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Missouri Conference Hiring Process for Appointed Clergy Positions


For clergy-specific positions, interested Missouri clergy should contact their District Superintendent about their interest. Interested applicants outside of the Missouri Annual Conference should follow the process indicated in the application process.

Called to be a District Superintendent? 

District superintendents are elders in full connection appointed by the bishop to the cabinet as an extension of the superintending role of the bishop within the annual conference (¶403.2). The superintendent carries a wide range of responsibilities for the local churches in a district and throughout the Conference as a whole. Primary responsibilities relate to overseeing the work of the local churches, including presiding at Charge Conferences, and supervising the work of the pastors, including participating with the bishop in the making of appointments. 

Term of service: A normal term for a superintendent is six years, but this may be extended to no more than up to eight years at the discretion of the bishop. No superintendent shall serve for more than eight years in any consecutive 11 years. No elder shall serve as DS more than 14 years (¶418).

Gifts, skills and experiences helpful to the DS role: 

  • Record of effective congregational leadership 
  • Focused on the mission of the Church 
  • Committed to the vision of the Annual Conference 
  • Skilled in conflict management, mediation, reconciliation and resolution  
  • Supervisory and HR experience 
  • Experience serving beyond the local church (i.e., district, Conference or General Church level) 
  • Experience mentoring and/or coaching other clergy 
  • Helpful spiritual gifts: Administration, Encouragement, Leadership, Shepherding, Discernment 
     

Called to be a Conference Director? 

Conference Directors are clergy appointed by the bishop or laity hired by the Conference to lead a ministry area (i.e., Congregational Excellence, Leadership Excellence, Next Generation Ministries, Connectional Ministries including Mission, Service and Justice Ministries, and Finance and Administrative Ministries). Directors are appointed by the bishop to serve on cabinet and serve as the bishop’s team to execute the vision of the Missouri Annual Conference.

Term of service: There are no restrictions on length of service for a Conference Director. 

Gifts, skills and experiences helpful to the Director role: 

  • Record of effective congregational leadership 
  • Focused on the mission of the Church 
  • Committed to the vision of the Annual Conference 
  • Experience serving beyond the local church (i.e., district, Conference or General Church level) 
  • Experience mentoring and/or coaching other clergy and laity 
  • Significant experience in one of the Conference ministry areas (i.e., the Director of Finance and Administrative Ministries would have significant experience in administration including stewardship, capital campaigns, benefits and retirement planning, insurance, etc.) 
  • Record of adaptability, creativity and innovation 
  • Helpful spiritual gifts: Administration, Leadership, Creative Communication, Helps, Hospitality  
     

Called to be a Bishop? 

Any elder in full connection is eligible to be elected a bishop (¶403). Nominations or endorsements of individuals are common, but not necessary, for election. The number of votes needed to elect a bishop is determined by each jurisdictional and central conference.

A bishop serves as a general superintendent for the church, assigned to a geographical area. In the United Methodist tradition, bishops are not “ordained” as bishops, but are clergy elected and consecrated to the office of bishop. Bishops give general oversight to the worldly and spiritual interests of the church. Bishops also have the responsibility to see that the rules and regulations developed by General Conference are carried out. Bishops set all clergy appointments in the annual (regional) conferences they serve. Most bishops also serve on a general agency board, often as the president. The bishop is the presiding officer at the annual conference session and rules on points of law.

Term of service: In the U.S., bishops normally serve in one area for up to two terms, but they can continue for a third term with special approval of the jurisdictional conference. Bishops are elected for life and serve in their assignment until retirement.

Bishop Robert Schnase served the Missouri Annual Conference from 2004-2016 and offered the following list of qualities and skills for a strong episcopal leader (adapted from a longer blog post): 

  • Record of effective congregational leadership 
  • Unceasingly focused on the mission of the Church 
  • An all-embracing vision of ministry and an ability to be bishop to all United Methodists 
  • Have a high pain threshold 
  • Proven demonstration of patience and resilience 
  • Utterly offended by the decline of the Church, willing to take responsibility for it, open to innovation and be unafraid of failure 
  • Find satisfaction in the accomplishments of others 
  • Unending good humor 
  • Significant inter-cultural experience 
  • Unusual physical stamina 
  • Not in it for their happiness, sense of worth, identity (the episcopacy is best served by those who can take it or leave it, who are willing to serve but not desperate to achieve) 
  • Absolute and undying love for Christ, and for the body of Christ made visible in the United Methodist Church