Candidacy Pathway

The 43rd General Council in July 2018 approved a new process for entering ministry called Candidacy Pathway, which will be implemented in January 2019. Moving to Candidacy Pathway will certainly not create barriers in a candidate’s process.

An overview of the Candidacy Pathway is found in the document for Remit 7. The Learning Outcomes for Ministry Leadership, excerpted from the GCE workbook of November 2014, are available under Downloads, below.

Please note that all aspects of remit implementation need to make their way through the governance structure of the church. Anything that is communicated before the official approvals are passed needs to be understood as proposals for how Candidacy Pathway may be implemented.

Watch this page for further updates and resources as they are developed.

Candidacy Pathway: Timeline

September 2018: Candidate files are sent to the General Council Office
Office of Vocation ministers appointed

October: Communication from General Council staff to current candidates regarding transition plans

October 10: Orientation for candidates at United Theological College, Montreal

October 29: Orientation for DLM students at St. Andrew’s College, Saskatoon

TBD: Orientation for diaconal ministry students at the Centre for Christian Studies

(Additional orientations for current candidates are being scheduled)

November 5–9: Training for Candidacy Board members

December: Resources available online

January/February 2019: Office of Vocation ministers will contact current candidates and inquirers with direction regarding their next steps in the process and meeting with a Candidacy Board.

Candidacy Pathway: Correspondence

January 2018: E-mail correspondence (under Downloads, below) was sent to candidates to invite them to participate in a webinar.

March 2018: Orientation to Candidacy Pathway webinars were held for candidates, theological schools, and those who serve on an Education and Students Committee.

May 2018: E-mail correspondence (under Downloads, below) was sent to Education and Students Committee chairs regarding the transition plan for current inquirers.

Candidacy Pathway: Resources

Resources to support Candidacy Pathway are being drafted. After approval by the Executive of the General Council Executive, they will be made available on this website. The anticipated date of publication is December 2018.

  • Candidacy Pathway Policy: Candidacy Pathway policies will be found in The Manual, 2019, under H. Entering Ministry. This resource provides additional policies and procedures that must be followed.
  • Candidacy Board Roadmap for Candidates: A resource to guide applicants and candidates through the requirements of the pathway.
  • Candidacy Board resources: Best practices that provide information, guidance, and advice to the Candidacy Boards on ways to live out the mandatory policies and procedures found in The Manual and in the Candidacy Pathway Policy resource.
  • Circle of Accompaniment Resource: Best practices for one aspect of the Accompany phase of the pathway, on the role of the Circle of Accompaniment and relevant resources.
  • Supervised Ministry Education: Policies as well as best practices and resources to support the church in carrying out Supervised Ministry Education programs.
  • Learning Covenant for Supervised Ministry Education: An updated version of this resource will provide guidance for educational supervisors, lay supervision teams, and candidates fulfilling Supervised Ministry Education requirements.
  • Learning Outcomes: The competencies that must be developed during the Equipping phase of the pathway. Available under Downloads, below.

Current Process for Entering Ordered Ministry

Note: This process is applicable until December 31, 2018.

The policies and procedures for entering into ordered ministry are for members of The United Church of Canada who feel a call to ordered—ordained or diaconal—ministry. (Learn more about the types of ordered ministers.)

The aim is to support people who are called to ministry through their spiritual, theological, and educational journeys, and to ensure the suitability and readiness of those who are authorized by the church to fill paid leadership roles.

Preparation for ordered ministry requires years of commitment to leadership formation, and includes three major components:

  • Processes of the Church: This includes a period of inquiry and discernment as well as interviews with various courts of the church.
  • Theological Education: United Church theological schools offer the required course of study for those preparing for ordered ministry. Learn about these schools and the programs that they offer.
  • Supervised Ministry Education: An intentional time of practising ministry centred on learning goals and reflecting on the experience with a trained supervisor. Read the Supervised Ministry Education resource, found under Downloads below, to learn the various ways this component can be fulfilled. The Learning Covenant resource offers guidance about this aspect of a SME experience.

The complete process is outlined in the Entering Ministry resource, under Downloads, below.

Please note: A pilot project for Candidacy Pathways is in progress. If you reside in Bay of Quinte, British Columbia, or Manitou Conferences, contact your Conference personnel minister for information on the process for entering ministry.

If you have questions about the process for entering ordered ministry, please contact:

Robin McGauleyProgram Coordinator Ministry Vocations416-231-7680 ext. 2745
1-800-268-3781 ext. 2745
RMcGauley [at]