Decision Number 152
Whether Appointment of a Member on Trial of an Annual Conference to Attend School May Be Considered as Fulfilling the Disciplinary Requirement of "Regular Appointment Under the Supervision of a District Superintendent"
Appointment to attend school as provided for in Paragraph 432 of the 1956 Discipline, Section 7, does not meet the requirements of Paragraph 341 of the 1956 Discipline, (a) relating to qualifications for admission into full connection in an Annual Conference.
Statement of Facts
During the session of the Little Rock Annual Conference held June 3 and 6, 1958, in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the following resolution was adopted and duly forwarded to the secretary of the Judicial Council:
"WHEREAS: there has come to the attention of the Board of MinisterialTraining the fact that there are varying interpretations of the relationship of Paragraph 341 to Paragraph 432, Sections I through 7, and
"WHEREAS: to carry out effectively the work of the Board of MinisterialTraining this confusion must be eliminated,
"BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED: That the Little Rock Annual Conference supportits Board of Ministerial Training in its request for a Judicial Council ruling for the purpose of clarifying the relationship of the afore-mentioned Paragraphs in the 1956 Discipline of The Methodist Church.
"BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That the request for clarification read as follows:'The Little Rock Annual Conference respectfully requests the Judicial Council of The Methodist Church to clarify the relationship of Paragraph 341, to Paragraph 432, Sections 1 through 7.
"'TO WIT: Can Section 7 of Paragraph 432 (appointment to attend school) beconsidered as having met the requirement of two years of service while on trial under the supervision of a District Superintendent.'
Respectfully submitted, Board of Ministerial Training Fred R. Harrison, Chairman Clint Burleson, Secretary"
Under Paragraph 914 (8) of the 1956 Discipline, this request is properly before the Judicial Council.
Analysis and Rationale
Paragraph 432 of the 1956 Discipline has to do with provisions and limitations which are to be observed by the Bishop when fixing the appointments and includes under Section 7, "He may appoint a preacher on trial or a member of an Annual Conference who desires to attend school to any college or school of theology accredited or approved by the University Senate."
Paragraph 341 of the 1956 Discipline sets forth the requirements for admission of a member on trial into full connection in an Annual Conference. Among the requirements is that he must have "served under regular appointment under supervision of a District Superintendent in one of the positions specified in Paragraph 432, Sections 1-6, for at least two years since being admitted on trial."
However, it is clear that for at least two years of his trial period, whether in school or not, the candidate for full connection must serve in some appointive relationship to an Annual Conference during which his service shall be supervised and evaluated by a District Superintendent. This relationship may be in any of the positions to which a Bishop may make an appointment as specified in Paragraph 432 of the 1956 Discipline, Sections 1 to 6, in which there is no mention made of the appointment "to attend school."
The very fact that paragraph 341 of the 1956 Discipline specifically limits the appointments by which this qualification for full connection in the Annual Conference may be fulfilled to those included in Paragraph 432, Sections 1-6, would seem conclusive in determining that appointment under Section 7 of this Paragraph would not in itself meet the requirement of Paragraph 341 (a).
It is the decision of the Judicial Council that appointment to attend school as provided in Paragraph 432 of the 1956 Discipline, Section 7, may not be considered to have met the requirements of two years of service under the supervision of the District Superintendent as required in Paragraph 341 (a) of the 1956 Discipline for admission into full connection in an Annual Conference.