Gathered from throughout Indiana, eleven United Methodist certified ministerial candidates met to attend License to Preach School this past spring. The candidates traveled to Springville for classes from across the state. This License to Preach School met for four weekends in February, March and April at Camp Indicoso near Bedford.

License to Preach School was established by the Indiana Conference to provide a dynamic means of study to fulfill the strict requirements for the Local Pastor’s license. This school is for certified candidates seeking licensing as a Local Pastor. In order to be eligible to attend License to Preach School, each candidate must have been recommended to enter the ministry by the Staff/Parish Relations Committee of his or her home church and certified as a ministerial candidate by their District Supervisor for licensed and/or ordained ministry.

Their purpose in gathering was to learn about serving a church as pastor, foster relationships developing ties within our connectional system of churches and earn the license to serve as Local Pastor for the Indiana Conference. Subjects studied included preaching, worship, United Methodist belief and polity, pastoral care, Christian education and church administration, among others. In addition to many papers and exams, the final weekend tested the students’ skills and preparation as each delivered a sermon on his or her Scriptural passage of choice.

One student remarked, “These past few months have been a fantastic experience. It was at times difficult, as most of us also have jobs outside of serving our churches, but the friendships we’ve made are priceless.” She enthusiastically shared that the love for and dedication to serving God and God’s people burns in the heart of each classmate.

A Graduation Ceremony was held Sunday, April 21, with The Rev. John K. Wortinger presiding over a Service of Word and Table. As of this writing, most of the graduates have already been appointed to serve as a pastor to an Indiana United Methodist church.

The next step for these graduates will be more class time. They will begin Course of Study in the Fall. Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary’s Course of Study School, through the Indiana Conference Extension School, is a United Methodist school offering the approved curriculum of the Division of Ordained Ministry of The United Methodist Church. Through Course of Study, these student pastors will continue in their education while serving their churches.

Photo courtesy of Sheri LoCascio

The Rev. John Wortinger serves as Director of the Weekend License to Preach School. Graduating students include: Front Row (l to r) Daniel Kreamer (Kewanna), Matt Snodgrass (White Creek, Columbus), Linda Smock (Bridgeton), Jeannetta Stickford (Waldron) and Matt Hinshaw (Hancock Chapel, Depauw and Milltown). Back Row the Rev. David V.W. Owen, the Rev. John Wortinger, Art Augspurger (Taylor Chapel, Fort Wayne; (7/1/13 – East Liberty, Monroeville), Don Zlaty (West Newton, Indianapolis), Casey Archer (Lewis), Sheri LoCascio (First, Crown Point), Bob Case (First, Pendleton), and Larry Hensley (Potato Run, Corydon).