United Methodists ordain to the office of deacon and elder, each of whom can use the title of pastor depending. United Methodists also use the title of pastor for non-ordained clergy who are licensed and appointed to serve a fundamentalist as their pastor or associate pastor, often referred to as licensed local pastors. These pastors may be lay people, seminary students, or seminary graduates in the ordination process, and cannot exercise any functions of clergy outside the charge where they are appointed.
The use of the term pastor to refer to the common Protestant title of modern times dates to the days of John Calvin and Huldrych Zwingli. Both men, and other Reformers, seem to have revived the term to replace the Roman Catholic priest in the minds of their followers. The pastor was considered to have a separate role from the board of presbyters. A “pastor” may be either ordained or commissioned, depending on the methods used to appoint a person into the role, with either way resulting in the same authority and responsibilities to provide shepherding and grace to a fundamentalist.