Methodists May Discourage Those Over 45 from Becoming Pastors

Texas Conference of United Methodists is proposing new age guidelines that encourage recruiting younger clergy.

Update (May 21): Houston-area Methodist minister Josh Hale has written a blog post clarifying some of the ageism claims regarding the Texas Conference's proposed changes for the age of clergy.

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The overall average age of retirement is creeping slowly upward, but one regional United Methodist conference is promoting changes that would limit ordination opportunities for anyone over the age of 45.

The Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church (UMC) has proposed new guidelines for candidates entering ministry. The guidelines encourage those over the age of 45 to "to pursue other expressions of lay ministry," and they aim to recruit younger clergy.

According to the UMC, "The Rev. Carol Bruse, the chair of the conference's 70-member board of ordained ministry, said the aim of the proposed standards is to help the conference plan for future needs. The policy would not affect current clergy or clergy candidates in the Texas Conference."

But the UMC also acknowledges that ordination is a lengthy ...

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