The United Church of Canada upholds a vision that all believers are called to participate in the healing of creation. This ministry may be lived out in many ways, from being a disciple who is actively involved in God’s mission in the world, to being in a leadership role as ministry personnel.
We celebrate the diversity of expressions of ministry leadership. We also celebrate that God calls individuals with varying gifts and abilities specifically to the vocation of ministry in order to faithfully lead the church in living out its purpose for the sake of a broken world.
We affirm that some are called to the vocation of ministry and that ministry leadership that is intentionally set apart is essential for the church to participate in God’s hope for the world.
A Song of Faith (2006) gives voice to what we believe:
We are each given particular gifts of the Spirit.
For the sake of the world,
God calls all followers of Jesus to Christian ministry.
In the church,
some are called to specific ministries of leadership,
both lay and ordered;
some witness to the good news;
some uphold the art of worship;
some comfort the grieving and guide the wandering;
some build up the community of wisdom;
some stand with the oppressed and work for justice.
To embody God’s love in the world,
the work of the church requires the ministry and discipleship
of all believers.
How to Enter Ministry Leadership
If you would like to learn about the process, please download Candidacy Pathway: Roadmap from the link below. The Roadmap is the best place to start before you explore other resources. You can also read a
The Candidacy Pathway Policy is designed to assist people in discerning their call to ministry leadership and to assist the church in walking with them in the formal process of candidacy.
The requirements aim to ensure the suitability and readiness of those who are authorized by the church to ministry leadership.
The body that is responsible for overseeing the Candidacy Pathway process is the Candidacy Board. Throughout your journey you will meet with the Candidacy Board and are responsible for following their direction.
A Candidacy Board is named by the Indigenous Church to serve the Indigenous Church. Anyone who would prefer to be interviewed in French because it is their language of origin can do so.
Each Candidacy Board is supported by an Office of Vocation minister. To request a meeting with a Candidacy Board or if you have any questions about the Pathway, please contact them directly. There is a list of Office of Vocation ministers based on location below.
United Church theological schools offer the required course of study for those preparing for ministry. Learn about these schools and the programs that they offer.
A recording of a Nov. 14, 2018, webinar, Entering Ministry: Here's What You Need to Know, is suited to current candidates, inquirers, and those who are interested in learning about the new processes. It shares what to expect with the launch of Candidacy Pathway and how to transition to the new system.
What If Someone Asks Me How to Become a Minister?
See the video specifically on this topic below, and check out the Candidacy Pathway article on page 2 of Connex 59 (June 2019) newsletter.
Candidacy Pathway: Breaking Down the Roadblocks
Check out these short, informal videos that answer some of the most commonly asked questions about the Candidacy Pathway:
- I want to be a minister. What do I do?
- Someone wants to be a minister (and asked you for help!). What should you do?
- Someone asks you to be their Candidacy Pathway mentor. What do you do?
- How is discernment understood in Candidacy Pathway?
- Why does everyone do something different in Candidacy Pathway?
Have other questions? Please send Breaking Down the Roadblocks video suggestions to bcorlett [at] united-church.ca.