Clergy in The United Methodist Church are individuals who serve as commissioned ministers, deacons, elders, and local pastors under appointment of a bishop (full and part-time), who hold membership in an annual conference, and who are commissioned, ordained, or licensed. Book of Discipline

Itinerancy is the system of The United Methodist Church by which pastors are appointed to their charges by the bishops. The pastors are under obligation to serve where appointed. The present form of the itinerancy grew from the practice of Methodist pastors traveling widely throughout the church on circuits. Assigned to service by a bishop, they were not to remain with one particular congregation for an extended period of time. ("Sharing God's Gifts" United Methodist Communications)