Provisional Membership

After you have been certified as a candidate for at least one year (and no more than 12 years) and have completed at least half of your educational requirements, your annual conference may choose to approve you for commissioning and provisional membership.

Once you are commissioned, you begin provisional membership and are brought into the clergy covenant.

During the provisional period (two to eight years), you will serve under appointment by the bishop during the provisional years in areas of service appropriate to your calling. Provisional members may be appointed to congregations (Deacons or Elders), to attend school, to extension ministry (Elders), or in appointments beyond the local church (Deacons). They are supervised by a district superintendent, to whom they submit an annual report.

The provisional period is a time to gain experience in ministry. To be approved for ordination, the provisional member must demonstrate fruitful ministry. This is an important time of developing supportive and accountable relationships among your clergy colleagues, learning from experience, and clarifying your sense of call.

General Information and Instructions

  • Before you do anything, please read the Plagiarism, Copyright and Respect for Intellectual Property document in its entirety.
  • Please keep a personal copy of everything.
  • All forms to be completed by candidates are listed below with the link to each form.
  • All Recommendation/Evaluation forms should be completed online by evaluators and a copy will be sent via email directly to each evaluator that is specific to each candidate. A copy of the form, instructions and a copy of the signed “Release of Information” will be provided to each evaluator.

* 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. Scott Shumaker and John W. Nupp.

Step 2:  Complete Initial Forms

Deadline: August 21, 2017

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 Recommendations/Evaluations 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 candidacy process, we will request letters from all District Superintendents who have worked with you.


  • Names and contact information of people providing recommendations/evaluations (completed in Step 2)August 21, 2017
  • Evaluators are provided evaluation tool by the Board – September 29, 2017
  • Evaluations completed – October 27, 2017

Step 4:  Sermon Review

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

» Download the Sermon Review instructions and evaluation rubric (PDF)

Deadline: October 6, 2017

Step 5:  Biblical Skills

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

» Download the Biblical Skills instructions and evaluation rubric (PDF)
» Download a sample Biblical Skills Lesson Plan (PDF)

Deadline: October 6, 2017

Step 6:  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
    • The official, certified copy of your seminary transcript should document that you have graduated or are on track to graduate by May 30, 2018. Include a list of courses you are planning to take to finish your degree, if applicable. Please note: If you are still enrolled in seminary, you will need to send another transcript in late January or early February, showing your Fall Semester class results and your Spring semester enrollment. You will receive details later.

      NOTE: If you have submitted an official transcript to the DCOM that includes grades from the Spring Semester 2017, you do NOT need to send another at this time.

      Returning Candidates: If at the time of your last Provisional Exam you had graduated from seminary and you have not taken any more seminary classes since, then you do not need to have another transcript sent. Likewise, if you have had no more seminary classes and no further field education experiences since your last exam, you need not have letters from the seminary sent again. Please include a cover letter or note stating these facts.

  • 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: October 27, 2017

Step 7:  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.
  • Returning candidates who have submitted a medical form within the last year need not be examined again unless there have been significant changes in your health. Please indicate in a note or cover letter if you do not need to submit this report.

Deadline: October 6, 2017

Step 8:  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: October 6, 2017

Step 9:  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 October 6, 2017 to the Rev. John W. Nupp.


EMAIL a copy of your written material to the Rev. John W. Nupp at before October 6, 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)
» Download the Written Examination Rubric (PDF)
» Download a template for your written responses (WORD) - right-click and select 'Save file as...'

Deadline: October 6, 2017