Full Membership

Servants of Christ may become Full Members of the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference after serving at least three years as provisional candidate Deacons or Elders.   

Deacons are United Methodist clergy ordained to lead the church in relating Christians to their ministries in the world through worship leadership, preaching, teaching, nurturing spiritual vitality and leading ministries of service, love, and justice. They may work primarily in congregations or they may work primarily in settings like hospitals, social-service agencies, mission agencies, schools, counseling centers, denominational agencies, and more.

This ministry exemplifies and leads the Church in the servanthood every Christian is called to live both in the church and the world. In their words and actions, they embody and lead the community’s service in the world for the sake of enacting God’s compassion and justice. (See Book of Discipline ¶305.) 

Elders are United Methodist clergy who are ordained to a ministry of Word, Sacrament, Order, and Service. This means elders preach and teach the Word of God, provide pastoral care and counsel, administer the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion, and order the life of the church for service in mission and ministry.

Those called to the ministry of elder are called to bear authority and responsibility to lead the church so it can be faithful in making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. (See Book of Discipline ¶305.)

The Conference Board of Ordained Ministry believes that ordination as an Elder or Deacon, entrusted with Christ’s ministry through The United Methodist Church, and being a Full Member of the Baltimore-Washington Conference, is a high calling that demands the best of us.  Evaluation of fitness for this high calling is a task which the Board of Ordained Ministry accepts with the utmost seriousness and seeks to discharge with the greatest of integrity.

As you continue in your journey as a Full Member Candidate for ordained ministry, we know that this process may seem rather complex and intimidating. If you have questions or concerns along the way, please don’t hesitate to contact the Full Member Registrar, the Rev. Al Hammer, or the Director of the Center for Clergy Excellence, the Rev. John W. Nupp.

Process and Requirements for Ordination as Full Member (2018)

All candidates who became Probationary/Provisional Members in 1995 and after are required by the Baltimore-Washington Conference to have been under full time appointment for three years (or its equivalent). Also, the policy is that one cannot attend the examination while currently on leave of absence unless you fully expect to be appointed in the year of the examination.

Please note this requirement from the 2016 United Methodist Book of Discipline, Para. 327: No member shall be continued on probation beyond the eighth regular session following their admission to provisional membership.” If you are approaching this deadline, please communicate with your district superintendent and the Full Member Registrar to discuss the reason for your delay in attending the examination and to make plans for the future.

* All deadlines listed are close of business on that date.

Please mail any forms and materials to:

Rev. John W. Nupp
Director, Center for Clergy Excellence
Baltimore-Washington Conference of The United Methodist Church
11711 East Market Place
Fulton, MD 20759-2594



» Download a checklist of the steps to help you track your progress and deadlines.

Step 1: Acknowledgment – please send today

Send acknowledgement email (reply) that you have received the application packet and are able to access it, to the Revs. Al Hammer and John W. Nupp.

Step 2:  Complete Initial Forms

Step 3:  Evaluations

Similar to some of the forms in the previous step, evaluations are done using a web-based survey tool called Survey Monkey. In the Understanding of Requirements and Deadlines survey form, you will supply the necessary names and contact information. All individuals should be notified by the candidate that they will be receiving a request via email to complete a recommendation/evaluation survey on their behalf. Additional references may be added by the candidate in the comment section at the end of the survey.

The District Superintendent Evaluation requirement will be handled by the Bishop’s Office, in conjunction with the Center for Clergy Excellence. If you have changed appointments during your provisional period, we will request letters from all District Superintendents who have worked with you.

For those serving in a local church
Provisional Members seeking to come to the 2018 Full Member Exam who are in a local church appointment will need to have an evaluation from the following clergy/lay people in your local church/charge:

  • Senior Pastor (if you are an associate pastor)
  • Lay Leader
  • COM Chairperson or Administrative Board/Church Council Chairperson
  • PPRC/SPRC Chairperson
  • Youth member of your church
  • One other active lay person

For those serving outside the local church in extension ministry or other ministry settings
Provisional Members seeking to come to the 2018 Full Member Exam will need to have an evaluation from the following if they are in an extension ministry appointment or appointment beyond the local church:

  • Pastor of the church in which you maintain your Charge Conference Relationship
  • Lay Leader of the church in which you participate
  • Person in your extension ministry who supervises you
  • One other person from your extension ministry setting

 NOTE: If you have changed appointments during your provisional period you must provide letters from these persons in ALL your former and current churches.


  • Names and email addresses of your evaluators (completed in Step 2)June 26, 2017
  • Evaluators are provided evaluation tool by the Board – August 7, 2017
  • Evaluations completed – September 8, 2017

Step 4:  Fruitfulness Project

Complete and mail the Fruitfulness Project to Rev. John W. Nupp.

» Download the Fruitfulness Project instructions (PDF)

Deadline: August 7, 2017

Step 5:  Sermon Review

Submit the Sermon materials for review to Rev. John W. Nupp.

» Download the Sermon Review instructions (PDF)
» Download the Sermon Review Evaluation Rubric (PDF)

Deadline: August 7, 2017

Step 6:  Biblical Skills

Submit the Biblical Skills materials for review to Rev. John W. Nupp.

» Download the Biblical Skills instructions (PDF)
» Download the Biblical Skills Evaluation Rubric (PDF)

Deadline: August 7, 2017

Step 7:  Lay Visitation Team

Deadline: September 1, 2017

Step 8:  Background Check and Psychological Testing, Transcripts and Educational Requirements

The Bishop’s Office and the Center for Clergy Excellence will review your official file to confirm that the Baltimore-Washington Conference and the Board of Ordained Ministry has the following information, per requirements of the United Methodist Church:

  • A current background check
  • The required Psychological Testing
  • Official Seminary Transcript, including all Field Education requirements such as the Practice in Ministry and Mission and Covenant Discipleship experiences
  • Completion of Basic Graduate Theological Studies, including United Methodist History, Doctrine and Polity

You may be contacted to provide additional documentation, in the event that any of this information is missing or inadequate. 

Deadline: September 1, 2017

Step 9:  Conditions from Provisional Exam

The Center for Clergy Excellence will review your official file to confirm that The Baltimore-Washington Conference and the Board of Ordained Ministry has the necessary documentation to confirm completion of any and all conditions from the Provisional Exam.  For example, you may have been asked to meet with a theological mentor, or to complete a unit of CPE or a given number of sessions of psychological counseling. 

Please be prepared to provide documentation of the completion of any special conditions which the Board of Ordained Ministry may have requested before coming to the Full Member Examination. These conditions may have been given to you after your Provisional Examination or after a previous Full Member examination. You must provide written evidence (often from your mentor, counselor, or psychotherapist) of their completion and have them evaluated and accepted before you may come to the next examination.

  • Mail all documentation, or have the appropriate mentor or professional mail necessary documentation to the Rev. John W. Nupp.

Deadline: September 1, 2017

Step 10:  Medical Summary Report

  • Provide a Medical Summary Report of Ministerial Candidate to your medical provider, using the electronic form 103 provided by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, or a printed version of this form for their completion. Download this form here.
    • It must be completed and signed by a Physician or Nurse Practitioner. This report must have been completed within the past six months.
    • Please be sure to also complete your portion of the form.
  • If you wish to elaborate on any concerns raised by the medical report, please attach a separate sheet. If there are problems with completing this form by the deadline beyond your control, please inform the Registrar or the Director of the Center for Clergy Excellence.
  • The form must be mailed by you or your medical professional to the Rev. John W. Nupp.

Deadline: September 8, 2017

Step 11:  Current Photo

  • Photo – a current front-faced single square 2” x 2” color photo of yourself. It must not include any other persons or scenery, but simply your face. We recommend having a passport photo taken, but this is not a requirement.
  • Mail to the Rev. John W. Nupp.

Deadline: September 8, 2017

Step 12:  Written Responses to the Book of Discipline

Prepare one separate, complete set of your Examination Questions printed on paper. Place the set in a large envelope and then place it and the other materials you are sending in another large envelope or box and MAIL OR HAND-DELIVER on or before September 8, 2017 to the Rev. John W. Nupp.


EMAIL a copy of your written material to the Rev. John W. Nupp at before September 8, 2017. Your material should be in Adobe PDF format. Your materials must be in one document, not multiple documents. It is very important that your electronic materials exactly match your written materials, since we use your electronic materials to share with Board members. (Tip: you may create your electronic document first, and use it to print your final paper document.)

» Download the Written Examination Instructions (PDF) - updated June 22, 2017
» Download the Written Examination Rubric (PDF) - updated June 22, 2017
» Download a template for your written responses (WORD) - right-click and select 'Save file as...' - updated June 22, 2017

Deadline: September 8, 2017