuntary or voluntary leave.

Committee discusses guaranteed appointments.

The sub-committee chair expressed a desire “ to create a culture of accountability and monitoring for the ways we continue to sustain relationships with one another as we remain in covenant relationship to one another. A covenant is not a contract of employment. Covenant is a relationship.”

Full text for the amended proposal 20308 can be found below:

The bishop and cabinet shall give to the clergy member and the Board of Ordained Ministry, in writing, the specific reasons for the request. The clergy person has the right to an interview with the conference relations committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry and may choose a clergy person in full connection from the annual conference to accompany him or her to the interview with the right to vote. This leave is subject to the approval of the clergy session of members in full connection with the annual conference.

Transitional leave requests require the approval of the bishop and cabinet and the annual conference Board of Ordained Ministry and shall include a plan, developed by the clergy person and the cabinet for future service to the church—appointive or otherwise.


Rev. Mike Baughman is a United Methodist elder, social media coach and special contributor to the United Methodist Reporter

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As the spouse of a clergy person this causes me concern. I think we already have in place the necessary tools for assessing clergy we just need for the DS and BOM to up hold them. While we all know of a pastor who isn't up to par or is burnt out and just gets moved to a new appointment. Instead why are we not working with our clergy more who are having issues? Requiring that they participate in continuing education etc. Wouldn't it make more sense to have our clergy, DS and Bishop getting to know each other better,… Read more »


I welcome it. New doors may be open with it for those seeking Deacon appointments. I have known of some Deacons that have switched to Elders due to the guaranteed appointments. This will not be the case anymore if this legislation is adopted. It will help both future Deacons and Elders in the long run. The focus will be on spiritual gifts and graces and how they can be utilized for God in ministry instead of focusing on a guaranteed appointments.


I really like this decision so far. It does not frighten or threaten me. I am continuing to fulfill my calling of showing Christ, teaching Christ and living Christ.

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