Clergy Leadership

In the process of leadership shaping and maturing...

The West Ohio Conference provides opportunities for persons transitioning into ministry to gain experience at key points along the path toward become a clergy ministry leader. Prior to seminary, Next Generations Internships are offered to called undergraduates to experience daily life in local church ministry under the mentorship of a mature Elder. After seminary, our Residency Program helps select seminary graduates make the shift from watching and observing ministry to developing as one who both does and leads ministry. Crucible requires clergy to integrate who they are as one set apart by God and affirmed by the church for credentialed ministry, weaving together educational preparation and everyday practical ministry experience to become effective leaders in their ministry context. The West Ohio Conference takes seriously what it means to proactively come alongside clergy at critical junctures in their development by offering ministries that accompany them through these transitions and beyond.           

Rev. Wade Giffin, Former Director, Office of Ministry

Next Generations Internships

The Next Generations Leadership Ministry Intern Program, begun in 2007, is for undergraduate students interested in exploring a call to ordained ministry. During this paid 12-week internship, select interns are immersed in a vocational ministry setting with a specifically assigned mentor, with intentional opportunities to deeply discern their call to become ordained United Methodist clergy. Each ministry intern is supported and allowed to develop leadership skills for effective ministry as they partner with clergy and laity in the local church.

Residency Program

Launched in 2007, the West Ohio Residency Program is an intense two-year opportunity for select young seminary graduates. Recent seminary graduates with high potential are appointed to healthy, growing United Methodist congregations in West Ohio, where they are mentored and coached by proven lead clergy and lay leaders. To date, seven residents have been appointed as a part of the Residency Program. In 2010, the Lilly Endowment awarded the West Ohio Conference $750,000 of a $900,000 grant to support and expand its Residency Program.

"I have been stretched and challenged as a leader and am growing in my understanding of who I am and what God has called me to do. This is possible because of the Residency Program and the opportunity it provides for new graduates to learn from pastors with a history of fruit-bearing ministry."

Jason Wellman - West Ohio Resident serving at Grove City United Methodist Church (Rev. Dennis Miller, lead pastor)


Crucible is a two-year, eight-session clergy formation and skill development process, created by the West Ohio Conference in early 2011. Over 100 pastors, including all current provisional clergy, are enrolled in one of three active classes, which begin each Fall. Students range from those who have been in ministry 20+ years to our newest commissioned leaders. Students in each class have been integrating principles learned in Crucible and are making a significant impact on their pastoral leadership.

Local Pastors LIcensing School

The licensed local pastor is not ordained in The United Methodist Church but is licensed for pastoral ministry and performs the duties of a pastor in the ministry context to which they are appointed. They may perform proclamation of the Word, lead worship and liturgy, administer the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion, as well as the services of marriage, burial, confirmation, and membership reception. In 2011, the West Ohio Conference Licensing School was completely redesigned to focus more on improving ministry practitioner skills.  In 2011, there were 86 full-time and 192 part-time licensed local pastors in West Ohio, and 22 candidates to become licensed.


How Can I Give?

Who Can I Talk to About...

Residency Program, Crucible, Local Pastors Licensing School, & Internships

Rev. Kathy BrownDirector, Office of Ministry: 


Rev. George CooperDirector, Council on Development: gcooper [at]


You can download the Clergy Leadership brochure here, too.


PDF icon Clergy Leadership brochure2.27 MB