In the United Church of Christ, ministerial formation and authorization are overseen by Committees on Ministry in local Associations (and Conferences acting as Associations). It is important for those who are exploring God’s call to partner early with their home congregation and a local Committee on Ministry. Once an individual is in covenant with a local church and a Committee on Ministry, the person is designated by the Association to be a Member in Discernment.

To begin your process of requesting a meeting with the NCNC-UCC Committee on Ministry, Section A (COM-A) to become a member in discernment contact the Committee Scheduler Barbara CollianderIf you are seeking renewal details, click here to skip to that section of the page.


Documents for Persons Beginning the In Discernment Process (click each item to read)

All meetings with Section A take place at: Hillcrest Congregational Church, UCC

Important Contact Persons – (If you have questions, need documents or want to reschedule your appointment) These persons and many others, as well as important facts, maps, and resources are also listed in our Online NCNC Directory. If you need the password to view password protected content like the directory, please contact Elane at the Conference Office.

Guidelines for Churches with Members in Discernment – Does any of this sound familiar: “What does it mean for a church to vote to receive a person as a Member in Discernment?”  “What is the role of the local church in their member’s discernment process after the official letter?”  “Help! We have a member who just decided that they want to go in care/discernment/whatever and I have no idea what happens now…”  If so, then this guide is for you.

The Role of the Advisor – You’ve been taken in discernment by the Committee on Ministry and assigned to an Authorized Minister with standing in the NCNC UCC who will be your Advisor for the duration of your discernment journey.  This document briefly outlines the relationship and responsibilities of both the Member in Discernment and the Discernment Advisor.  If you want to know what is supposed to be in the yearly updates from Advisor to Committee on Ministry, all is revealed in this document.

At your meeting you and the committee will have shared time of prayer, conversation, and discernment about your call to authorized ministry with you and your accompanying guests. Appointments last up to an hour, and you will be seated for the majority of the time together. COM-A is made up of a group of up to 18 clergy and lay members from across the Conference. It also includes a seminarian member who is themselves an MID in the midst of their formation process.

Candidates should dress in semi-formal apparel, similar to what you would consider wearing if you were participating in an initial job interview. Candidates are encouraged to wear what feels both formal enough for the occasion, and culturally aligned for themselves and their communities of origin. Most individuals in the room will dress around business casual. Please note: the room we meet in is not air conditioned.

The meeting room is wheelchair accessible, but the bathrooms on site are not. Bathrooms are gender designated. If you have any access requests about the space or your communication with the committee please alert Elane or your COM-A liaison so we can work with you to meet your needs.

Members in Discernment seeking scholarships should review the UCC page on scholarships. Additionally, updated information on the Brown Scholarship can be found here.


Paperwork for those continuing in the In Discernment Process:

All applicants must send all the materials for the files before they will be scheduled for an appointment.

Documents for In Discernment Renewal

For document guidelines for Ordination Interviews, Dual Standing, OMPS, Privilege of Call etc: click here

For any questions, concerns, or to learn more about the process contact Elane Johnson on email or phone (510) 247-8990.