¶ 347.1 of The Book of Discipline reads:
Ordained clergy or probationary members from other annual conferences of The United Methodist Church may be received by transfer into probationary or full membership with the consent of the bishops involved. Consultation with the chairperson or executive committee of the board of ordained ministry shall be held prior to the transfer.
A professor here at the Florida Campus of Asbury Theological Seminary told me that when he took his present job, he decided to transfer his membership to the Florida Conference so that he would have sacramental authority. Usually, he says, this kind of transfer involves the receiving bishop calling up the transferring bishop to verify that the elder or deacon is a quality minister. Then the elder or deacon is received into his/her new annual conference.
But this professor said that Florida required more. He had to write and turn in numerous candidacy essays, have two in-depth theological conversations with two District Superintendents, and have his psychs done again.
This practice makes sense. Hypothetically, an unscrupulous bishop could fob off his bad elders to other conferences by saying "Oh, sure! Tom is great! We sure will miss him and all of the wonderful work that he's done here." to the receiving bishop.
Maybe we should update the Discipline to reflect this practice. What do you think?