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“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” — Howard Thurman

As you are discerning what makes you come alive and how God might be calling you to serve the church, we invite you to utilize the information listed below. If you have questions, please contact Rev. Ashley Jenkins in the Office of Ministerial Services.

Biblical Stories of God’s Call:

The following scripture links to the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) translation hosted by the Oremus Bible Browser.

Questions to consider as you read:

  • How does God’s call come to the persons involved?
  • How does each person respond?
  • To what extent is each person confident, hesitant, willing, or uncertain?
  • To what task is each called?
  • In what ways does God or Christ offer reassurance to the person called?
  • In what manner is the call you are experiencing different or similar to the person called?

Learn about the Call

Reading Resources

The Christian as Minister

This resource is a compilation of information about the call to ministry and the avenue The United Methodist Church offers to embody that call. If you plan to move forward with the candidacy process, we invite you to read this book and discuss it with your pastor.

Beyond the Burning Bush: Hearing and Answering God’s Call

A collection of personal stories about the call to ordained ministry. Elders, deacons, seminarians, chaplains, campus ministers, and college students relate how they stepped out in faith.

Awakened to a Calling

These eight sermons on vocation offer an important resource for high school and college students making vocational decisions, for older adults considering vocational changes, and for all who teach and mentor in the area of vocational discernment and who help others sort out a commitment to professional ministry.

Let Your Life Speak

Parker J. Palmer invites us to listen to the inner teacher and follow its leadings toward a sense of meaning and purpose. Telling stories from his own life and the lives of others who have made a difference, he shares insights gained from darkness and depression as well as fulfillment and joy, illuminating a pathway toward vocation for all who seek the true calling of their lives.

This Odd & Wondrous Calling

Two people still pastoring reflect honestly here on both the joys and the challenges of their vocation. Anecdotal and extremely readable, the book covers a diversity of subjects revealing the incredible variety of a pastor’s day. The chapters move from comedy to pathos, story to theology, Scripture to contemporary culture. This Odd and Wondrous Calling is both serious and fun and is ideal for those who are considering the ministry.

Calling and Character: Virtues of the Ordained Life

In Calling & Character, Bishop Will Willimon lays out a clear and compelling picture of the pastoral life, one that will inform those embarking on ordained ministry.

The Pastor: A Memoir

Eugene Peterson reflects on his life in ministry, asking the question, “what does it mean to be a pastor?”

The Book of Discipline

The Book of Discipline sets forth the plan by which we as United Methodists govern ourselves. It reflects our understanding of the Church and what is expected of its laity and clergy as they seek to be effective witnesses in the world as a part of the whole body of Christ.