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Licensing School

Virginia Conference Board of Ordained Ministry

Licensing School Student Information

Wednesday, May 15 – Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Eastern Mennonite Seminary
1181 Smith Avenue, Harrisonburg, VA 22802.

The Virginia Board of Ordained Ministry will host a Licensing School from Wednesday, May 15 –Wednesday, May 22. Classes will be in-person at Eastern Mennonite Seminary. Participation is mandatory at all events for clergy who are entering their first appointments -– licensed local pastors, provisional elders and provisional deacons.

All plenaries and worship take place in the main Eastern Mennonite Seminary building which is #7 on the university map.

Parking is available in several places on Smith Avenue. 

Official Invitation

In order to attend Licensing School, you must have fulfilled the following requirements:

  • Completion of Phase I: Inquiring Candidate seeking to become an Admitted Candidate
  • Completion of Phase II: Admitted Candidate seeking to become a Certified Candidate
  • Completion of Phase III: Certified Candidate seeking to become a Licensed Local Pastor
  • Have met with the District Committee on Ordained Ministry and are “Recommended for Licensing”
  • Anticipate an appointment within the next annual conference year

If these requirements are met, you must then receive an invitation from the District Superintendent or the Board of Ordained Ministry. Please contact your District Committee on Ordained Ministry chairperson if you have not been able to meet these requirements.

Deadline Schedule


Friday, May 10, link to register comes from your District Superintendent.
This deadline is non-negotiable in order to forecast appointments as well as needs for licensing school.

Preaching Practicum

Friday, May 10, emailed to: [email protected]
Details below

Intercultural Development Inventory:

Friday, May 10
A link to take the assessment will be sent to you from Clergy Excellence after you have registered.

On-Line Pre-Course Work

Tuesday, May 14, details below.

Clergy Ethics Training

Tuesday, May 14, There are two parts to this training. Details below:

All persons receiving first time appointments in the Virginia Conference must receive Clergy Ethics training and every proceeding quadrennium. In the Virginia Conference Clergy Ethics training in two parts:

Clergy Excellence will NOT receive notification for Part II. Therefore, you must send in your certificate personally to [email protected].

The cost to students in the Virginia Conference: $275
The cost to students has already been subsidized with a generous gift from the Board of Ordained Ministry in order to keep the cost to students at a minimum.

The cost for students attending from other conferences: $550

The online registration site will accept payment by credit card or printed invoice to pay by check. If a candidate expects to receive scholarship money either from their district or from their church additional instructions can be found on the Jotform application.

Preparation in order of Deadline:

Preaching Practicum Assignment: Friday, May 10, 2023
You are required to submit and present a sermon for the preaching practicum portion of Licensing School.
● Send your sermon directly to Lyn Harding in the office of Clergy Excellence: [email protected].
● Please identify that you are a Licensing School Student and which assignment you are sending.
● The directions for the sermon practicum can be found here.
● Be sure to bring a printed copy of your sermon to Licensing School

Intercultural Development Inventory: Friday, May 10, 2024
During Licensing School, you will experience a group debrief for the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI).
Once you have registered, you will receive a link to take the assessment. After you take the assessment it is essential that you email: [email protected] and let her know you have completed the assessment. If you cannot find your link, Associate Director Crystal Sygeel is the point of contact.

On-Line Course Work: Tuesday, May 14, 2024

The Book of Discipline requires that Licensing School include 80 hours of teaching, including the basic United Methodist Courses: Educational Ministries, Methodist Doctrine/Polity, and Mission and Evangelism.
In order to ensure students meet this requirement, and to reduce the time away from home, some of the required learning has been moved online.
Students who have had: Methodist Doctrine/Polity, Mission and Evangelism, and Educational Ministries as part of their MDIV degree may opt out of these courses and complete an alternative assignment which can be found here.
Please send transcripts for current or complete coursework to Rev. Lyn Harding. Once your work has been verified for the pre-requisite courses, Rev. Lyn Harding will email you an alternative assignment.

To take the Methodist Courses:
First click the subject below to review the material.
After you have reviewed the coursework:
download the corresponding quizzes and/or use the provided worksheets. Save your work with your name and the subject in the file name. 

Send your completed work to [email protected]

Clergy Ethics Training: Tuesday, May 14, 2024
All persons receiving first time appointments in the Virginia Conference must receive Clergy Ethics training and every proceeding quadrennium. In the Virginia Conference Clergy Ethics training in two parts:

Students, staff, and faculty will be staying on campus.

All rooms are single occupancy and all rooms include a private bath. Because eastern Mennonite University campus can accommodate all participants no additional lodging is offered by the VAUMC.

Food Service
The refectory on Eastern Mennonite University’s campus provides multiple menu options, including options for those with special diets and/or health concerns. Snacks and beverages will also be provided throughout the week-long event. You will be asked to share any special needs you may have when you register.

Packing List
For your convenience, a packing list can be found here.

Health Protocols
Students who attend Licensing School live in close quarters sharing meals, attending daily worship, and participating in all day learning sessions. The Licensing School team requests that students monitor their own health to keep themselves and others safe. Please notify Licensing School leadership if you become sick or develop any symptoms during (or leading up to) Licensing School, particularly if there is risk that you might be contagious during our time together.

Things to Anticipate Moving Forward

First Time Appointee Just in Time Training
Details forthcoming- typically takes place in May or June. This training offers essential knowledge for the first 90 days of your appointment. Bishop Sue will join the training day schedule permitting.

Annual Conference
In the coming weeks you will receive details on the opportunities and requirements for you at Annual Conference, scheduled to take place Wednesday, June 19 – Sunday, 23. In the meantime, please put these dates on your calendar and be prepared to attend the four days. Details for registration, housing, and more will be sent most likely in February of 2024.

Vestments: Robes, but not stoles*
In preparing for annual conference you will need to purchase a clergy robe.

A gentle note that Licensed Local Pastors do not wear stoles in the United Methodist tradition. Vestments must not give the appearance of a stole. Any decoration on the front panels of the robe must be met at the middle leaving no gap. For more information on clergy vestments visit:

LLP Mentoring Groups
The United Methodist Church requires all Licensed Local Pastors receive mentoring in groups organized by district. Groups meet quarterly and follow a guide of topics provided by the VAUMC. Mentors turn in reports quarterly to share progress with the Conference. Clergy Excellence will work to have you assigned to your LLP Mentoring Group by the time you leave Licensing School on Wednesday, May 22.

Faculty Presentations
Below you will find faculty presentation from 2023.
During Licensing School 2024 we will update this presentation list.

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