Meet the 2014 Candidates for Ordained Ministry

Date Posted: 5/22/2014

The 2014 Class includes a 50-50 split of those called to minister to as a first career and those who come to ministry after experience as teachers, entrepreneurs and journalist as well as other fields. Read about the distinctive characteristics of this group, and the progress made to recruit clergy to serve the needs of tomorrow’s church.
On Tuesday night of Annual Conference, 35 devoted clergy will be commissioned and ordained for service in the United Methodist Church: 24 within the 2014 Commissioning Class and 15 in the 2014 Ordination Class.
The 2014 Commissioning Class (See List)
Within the 2014 Commissioning Class, according to Shanda Levingston, Board of Ordained Ministry Candidacy Manager for the Texas Annual Conference, “67% of the class is 35 years old and under, which is an indicator of success in recruiting younger clergy.” This year’s class is over 2 to 1 male, and is comprised of three deacons and 21 Elders. Almost half are pursuing ordination as their first career while 13 of the 24 are responding to ministry calls from career backgrounds in insurance, entrepreneurship, teaching, corporate management, corrections, communications and journalism. “I found it fascinating to learn that more than half have experienced ministry service through youth work, Christian education, or have served as local pastors,” she adds. “About 50% of our clergy will be retirement age within the next 10 years,” adds Rev. Gail Ford Smith, Clergy Excellence Center Director, “so recruiting clergy is critically important.”
Out of the 24 in the Commissioning Class, 17 will soon serve as Associate Pastors and seven will serve as Senior Pastors.
The 2014 Ordination Class (See List)
The 2014 Ordination Class average age is 40, which is the youngest in the last several years, and possibly several decades. “Eight out of 15 are 35 or under,” she notes. With one deacon and 14 elders, four are women and 11 are men, about half of whom are in their second career with backgrounds in entrepreneurship, finance, construction management, teacher, corporate management, marketing and banking. In this group, three out of 15 have prior experience as a local pastor, youth minister and Christian educator.
Out of the 15 in the Commissioning Class, eight will soon serve as Associate Pastors, six will serve as Senior Pastors and one will be serving in campus ministry.
“How exciting to celebrate with this group of clergy at the Service of Ordination & Commissioning on Tuesday, May 27 at 7pm, as these candidates prepare to give leadership in the church,” adds Gail.