There are different spiritual gifts but the same Spirit, and there are different ministries and the same Lord; and there are different activities but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. A demonstration of the Spirit is given to each person for the common good.  (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)

Certification in United Methodist Communications is an affirmation by your peers and the United Methodist Church that you are moving forward to live into the call that God has placed on you to serve in the area of communications, that you have met the standards for training in communications and that you are committed to making a Christian witness through the ministry of communications in a church-related position.

Certification in United Methodist Communications is available to laity, diaconal ministers, commissioned probationary members, ordained deacons, and ordained elders. If you believe God has called or is calling you to ministry through service as a communicator in The United Methodist Church, you may want to pursue certification.

Standards and procedures for certification are maintained by the United Methodist Association of Communicators in partnership with United Methodist Communications.

Renewal will occur every quadrennium, the candidate is expected to submit her/his documentation on the fourth anniversary of certification and every four years thereafter. Anyone who is certified at the time of retirement, at age 60 or later, continues under permanent certification with no requirements for renewal.

Certification indicates your commitment to communications ministry within the United Methodist Church and affirms that you have met specified standards to equip you for that ministry.

Work Experience: Be employed for at least two years (10 hours a week or more) in a paid communications position at a United Methodist-related ministry. This can include local church, district, annual conference, agency, or United Methodist-affiliated organization (University, Seminary, UM Foundation, etc.).

OR Actively serve in a volunteer capacity on a conference, district, or local church communications role or team for at least two years. Be able to demonstrate an ongoing commitment to service as a communicator.

Academic Preparation: (choose one of the following options)

  • Complete 10 courses in the Course of Study program (with ongoing progress toward completing COS).
  • Complete an MDiv or Master of Arts in Religious studies, with coursework that covers: United Methodist History/Polity/Doctrine.
  • Certified Lay Minister (CLM) – completed course work and approved by district committee on ministry
  • OR as a Lay-person, take all of the following Lay Servant Courses (contact district for more information about accessing these courses):
    • Basic Lay Servant Ministry
    • United Methodist Polity
    • United Methodist Heritage
    • Spiritual Gifts

All those seeking Certification in United Methodist Communications will also engage in 10 contact hours of online or in-person course work with:

  • United Methodist Association of Communicators,
  • United Methodist Communications or
  • Discipleship Ministries

(specific links and details will be provided when you submit the application)

A reference from the local context supervisor and a letter of reference from the annual conference communicator will be required upon completion of education and service requirements to complete the application process.

Candidates are required to submit two samples of their work. This may include any aspect from their role as a communications professional or volunteer over the past 6 months with a focus on disciple-making and accompanying description of how this was used in their setting. Samples may include written, video, or graphic design.

The certification team will take into consideration how this piece of work impacted discipleship and telling the story of the local church, conference, agency, or affiliated organization with an emphasis on United Methodist distinctives.

There will be an interview with at least two members of the UMAC Credentialing team, via zoom, prior to conferring Certification.

Those who are awarded certification in United Methodist Communications will:

  • be recognized at the next UMAC Annual Meeting*,
  • a Linked-in Certification badge to display on your LinkedIn page and
  • (check back for more benefits!)

The local church and the registrar of the Board of Ordained Ministry and or Lay Ministry in the person’s conference will be notified of his/her certification. For those serving in an agency or affiliated institution the employer will be notified.

Renewal will occur every 4 years. The requirements for renewal are:

  • 20 contact hours of continuing education with a focus on Christian Communication, which may include attendance at the UMAC Annual Meeting.
  • A letter of reference from the local context supervisor (either local church or district) and a letter of reference from the annual conference communicator.
  • A written explanation of how the individual has grown in their work and service as a United Methodist Communicator.

Anyone who is certified at the time of retirement, or at age 60 or later, continues under permanent certification with no requirements for renewal.

*Upon the candidate’s request, a certificate may also be made available to be presented at the next session of his or her annual conference or agency meeting or the next UMAC Annual meeting.

The certificate in United Methodist Communications is a partnership between the United Methodist Association of Communicators and United Methodist Communications.

To begin the process contact: Deborah Coble via email

Click here to download a pdf checklist for certification.