DLMs Seeking Testamur Eligibility

Recognized Designated Lay Ministers are able to apply for eligibility for testamur once they meet the following criteria:

  1. graduated from a Designated Lay Ministry program OR have a letter confirming prior learning assessment;
  2. recognized by a presbytery (before 2019), Conference (before 2019), or regional council; and
  3. minimum five years of pastoral ministry experience post-recognition, in at least half-time ministry appointments.

Former staff associates who were never recognized as Designated Lay Ministers and have continued to serve in the same community of faith are not eligible for testamur.

Current recognized DLMs who have not yet served 5 years post-recognition, and current DLM candidates, will be able to apply for eligibility for testamur once they meet the above criteria. We anticipate that this process will be in place until at least 2030.

To apply for eligibility for testamur, Designated Lay Ministers can:

  1. Fill out the application form on ChurchHub. The form is available as of January 15, 2024.
  2. Ensure they are on the registry of accredited ministry personnel by submitting their 2024 Annual Declaration on Criminal Charges on ChurchHub and confirming that they are up to date on mandatory training (or registering for training(s) on CHURCHx if they are not).
  3. Discern whether you are called to ordained or diaconal ministry by reviewing the material about ordered ministry and having conversations with both diaconal and ordained ministry colleagues about their stream of ministry.
  4. Review section H.7.1 of The Manual to be aware of the commitments you will be asked to make at a celebration of ministries service for those being commissioned or ordained.
  5. Meet with an interview team of the Credentialing Committee. This is an opportunity to articulate your discerned stream of ministry within the Order of Ministry. It will not be about assessing your call to ministry. Interviews are anticipated to be 20‒30 minutes in length.

Things to Keep in Mind

  • Applications will be reviewed in the order that they are received by the Office of Vocation.
    • If applications need to be prioritized, priority will be given to those from regional councils who have set dates for celebration of ministries services in the spring of 2024.
  • The Credentialing Committee is partnering with other elected members of boards of the Office of Vocation to ensure that there is capacity for interview teams to undertake this work in February and March.
  • If testamur is granted, you will receive a certificate of commissioning or ordination and the Office of Vocation will use the name that they currently have as your legal name on the certificate (this is the same name that you can see in your profile on ChurchHub.ca). If you need to clarify the name or request changes, please reach out to officeofvocation@united-church.ca .
  • A DLM who has been granted testamur will need to have a provisional call or appointment in place with a community of faith or an offer of employment to a paid accountable/recognized ministry, as determined by the regional council, to be commissioned or ordained. This is required by The Manual, section H.4.8, for all those seeking commissioning or ordination.


  • Early January 2024: Applications open on ChurchHub.
  • February‒March 2024: Interview teams meet with eligible DLMs.

After testamur eligibility is assessed:

  • March 8, 2024: Names are presented to Credentialing Committee for formal decisions, and the process for seeking testamur for DLMs hoping to be commissioned/ordained at spring 2024 regional council gatherings and celebration of ministries services is closed.
  • mid-March 2024: Formal letters are sent to DLMs who meet the testamur eligibility.
  • mid-March 2024: Regional councils are informed of the names of all who will be eligible for ordination or commissioning at regional council celebration of ministry services.
  • April‒May 2024: Regional councils determine whether the DLM has a call or an appointment in place in order to be ordained or commissioned at spring celebration of ministry services (provided the regional council is gathering for such a celebration).
  • April 2024 onwards: Applications and interviews will continue based on order of applications received. These applicants would be looking ahead to being commissioned/ordained at either fall 2024 or spring 2025 regional council gatherings and celebration of ministry services.

Further Clarity on the DLM Decision by the 44th General Council

More than Just Acronyms: FAQs on the GC DLM Decision provides more information on the decision by the October 2023 Annual Meeting of the 44th General Council: General Council to offer individual Designated Lay Ministers a pathway to commissioning or ordination. These FAQs were designed for the wider church to understand the decision made by General Council at the October 2023 meeting. 

For Further Information

If you have further questions about this process, please reach out to  officeofvocation@united-church.ca .