From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Webster's Dictionary [1]

(n.) The office, state, or jurisdiction of a pastor.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [2]

is the state or relation of being a pastor (q.v.). In the Roman Catholic Church this depends upon the will of the bishop, who appoints, removes, and transfers priests at pleasure. In those Protestant countries where the Church is established by the State, the incumbency and term of office are regulated by statute. (See Patronage). In the non-Catholic churches of this. country the pastoral relation is formed or dissolved by various processes, all substantially consisting of an express or implied assent or compact between the pastor and the flock. Among Congregationalists and Baptists this agreement is direct and formal; in the Presbyterian, Reformed, and several other churches, it is effected through the cooperation or sanction of certain ministerial bodies; and among Protestant Episcopalians, Methodists, and some others, through the intervention of bishops. In the Methodist Episcopal Church the term is limited to three years. (See Itinerancy).