Categories of Ministers
We have seven categories of ministers, based on the licenses we issue.
Local Church Licenses
We provide for two licenses which local churches can offer to their members. Persons holding these licenses are accountable only to the local church (not to the denomination).
Lay Ministers License
These are laypersons who don’t intend to become “professional” ministers. They work under the direction of the local church.
Local Church License
This is the starting point for professional ministers. Churches can grant a Local Church license to a affirm a person’s call to ministry in that local church. They work only under the direction of that church’s senior pastor, and are not assumed to be pursuing professional recognition from the denomination.
National Conference Licenses
We offer three licenses for persons whose call to ministry has been affirmed by the National Conference, but who are not yet ordained. At this level, ministers come under the authority of the denominational Pastoral Ministry Leadership Team.
National Conference License
These ministers are on a track toward eventual ordination, and are expected to pursue the education needed for ordination. They undergo an examination by the Pastoral Ministry Leadership Team, and become accountable to the PMLT.
Specialized Ministry License
This license is for persons who specialize in a certain field, and have received education specific to that field. Typically, Specialized ministers serve on a church staff and focus on such roles as youth ministry, music, Christian education, counseling, etc. This license is granted by the Pastoral Ministry Leadership Team after an examination process, and is viewed on the same level as a National Conference license. However, Specialized ministers are not expected to pursue ordination.
This license serves as the entry level for both the National Conference/Ordination track and for the Specialized Ministry license. It is also used for persons transitioning from other church groups. It recognizes individuals as ministers until they can meet our specific qualifications.
This is the highest level. Only ordained ministers can be bishop or serve in certain other ways.
To be ordained, a person must hold a National Conference license for two years, serve at least one year in a ministry role, and complete certain educational requirements.
This license recognizes ordained elders who serve as chaplains in hospitals, the military, and other settings.