Office of Vocation

Faithful, well-equipped, effective ministry personnel
A group of about 30 people forming the United Church's Office of Vocation are pictured standing in a group and smiling at their gathering in November 2019.
Office of Vocation Gathering, November 2019
Bronwyn Corlett/The United Church of Canada

About the Office of Vocation

Office of Vocation logoThe Office of Vocation is the body in the United Church’s structure that supports the accreditation of ministry personnel. Through the Office, these functions previously performed by presbyteries and Conferences have become a permanent part of the General Council.

The Office of Vocation also relates to candidates for ministry through the Candidacy Boards.


The Office of Vocation supports the processes for the discernment and training of ministry personnel, the determination of their fitness/readiness for accreditation, the fulfillment of continuing education standards, and the formal processes for oversight and discipline of ministry personnel.

NB: These videos were created when the Office of Vocation was first introduced in January 2019. They are still relevant to understanding how the Office of Vocation functions, but the structural organization chart has been updated (see graphic below in Structure), and the membership of the various committee has continued to evolve. 


Diagram showing the Office of Vocation structure, including the Board of Vocation, committees, and candidacy boards
Office of Vocation structure as of October 2019

The Office of Vocation is supported by staff in the General Council Office and deployed Office of Vocation ministers.

To carry out its responsibilities, the Office consists of the Board of Vocation and several committees and commissions:

  • Photo of members of the United Church's Board of Vocation
    Board of Vocation
    The United Church of Canada
    Board of Vocation: the elected member body accountable for the work of the Office of Vocation to the General Council
  • Standards for Accreditation Committee (Standards Committee): implements the policies set by the General Council by recommending standards to the Board of Vocation in the areas defined by The Manual, section E.2.2
  • Credentialing Committee: supports processes for ministry partners, admission applicants, and chaplaincies, and determines and responds to applications from ministry personnel who wish
    • to be readmitted from the Discontinued Service List
    • to be intentional interim ministers
    • to become educational supervisors
  • Response Committee: determines the best process to follow with respect to concerns raised about ministry personnel and ensures there are trained and supported reviewers, investigators and conflict resolution facilitators and people with other expertise as required
  • Remedial Committee: assesses findings related to the effectiveness of a ministry personnel or investigations about alleged breach of ethical standards, and may initiate formal complaints
  • Admission Board: assesses ministers from other denominations seeking to be admitted to The United Church of Canada, deciding suitability and eventual completion of the admission process.
  • Candidacy Boards: name candidates for ministry, terminate candidacy, determine readiness for accreditation for commissioning to diaconal ministry, ordained ministry, and designated lay ministry; the Indigenous Candidacy Board serves the Indigenous Church.

Contact Us

Toll-free: 1-800-268-3781
Local: 416-231-7680
E-mail: officeofvocation [at] (Office of Vocation)