Chapter 5: District Administration

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Chapter 5: District Administration

A. District Superintendent

1300. Function. The district superintendent is to be the spiritual and administrative leader of the district.

1303. Qualifications and Tenure. A district superintendent shall exhibit the desire to live a holy life and demonstrate the same in practice; shall live in full accord with the vision and values of The Wesleyan Church; have passion and compassion for the lost and the least; and exhibit vision and administrative leadership. The regulations for a district superintendent are (cf. 1255-1272):

(1) Election. The district superintendent shall be elected by the district conference, by ballot and by majority vote, from among the ordained ministers of The Wesleyan Church (1180:31; cf. 1935:31). If the district superintendent who is elected is from outside the membership of the electing district, the district superintendent shall immediately arrange for the transfer of local and district membership.
(2) Term of Office. The initial election of a district superintendent shall be for a term of two years. Reelection thereafter shall be for a term of four years or an extended period (cf. 1262). The initial term of a newly elected district superintendent begins at the rise of the district conference. However, when mutually agreed upon or deemed in the best interests of the district, the district board of administration may delay the beginning of the term of the newly elected district superintendent and provide an appropriate transition period before ending the term of the outgoing district superintendent. The salary of a district superintendent should be continued for one month beyond the date for the termination of service, unless the salary is removed by the district board of administration.
(3) Reelection. Unless a district superintendent whose term is expiring shall give notice to the General Superintendent and district board of administration no less than 90 days prior to district conference, the district superintendent shall be considered available. The General Superintendent shall lead the district board of administration in a formal evaluation of the district superintendent’s job performance in relation to established missional goals and objectives (cf. 1935:29-30) prior to any vote on reelection to office. If necessary, by a majority vote the district board of administration may request procedural intervention by the General Superintendent to declare that reelection by a “yes/no” vote shall not occur but that the nomination process in Discipline 1303:8 must be followed. When an incumbent district superintendent does not receive a majority vote on the initial “yes/no” ballot for reelection, the provision of 1303:8 for the special committee on nominations shall become effective.
(4) Term of Reelection. One of the following alternative procedures shall be followed:
(a) A vote for a four-year renewal of the call shall be taken. If the vote on a four-year renewal of the call is favorable, the district board of administration, after consulting with the district superintendent and upon approval of the General Superintendent, may then recommend to the district conference that a ballot vote be taken to renew the call for an extended period.
(b) Or, prior to the vote on renewing the call, the district board of administration, after consultation with the district superintendent and upon approval of the General Superintendent, shall recommend to the district conference a specific call for four years or an extended call.
(5) Special Regulations for Extended Call. The General Superintendent shall review the call relationship with the district board of administration at least quadrennially. At the evaluation, the district board of administration shall either reaffirm by majority vote the extended call or shall, in consultation with the General Superintendent, announce a vote of the district conference for affirmation of continuing the call.
(6) Ex Officio Duties. The district superintendent is a ministerial member of the General Conference (325; 1503:1a), vice-chair of the district conference (350:3; 1120), chair of the district board of administration (1203; 1221), chair of the district board of ministerial development unless electing to appoint another to serve (1381), chair of the district board of evangelism and church growth unless electing to appoint another to serve (1416), chair of the district building committee (1345), chair of the district conference action committee when such is authorized (1165), unless electing to appoint another to serve, chair of the district conference nominating committee when such is authorized (1172), and an ex officio member of the district conventions of women’s ministry and Wesleyan Youth.
(7) Vacancy. Whenever the office of superintendent is vacated other than at district conference, or when other existing circumstances warrant, the district board of administration, in consultation with the General Superintendent, shall appoint an interim superintendent to serve until the next annual session of the district conference, or until a successor is elected or the district board of administration declares the period of service ended. An interim district superintendent shall be granted full authority to carry out the duties assigned to a district superintendent by The Discipline.
(8) Special District Committee for Nominations. Whenever a vacancy has resulted in the appointment of an acting superintendent, or whenever a district superintendent shall announce unavailability for continued service, a special district committee for nominations shall be formed with the General Superintendent as chair, comprised of the members of the district board of administration, or by persons they choose. The special district committee for nominations shall screen and select persons believed to have the qualities needed for the office of district superintendent and present one or more nominees to the district conference session. The district conference shall elect in accordance with 1303:1, and shall not be limited to the persons nominated by the special committee on nominations.

1307. Amenability. The district superintendent is amenable, as provided in the constitution, to the General Board (323:1). The district superintendent may be removed from office by the General Board, by a two-thirds majority vote of all its members, for cause or whenever the General Board deems it necessary for the best interests of the Church or the preservation of the district (1655:37, 40a).

1310. Duties. The district superintendent shall administer this office in accord with The Discipline and any other official directives from the General Conference, the General Board, the General Superintendent, the district conference, and the district board of administration.
The duties of the district superintendent are (cf. 1300; 1303:6):

General

(1) To have the oversight of the Church within the district, endeavoring to lead the district forward in the fulfillment of the mission of The Wesleyan Church (100-105).
(2) To give special attention to the initiation and promotion of an aggressive program of evangelism and church growth, as approved by the district conference or the district board of administration (cf. 537; 510; 518; 1233:3, 20; 1413; 4840:6).
(3) To carry on a spiritual and inspirational ministry, teaching the people concerning the doctrines, purposes, and programs of The Wesleyan Church, and promoting the interests of all the general divisions and the district.
(4) To cooperate with the General Superintendent (cf. 1935:27), the General Board, and its Executive Board in the oversight of the district work and, in matters of district evangelism and church growth, with the Executive Director of Church Multiplication and Discipleship.
(5) To assist the General Superintendent in presiding over the district conference, and to assist the representative appointed by the General Superintendent when the General Superintendent is unable to be present. If neither the General Superintendent nor a representative appointed by the General Superintendent is present, it is the duty of the district superintendent to preside or to take responsibility for the same (350:3; 1120).

District Administration

(6) To be the chair of the district board of administration (1203; 1221), and to submit recommendations to the district board of administration that will provide for a more efficient administration, correlation, and advancement of the district work.
(7) To be the chair of the district board of ministerial development, or to appoint another to serve instead, subject to ratification by the district board of administration (1381); to be the chair of the district building committee (1345), to be the chair of the district conference action committee, when such a committee has been authorized, or to appoint the chair (1165), and to be the chair of the district conference nominating committee when such has been authorized (1172).
(8) To exercise administrative supervision over all district officials, departmental officers, boards (cf. 1416; 1452; 1496), leadership teams, committees, auxiliary organizations, missions, developing churches, churches, circuits, ministers, and other workers (cf. 3260:2) of the district with the exception of those who are amenable to the General Board (323:1; 1180:12), and to see that the plans and policies of the General Church and district are carried out.
(9) To meet with any district board, leadership team, committee, auxiliary organization or other district agency at the discretion of the district superintendent, and make such recommendations as deemed advisable; and to counsel with the various officers, directors, employees, and others serving the district concerning their work.
(10) To cooperate with the district board of administration in evaluating the health of the district; establishing policies, goals, and objectives for more effectively fulfilling the mission of the district; pursuing the goals and objectives, within the established policies and through the district’s pastors and members; and periodically providing performance reports regarding progress.
(11) To participate in at least one continuing education opportunity per year that is specifically designed for personal and professional development.
(12) To strive toward established goals and objectives approved by the district board of administration in consultation with the General Superintendent.
(13) To examine all written instruments and legal papers for the conveyance of property acquired by local churches (4700:5) or the district and to approve them as to their conformity with the requirements of The Discipline (4590-4880; cf. 4000-4070), the inclusion of the proper trust clause (4610), and conformity to local laws (4510); and to have the custody, under the direction of the district board of administration, of property and legal records for both the district and the local churches as provided for in 4760.

Local Churches

(14) To visit, or to appoint an assistant district superintendent, if any, or other representative to visit, each church in the district at least once a year, or according to a schedule of visits approved by the district board of administration, making careful inquiry into the progress and administration of the church and seeking to advance its spiritual life, and to preserve a written report of such visits in the district office for future reference and for the successor in office.
(15) To investigate carefully concerning the support of pastors and to advise and encourage the local churches to provide for their adequate support.
(16) To recommend that the district board of administration authorize the establishment of a mission (537), a developing church (510), a church (518), the reclassification of a church (518:7); and to preside over the organization of an established church or appoint a representative to do so (520), and to report the organization of new churches to the district board of administration and to the district conference (520:6).
(17) To supervise and promote the development of a developing church, approving the reception of members (510:2; cf. 5105), appointing the local advisory council in cooperation with the pastor (510:3), and approving the plans of the pastor and the local advisory council in the interim of sessions of the district board of administration (510:3).
(18) To approve the date for the regular session of a local church conference (630:1-2), to preside over a local church conference whenever present (635), to convene, when deemed advisable, a local board of administration or a local church conference and preside over the same (633:1; 712; 722:2-3; 773), and carry out any other provisions for a local board of administration or conference as prescribed in The Discipline.
(19) To counsel with a local board of administration for the securing of a pastor (705:1-3), proactively assessing the needs of the church and providing it with specific recommendations and names of potential pastors who best fit the profile to help meet those needs. The local board of administration and the district superintendent shall approve a pastoral candidate before that person is recommended to the church for a vote. The district superintendent shall also carry out the provisions of The Discipline concerning the call, the renewal of a call, the review and termination of an extended call, the resignation and release of a pastor from the pastoral agreement, and other matters pertaining to pastoral relations for the pastoral charges under district care (633:3; 692:2; 705:1-3; 710; 712; 718-722; 773).
(20) To work directly with the pastors and leaders of local churches in setting goals and objectives, or appoint another district leader to do so. The district superintendent, in consultation with the district board of administration, may advise a pastor and local board of administration to consider a pastoral change if goal progress remains unsatisfactory.
(21) To approve the transfer of any ordained minister or commissioned or licensed minister from another district, in concurrence with the General Superintendent (313:6; 705:3; 3100:1) and, when objecting to such a transfer, to state any reasons if requested to do so.
(22) To recommend the removal of a pastor to the district board of administration, whenever the best interests of the church involved demand it, and to recommend to the district board of administration the appointment of a supply or interim, if necessary, until another pastor has been obtained (712; 715; 722:3; 1233:32).
(23) To perform all the functions of a pastor for a local church within the district when such church is without a pastor, or to recommend to the district board of administration the appointment of a supply pastor or interim pastor until the local church obtains a pastor (1233:32, 39; 3260:2; 3261:2).
(24) To approve the employment of an evangelist or workers of another denomination for revivals or other meetings by a local church or any district organization and, when objecting to such employment, to state any reasons if requested to do so (725:19; 782:18).

Ministers

(25) To counsel with the pastors, ministers, and special workers under district care, giving special attention to the encouragement and guidance of candidates for the ministry.
(26) To be responsible, if the General Superintendent is absent, and if the representative appointed by the General Superintendent is absent (3091), for leading the Council of Ordination (1405) in conducting the ritual of ordination (3070:6; 5750-5792), and the ritual of commissioning a minister (5800-5845), a special worker (3470; 5855), and a lay missionary (3490; 5855); to sign with the district secretary such certificates, licenses or other official forms, as are required of this office and issued to such persons as are authorized by the district conference; to have charge of services for the installation of pastors (5905).
(27) To provide or promote access to continuing education opportunities at least twice each year for the ongoing personal and professional development of all ministerial personnel.
(28) To request any special reports from the pastors, ministers, and churches that will facilitate oversight of the district.
(29) To approve in writing the temporary service of an ordained minister in a district other than the one in which membership is held (3100:2); to grant a letter of transfer or standing to any ordained, licensed or commissioned worker in good standing of the district (6440; 6460); to instruct the district secretary to enroll as a member of the district a minister who transfers from another district in the manner prescribed by The Discipline (313:6; 3100:1; 6440-6450), and to order the enrollment of a ministerial student or special worker so transferring (3015:3c, 5d; 3480; 6440-6450); to guide a minister or special worker from another denomination seeking recognition and membership in The Wesleyan Church (3104; 3470; cf. 3117); and to provide oversight for the restoration of ministers (5230).

Reports

(30) To report annually to the district conference concerning official duties and personal ministry (1180:13), and to submit other reports to the General Board or its Executive Board, the General Superintendent and the district board of administration as required; to counsel with the General Superintendent at least once a year concerning the plans and objectives for the district, reporting to the General Superintendent on the activities of the district and progress toward its objectives during the past year (cf. 1935:27).

Judicial

(31) To receive any complaint or accusation against any person or local unit under the jurisdiction of the district (5200:1-7; 5206; 5300-5320), and to give such complaint or accusation prompt and careful attention as required in the General Board Policy on Church Discipline (5206:2; 5300-5320), and to refer any matter requiring official investigation or judicial proceedings to the district board of administration for disposition (1233:36, 40; cf. 5212:2; 5320).
(32) To forward to the Executive Director of Communication and Administration the credentials of a minister when such have been surrendered or removed by judicial process (3100:4; 5212:2; 5230).

B. Assistant District Superintendent(s)

1320. A district may have one or more assistant district superintendents as determined by majority vote of the district conference. In those districts where the district conference has voted to have one or more assistant district superintendents, the office shall be filled from among the ordained ministers of the district (1180:32) upon nomination by the district superintendent and election by the district board of administration. One of the assistant district superintendents shall be designated to serve as the vice-chair of the district board of administration and will serve on the executive committee of the district board of administration. Also, the district board of administration shall designate one of the assistant district superintendents to serve on the district board of ministerial development. The qualifications, term of office, amenability, and other regulations are those of a district official as set forth in 1255-1272.

1323. The duties of the assistant district superintendent(s), if any, are:

(1) To serve as member and vice-chair (cf. 1320) of the district board of administration, presiding over the board whenever the district superintendent is not present or when appointed to do so by the district superintendent (1221).
(2) To convene the district board of administration in times of emergency when the district superintendent is not able to act (1215; 1320).
(3) To serve as member of the district board of ministerial development (1320; 1378).
(4) To assist the district superintendent and to serve as a representative of the district superintendent to local churches or district organizations as the superintendent may request.
(5) To perform such other duties as may be required by the district conference or the district board of administration.
(6) To report annually to the district conference concerning all official duties (1180:13), and to the district board of administration as required.

1327. A district conference may choose to have one or more assistant district superintendent(s), if any, as full-time district official(s), and shall further define the duties of the assistant district superintendent(s) in addition to those set forth in The Discipline.

C. District Secretary

1330. The district secretary shall be elected by the district conference by ballot and by majority vote (1180:33; cf. 1175:1). The qualifications, term of office, amenability, and other regulations are those of a district official as defined in 1255-1272.

1332. The duties of the district secretary are:

(1) To be the secretary of the district conference, recording accurately and completely the proceedings of each session and forwarding the same to the Executive Director of Communication and Administration for distribution to the general offices and divisions (cf. 1178:4).
(2) To serve as a member and as the secretary of the district board of administration (1203; 1224), recording accurately and completely the proceedings of each session and preserving them in permanent form, forwarding a copy of the minutes of each session to each member of the board and to the General Superintendent.
(3) To issue official notices and communications from the district conference and from the district board of administration; and to keep permanent file copies of all correspondence, reports, and other records.
(4) To issue and sign all certificates, licenses, and other official forms as properly authorized by the district and as prescribed for a district secretary by the General Conference or General Board (1310:26).
(5) To forward promptly to the Executive Director of Communication and Administration: the statistical and financial reports of the district conference as may be required by the General Board; a certified list of the General Conference delegates, and the certification of an alternate when a delegate is unable to attend (1512-1518); a copy of each memorial adopted for presentation to the General Conference; a copy of the official district directory for inclusion in the denominational directory, and of each change in the directory as it occurs (1332:8); and to cooperate in forwarding other information to the Executive Director of Communication and Administration as the Executive Director may request.
(6) To be the custodian of the official district records and archives, except as otherwise provided for in The Discipline (1387; 4760), including the records of the district statistical committee (1352:3) and all district judicial committees (5218; 5227), and to be instructed by the district board of administration as to the exercise of such custody (1233:16).
(7) To receive an official copy of the minutes of each board, committee, auxiliary organization or other district agency, and to preserve them in the district archives.
(8) To maintain a complete and current district directory, listing the district officials, each district board or committee with the names of its members and officers, the district departmental officers (1275), the names and addresses of each ordained minister, commissioned minister, licensed minister, ministerial student, commissioned and licensed special worker, and commissioned lay missionary, the address of each mission, developing church, church, circuit, and parsonage within the bounds of the district, and other information as desired (cf. 1240).
(9) To aid in collecting books, documents, photographs or other historical materials for the historical archives of the denomination in cooperation with the Executive Director of Communication and Administration (2115:5).
(10) To notify all churches and ministerial members of the district of the time and place of the next regular session of the district conference at least sixty days in advance (1112), and to notify them of any reconvened sessions as directed by the district board of administration (1115).
(11) To perform such other duties as may be required by the district conference or the district board of administration and as pertain to this office.

D. District Treasurer

1335. The district treasurer shall be elected by the district conference, by ballot and by majority vote (1175:1; 1180:33), unless the district conference by prior action has voted to authorize the district board of administration to appoint the district treasurer. If the district conference authorizes the district board of administration to appoint or employ the district treasurer, said appointment shall take place at the organizing session of the district board of administration immediately after the rise of the annual district conference (1209:2). The district treasurer shall serve as an ex officio member of the district board of administration and shall be a voting member of the district conference. Said treasurer’s qualifications, term of office, amenability, and other regulations are those of a district official as defined in 1255-1272.

1337. The duties of a district treasurer are:

(1) To serve as a member of the district board of administration (1203), and, when such has been authorized, as a member of the district conference action committee (1165).
(2) To be bonded to the amount set by the district board of administration, the cost of which shall be paid by the district (1233:18).
(3) To have custody of all district funds, unless otherwise provided for by The Discipline; to receive, record, hold, and disburse such funds in keeping with the financial plans of the General Conference and the district conference and as directed by the district board of administration.
(4) To receive, record, and hold all USF funds for the General Church raised within the district and to remit such funds monthly to the General Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer on the approved forms.
(5) To serve as a district director of stewardship, promoting stewardship and storehouse tithing on the district level, in cooperation with the General Superintendent.
(6) To prepare and submit to the district board of administration, or to another committee if such has been designated by the district conference, a recommended plan to provide for the raising of the district obligation to the United Stewardship Fund, designating the amount to be assigned to each local church as its share of the district obligation, in accord with the regulations for the United Stewardship Fund (2015); which plan, as approved by the proper board or committee, shall be presented to the district conference for adoption (1180:16; 1233:11; cf. 1165-1168); and to promptly notify the General Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer of the district USF obligation on forms provided by the General Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer (cf. 2015:2).
(7) To submit all records and funds for an annual audit, after the close of the fiscal year, as provided for in 1340, and at any other time as may be requested by the district board of administration (1233:19).
(8) To submit a complete financial report of all funds administered or attended to by the district treasurer, to each regular session of the district conference (1180:13); to submit reports to the district board of administration (1233:12), the district superintendent and the General Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer as they may require.
(9) To perform such other duties as may be required by the district conference or the district board of administration and as pertain to this office.

E. District Auditing Committee

1340. The district board of administration shall provide for the auditing of all district treasurers’ books annually, either by an elected district auditing committee, or by employing a certified public accountant, chartered accountant or public accountant. Audits shall be conducted on the records and funds of the district treasurer (1337:8) and all other treasurers of district boards or agencies having custody of district funds. The audit reports shall be submitted to the district board of administration for adoption. After appropriate review, the district board of administration may submit the reports to the district conference or the respective district conventions of the auxiliaries as information. The district auditing committee, certified public accountant, chartered accountant or public accountant may perform such other duties as may be required by the district conference or the district board of administration.

F. District Building Committee

1345. There shall be a district building committee elected by the district conference (1180:35a; cf. 1175:2), unless the district conference shall delegate the election to the district board of administration. The committee shall consist of the district superintendent or the district superintendent’s appointed designee as chair, and such members as shall be elected. The elected members should be persons who are capable and experienced in property transactions and the construction of buildings. General regulations governing the membership of this committee are given in 1275-1292. The duties of the district building committee are:

(1) To investigate the proposed sites for local church buildings, parsonages or other units, in order to ascertain that such properties are properly located in the community to be served and adequate in size for future expansion and parking facilities; to consider also the plans and requirements of any planning commission, if such an agency exists; to consider also the financial plans and liabilities to be incurred; to act upon the proposal of the local church and to report its findings and recommendations in writing both to the district board of administration and the local church (cf. 4700-4720).
(2) To consider the proposal of a local church, on behalf of the church or a subsidiary of the church (655:13) for the:
(a) Purchase of land;
(b) Purchase of land and buildings;
(c) Construction of a new building;
(d) Addition to or remodeling of a building when the consequent costs are anticipated to be ten percent or more of the value of the current building.
(3) To advise the local church in detail concerning the architectural plans; to consider carefully the financial liability and the plans of the local church for meeting such liabilities; and to report its findings and recommendations in writing to the local church and the district board of administration (1233:33; cf. 4700-4720).

G. District Statistical Committee

1350. Each district conference shall elect a district statistical committee of the desired number (1180:35b; cf. 1175:2), or the district conference may delegate this responsibility to the district board of administration. General regulations for the membership of this committee are given in 1275-1292.

1352. The duties of the district statistical committee are:

(1) To receive, on behalf of the district conference, complete annual statistical and financial reports from such persons, units, and agencies as the General Board shall designate, on forms approved by the General Superintendent and made available by the Executive Director of Communication and Administration; and to compile and submit to the district conference a comprehensive statistical and financial report for the district as a whole.
(2) To report to the district board of administration the name of each person who fails to submit the report in the proper manner and at the appointed time.
(3) To submit, after the committee has finished its work, all reports and records to the district secretary for filing.

H. District Board of Trustees

1360. The district conference of each established district shall be incorporated or shall cause a corporation to be formed and maintained to facilitate the management of its legal and corporate affairs as set forth in 4100–4150. In places where local laws prohibit such incorporation, or where the local laws require property to be held by trustees, the district conference may elect from among the members of the district board of administration the members of the district board of trustees in such number as desired (1180:22; cf. 4855). The district trustees shall hold office until their term expires as members of the district board of administration and until their successors are elected and qualified. The district board of trustees shall be amenable to the district board of administration (cf. 4840; 4855). A district trustee may be removed from office by a two-thirds majority vote of all the members of the district board of administration whenever it is deemed necessary for the best interests of The Wesleyan Church and the district or whenever a trustee shall refuse to carry out the directions of the district board of administration, except when such directions are contrary to local laws or to The Discipline (1206; 1233:28a; 1265; 4540). The office of a district trustee may also become vacant by death, cessation of membership in The Wesleyan Church or cessation of membership on the district board of administration. A vacancy on the district board of trustees shall be filled for the unexpired term by a majority vote of all the members of the district board of administration (1206; 1233:28a; 1272).

1365. The district board of trustees shall administer its duties in accord with The Discipline (4500-4630; 4830-4880), and as directed by the district board of administration. Its duties are:

(1) To hold all district property, and such local property as may be held by the district (4660; 4680), in trust for The Wesleyan Church as set forth in 4830 (cf. 323:8).
(2) To attend to all legal matters pertaining to the district transactions for the purchase, sale, encumbrance, transfer or other disposal of property, as ordered by the district board of administration (cf. 4840).
(3) To fulfill such other duties as pertain to their office as trustees and as may be assigned to them by the district board of administration.

I. District Board of Review

1370. Each established district shall have a district board of review, which shall consist of four ordained ministers and three lay members elected annually by the district board of administration (1233:26; 5218). Two ordained ministers and two lay members shall also be elected at the same time to serve as alternates and to fill vacancies in the order of their election (5218). The district board of review serves as an appellate body for lay members and local churches. The duties and powers of the district board of review are set forth in the General Board Policy on Church Discipline (5218-5221). General regulations governing the members of the district board of review are set forth in 1275–1292.