Residency in Ministry

A Program of The Arkansas Conference Board of Ordained Ministry

Who is in Residency & the RIM program?

Commissioned provisional elders and provisional deacons who
  • have completed all educational requirements,
  • received a full time appointment (less than full-time appointments are considered on a case-by-base basis), and
  • are seeking full membership and ordination in the Arkansas Conference
shall enter a Residency in Ministry (RIM) process. It is the responsibility of the Board of Ordained Ministry (BOM) to nurture and evaluate those persons who are provisional members of the Arkansas Conference.

What are the goals and expectations of the RIM program?

“The mission of the United Methodist Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” Our Arkansas Annual Conference Trajectory for the coming years: “Creating vital congregations that make disciples of Jesus Christ, who make disciples, equipped and sent to transform lives, communities and the world.” Together as United Methodists of Arkansas, we live out this mission and this trajectory. The Residency in Ministry process seeks to fulfill this mission by fulfilling the following goals:
  • Provide the BOM with the evaluative tools necessary to gauge the effectiveness of provisional members seeking ordination and full connection.
  • Assist provisional members in their transition into ministry, guiding them into deeper fruitfulness and effectiveness in becoming excellent and passionate clergy, toward the goal of fulfilling the mission of the UMC and the Arkansas Conference.
  • Create opportunities for communities of practice for peer group learning, discipleship, and support among the residents.
It is clear from studies about clergy life that early patterns and attitudes become basic for a person’s self-confidence and view of his/her ministry. Your way of understanding your vocation as a United Methodist Minister is created during this time, and research shows that it will last during the whole of your ministry. This is the time that you set habits, styles, and inclinations for a lifetime of ministry. Through the Residency Committee, clergy mentors, and residency peer groups, the Board of Ordained Ministry (BOM) offers provisional ministers a curriculum that supports the practice and work of their ministry as servant leaders, to contemplate the grounding of ordained ministry, and understand the covenant ministry in the life of the Arkansas Conference of the UMC. Successful completion of this process is a requirement for ordination as a deacon or elder in full connection in the Arkansas Conference. In accordance with recent and existing General Conference decisions, residency is a 2-8 year process. The BOM expects that the average length of residency will be 3 years, but the new RIM process is not designed with a 2-year or 3-year “default” calendar. Instead, the process allows flexibility so that you, the resident, are assisted with the tools you need to transition into effective ministry as an ordained United Methodist minister in full connection. Also, it will allow the people of the BOM to have the evaluative tools we need to assess your effectiveness in ministry. Two years of effective ministry in a single appointment as a Resident is the minimum time required to complete the Arkansas Conference Residency Process.

RIM Forms and Documents

Additional Documents:

Evaluation Forms (Due January 31)

Do you have a Resident at your Church?

What will our Resident need to accomplish while at our church?
  • The Resident will need to be active and fruitful in ministry with the congregation/ministry setting. The BOM requires a minimum of two years of effective and fruitful ministry at a single appointment.
  • The Resident will need to utilize experiences at the local church in creating assignments, such as Sermon & Worship Leadership Videos, SMART Goals, and a Fruitfulness Project which serves as a capstone project.
  • Attend meetings, retreats, and BOM interviews as she journeys toward Full Connection and Ordination
What will the SPRC/PPRC/Board need to do?
  • Pray for your resident, her ministry, and her continual pastoral formation.
  • Meet with the Resident Periodically and give appropriate and constructive feedback.
  • Help the Resident craft SMART Goals that connect to the congregation’s vision and mission.
  • Encourage attendance. These meetings are mandatory for provisional members of the conference and should not be considered vacation or even continuing education time away.
  • Complete an annual Local Church BOM evaluation by January 31. This form is located online at the RIM page of the conference website. The entire SPRC should study the form early in the year, watch the training video and then all have input on the Resident’s annual evaluation. The BOM ministry assessment process is rooted in Wesleyan theology that is grace-filled and built upon covenantal relationships and disciplines. The ministry assessment process assists the Resident in reflecting on the consistency (or inconsistency) between her beliefs and her practice, provides feedback in a manner that encourages and supports learning from experience, extends care to Residents as they gain new insights from failures, and celebrates growth. The process holds Residents accountable for demonstrating fruitfulness and keeping commitments made in covenant with the community of faith.
What does a Senior Pastor/Supervisor need to do?
  • Pray for your resident, her ministry, and her continual pastoral formation.
  • Use the years you share in ministry as an opportunity to mentor and encourage the Resident as a new pastor and colleague.
  • Invite and include the resident in committee meetings, especially Disciplinary committees like SPRC, Finance, Trustees, and Nominations. During this time of learning, experience in those settings are crucial for future success.
  • Encourage attendance. These meetings are mandatory for provisional members of the conference and should not be considered vacation or even continuing education time away.
  • Complete an annual Supervisor’s BOM evaluation by January 31. This form is identical to the SPRC evaluation and is located on this page.
What are SMART Goals? The particular process that we advocate is much more than a “to do” list. It is more than a checklist of things to accomplish. Rather it is a process designed to provide clarity of calling and focus for ministry. Two to three performance goals are plenty. Performance goals help to sharpen focus and energy, and align the clergy leader’s work with the contextual mission of the congregation. A reasonable person reading the goal should understand why the goal has inherent worth and how it will advance the mission of the congregation. Each goal should be SMART:

Contact Us

The Rev. Sam Meadors, RIM Program Director –