Welcome to an overview of the process of becoming clergy in Metropolitan Community Churches!
The following steps outline the various requirements for ordination in MCC. While presented here in a particular order, these steps are not necessarily sequential. Many of these requirements can be met concurrently.
Relationship with MCC
Prior to investing the time, energy, and resources necessary to become ordained in MCC, it is essential that a candidate understands the unique calling and character of Metropolitan Community Churches, including our theological and cultural diversity.
The best way to gain this knowledge is to become part of the community and ministry of a local MCC. A minimum of six months of involvement at a local MCC is recommended before an endorsement is made to attend the Readiness for Vocational Ministry (REVM) Retreat. We also recognize that there are places in the world where there is not an existing MCC community. If this is true in your context, we will work with you to find ways for you to connect with MCC in a substantive way.
Attend a REVM Retreat
The REVM (Readiness for Entering Vocational Ministry) retreat is the first official step towards preparing for professional ministry with MCC. This guided REVM retreat opportunity provides the venue to meet with others who sense a similar calling to vocational ministry. REVM offers an explanation of the process for preparation for ministry, overview of the core characteristics of a ministry vocation in MCC, development of a personalized Ministry Action Plan (MAP) for ministry preparation, and a time of connection with mentors and others who have served in ministerial roles within MCC.
Psychological Testing administered by a center that specializes in the assessment of ministerial candidates and the ongoing support of those engaged in vocational ministry is required as a part of our process. This is one of the sources of information that is taken into consideration when a MAP is created. Consequently, it is helpful, but not necessary, for this testing to be completed prior to REVM. Those who do not complete this until after REVM can still participate, but will not have a finalized MAP or an official decision about in-care status until the report has been reviewed.
We believe in having well educated and trained clergy. The terminal theological degree for ordination or its equivalent from an accredited school of theology (i.e. accredited by an agency that is part of The World Conference of Associations of Theological Institutions – www.wocati.org) will be generally required as our minimum educational standard.
However, we do understand that people come to MCC ordination from many different paths of ministry preparation and experience. In an effort to affirm this diversity, individuals without a terminal theological degree from an accredited school can request to have their previous course of study and experience be accepted in full or in part toward meeting equivalency. The Office of Formation and Leadership Development may grant the equivalency or give partial equivalency with additional courses being required. This decision is most often made at the REVM in consultation with the REVM faculty as a part of the MAP requirements.
Supervised Ministry Experience (MCC Internship)
A critical component to pastoral formation in an MCC context is a supervised ministry experience, which seeks to develop the characteristics of professional spiritual leaders in MCC. During this time, your supervisor will work with you to develop and implement your skills in practice of pastoral ministry and help you in your process of theological and personal reflection on the practice of ministry. The supervisor will be the one to endorse you and write a final narrative evaluation as part of your application for ordination. For Clergy ordained in another tradition, this supervised ministry experience serves to ground and apply previous pastoral knowledge and experiences to the context of MCC ministry.
We encourage students who are completing their M.Div. degree to combine their Field Education and Supervised Ministry experience so that the same work will meet multiple requirements (i.e. for the seminary and for MCC).
Note: MCC will work creatively with you on the specific details of your supervised ministry experience. We recognize that some internships require different time-lines, allowances for distance supervision, and other unique accommodations due to the personal circumstances of an intern. Please contact us to discuss this.
Clinical Pastoral Education
One unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is required for ordination. Locations for CPE may be found through the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (http://www.acpe.edu/) and may run concurrent with a student’s MDiv program.
Complete Core MCC Courses
Three MCC-specific courses are required for ordination in MCC. These courses may be offered in your seminary, or through online education opportunities with MCC. MCC will offer, either directly or in partnership with another institution, each of these courses at least twice per year. The tuition for these online courses is approximately $150 USD. (For in-care students, there is a small scholarship fund to assist with the tuition for these courses.)
Required MCC classes are:
- MCC Polity
- LGBT/Queer History
- Sexuality Studies
Apply for an Ordination Interview.
Upon completion of steps one through six above, download the ordination interview application, complete it and send it, with supporting documents, to the Office of Formation and Leadership Development.Click here to download the Application for Ordination.
Welcome to vocational ministry with MCC!