What is the next step if I want to respond to God's call in my life?
If you are a layperson please talk with your pastor or contact Rev. Annalee Allen, the Associate Director of Ministerial Services or Rev. Jim Parsons, the Chair of the Call & Vocation Team. If you are a pastor who has a lay person you can contact Rev. Annalee Allen for guidance on the next steps in the process.
The UMC's Explore Calling has some great information. As they say there, "When we hear a call from God and we’ve discerned what that call might be to… we should be inspired to respond. The ways we can respond are diverse. If you think your call may be into vocational ministry, your first contact should be your local church pastor, youth pastor, or campus minister. They will be able to guide you into experiences that will help you sample different aspects of vocational ministry. They will also be able to guide you through the first few steps of the ordination process."
Within the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, God's call towards ordained and licensed ministry is a privilege and opportunity to make a difference in the world. Beginning in 2013, an overnight retreat and group mentoring process will guide your time of discernment and allow you to be in conversation with many others who have heard God's call to ordination. Here is a PDF about the steps to become a Licensed or Ordained Minister in the WNCC.
Seminary: Whatever your calling, the choice of seminary is one of the most important decisions you will make on this incredible faith journey. In seminary, you will not only learn, but you will be shaped as a spiritual leader. Our 13 United Methodist seminaries in the United States have educated outstanding preachers and teachers, evangelists and missionaries, chaplains and lay leaders who have led the church and changed the world in the name of Jesus Christ. There are many good reasons why you should choose a United Methodist seminary.
Click here for an interactive map of the different United Methodist Seminaries and other approved schools in the US and around the world.