By Deborah Coble Wise*
Twenty-two certified candidates for ministry from the Iowa, Northern Illinois, Missouri and the Wisconsin Annual Conferences gathered May 10-16, 2015, for The Iowa Annual Conference Licensing School. The school, held on the campus of Iowa Wesleyan College in Mt Pleasant, Iowa, operates under guidelines provided by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.
The students took part in an intensive week of study and practice to prepare them for service as licensed local pastors in their respective annual conferences. They gathered for worship and prayer three times daily, explored our shared Wesleyan heritage alongside fourteen faculty from across the Iowa Annual Conference, and shared meals.
Classes were taught in English, with translation in French and Swahili this year. The Iowa Annual Conference Licensing School welcomed two candidates serving African immigrant communities in the East Central District. Translation was provided by Rev. Dr. Okitakoyi (Michel) Lundula and Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Naweji, ordained elders of the Iowa United Methodist Annual Conference. The addition of French translation honors the realities of the global church - thirty percent of all United Methodists worldwide speak French. This is the first licensing school to offer both French and English languages in the United States.
A local pastor answers God’s call to serve the mission of Jesus Christ
is a resource of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry
. When under appointment, the local pastor performs the usual duties of a pastor, including preaching and teaching; leading in worship and liturgy; receiving new members; performing the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion; and the services of marriage, burial, and confirmation.
The twenty-two candidates for licensing await approval by the clergy sessions of their respective Annual Conferences, and appointment by their area Bishops prior to being deployed for service. They will continue their studies with Course of Study or seminary and will meet with their respective districts annually.
Next year the Iowa Annual Conference Licensing School
is slated for May 22-28, 2016 at Iowa Wesleyan College. For more information about service as a licensed local pastor contact your pastor or District Superintendent.
*Rev. Deborah Coble Wise is pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church, Waverly, IA