Clergy who have held full-time appointments for at least six years may request a formational and spiritual growth leave up to six months in duration while continuing to hold an appointment in the local church. (Discipline ¶351.3)
Clergy may apply for a grant up to $1,500 for reimbursement of fees and other expenses for formational and spiritual growth courses and events undertaken during an approved Formational and Spiritual Growth Leave. Examples of expenses include registration and course fees, retreat fees, and associated travel costs. Evidence of costs must accompany the application.
Remunerative employment during a Formational and Spiritual Growth leave is not permitted unless directly related to the formational program. Grants will not be approved for leaves when a clergy is within three years of anticipated retirement.
Additional Support during a Formational and Spiritual Growth Leave:
For an approved Formational and Spiritual Growth Leave, clergy may also apply for a MEF grant up to $100 per week for the period of the approved leave to each of their appointed church(es) for pulpit supply or the most important need of the church community. A copy of this approved application must accompany the grant request for pulpit supply.
Grant applications are normally reviewed monthly by the Board of Ordained Ministry. Once approved, payments are typically processed within one week.
Discipline Paragraph 351.3
A clergy member may request a Formational and Spiritual Growth Leave of up to six months while continuing to hold an appointment in the local church. Such leaves are available to clergy members who have held full-time appointments for at least six years. Such a leave shall be with the approval of the committee on pastor parish relations, the church council, and the district superintendent. Annual conferences are encouraged to assist with pulpit supply and other temporary support for such leaves.