Does MPCA have a legal right to license people as clergy?
Yes. According to Maine law, a legal marriage (the most common use of legal clergy status) can be performed by “A person licensed to preach by an association of ministers, religious seminary or ecclesiastical body.” MPCA is incorporated as an association of ministers to allow this licensure to take place.
Do I have to get MPCA licensure to be a member of this group?
Absolutely not! Licensure is completely voluntary, offered purely as a service to the Pagan community. We very much respect that each of us has a different path, and that some may choose not to obtain legal status or to obtain it through other venues.
Do I have to be a certain kind of Pagan to apply for MPCA status?
No. MPCA status is open to all Pagan and Earth-centered paths.
Who makes decisions about candidates for MPCA licensure?
The MPCA Board of Directors.
Is the information I provide in my application kept private?
Aside from mundane names and personal contact information (which are kept private unless you give your permission to share them), MPCA reserves the right to provide your information, at its discretion, to any legitimate and serious inquiry. This is to help seekers to gain an understanding of a clergy member’s background and qualifications before entering into contact or commitments.
Upon receipt of an inquiry, committee members will attempt to make e-mail contact with the clergy member before releasing information. If contact cannot be made within a reasonable time, the inquiry will be treated as legitimate and serious.
MPCA does not intend clergy-status to entail exposing oneself to potential harm. If you have specific issues in the area of privacy, please let us know and we will make every effort to allow you to serve your community without jeopardizing your safety.
What is Licensure status?
This status means that the candidate is licensed by MPCA to perform all legal clergy functions, including officiating at marriages, serving in chaplaincies and visiting Pagans in hospitals, nursing homes and prisons.
Why are there so many criteria for MPCA licensure?
Because we want our licensure to stand up to that obtainable in other religions, we ask that candidates for MPCA licensure meet standards in the same general areas which seminaries apply to their candidates for ordination. We also wish to comply with Maine statutes regarding Clergy as Mandated Reporters, and ask that our members follow our Code of Ethics.
How do I apply for Licensure?
Please follow the instructions on the Licensure page.
Are there any outward signs to indicate one who has been granted Licensure?
We are still deciding on such things, but expect that we will issue an identification card or badge to Licensed MPCA clergy, and grant them the right to use the MPCA logo on a stole or piece of jewelry to be worn when acting as clergy.
If I am turned down in applying for Licensure, what will happen?
You will be informed, privately, of the reasons and given alternatives for making up any deficiencies. MPCA will help you find additional training or services to help you gain the skills to attain Licensure. Should you choose to appeal the committee’s decision, you may do so to the full Board of the MPCA.
Can my status as a Licensed clergy member be revoked?
Yes, but only under extraordinary circumstances where the committee determines that a clergy member has failed to continue to meet the criteria for his or her status. This may occur, for instance, if a clergy member is found to have committed a serious breach of the law. Revocation will not happen without an attempt to contact the person whose status is being revoked and determine the facts.