The call to Pastoral Ministry is both thrilling and scary at the same time.  God calls all of His followers to serve Him in ministry both in the church and community.  But God calls some to serve a special role in the church as clergy.  “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up”.(Eph 4:11–12). The steps below are a reference to help the one called and the sponsor (ordained pastor or staff pastor) navigate the process towards ordination as Elder or Deacon in the Church of the Nazarene.  


The journey towards ordination takes many years of preparation through education and ministry experience.  This journey will help refine your call and prepare you for a life of pastoral ministry.  If you have any questions along the way, please reach out to the District Superintendent at the Michigan District office.  


STEP 1: Local Minister’s License

PURSUE A LOCAL LICENSE: Speak with your local church pastor about obtaining a LOCAL Minister's License. This is the first step in the credentialing process of the Church of the Nazarene. The Local License is issued by a local Church Leadership Board. It is issued for one year and should will need to be re-issued every year until the candidate receives a District Minister’s License issued by the District.  

The following four forms need to be completed to obtain a Local Minister's License: 

Application for Local Minister's License

(To be completed by the candidate for use by the local pastor and local church board.)

Request for Verification of Credential History 

(To be completed by Sponsoring Pastor and submitted to the Michigan District Church of the Nazarene Office.)

Order the Local License from the General Church 

(Following the approval of the local church board the sponsoring pastor will order the local license from the General Church.)

Registration with the Michigan District Ministerial Studies Board

(Following the approval by the Local Church Board for a Local License, to be completed by the candidate and submitted to the Michigan.)

Step 2: Ministerial Studies Board


THE MINISTERIAL STUDIES BOARD: After reading the Handbook for Candidates Seeking Ordination (Revised August 2016), the candidate will make arrangements to start their schooling. The Ministerial Board will provide guidance for you over the next several years as you prepare educationally for pastoral ministry.  Consult with your sponsoring pastor to decide the best educational path for you. There are many educational options, but the Church of the Nazarene has 26 courses that must be completed in order to be ordained.  


For a better understanding of approved colleges and curriculum, please contact the Ministerial Studies Board Chair, Jeremy Selvidge (email) or the District Superintendent, Kevin Hardy (email).

Step 3: District License

APPLY FOR A DISTRICT MINISTER'S LICENSE: After having a local minister's license for at least one year, and successful completion of at least six courses (including the History and Polity of the Church of the Nazarene), a candidate may approach his or her pastor and request that the local church board recommend the candidate to the Ministerial Studies Board and Ministerial Credentials Boards to candidate for a District Minister's License. To begin the process toward District License the two forms below must be completed submitted to the District Office.  (Note-if applicant has a felony conviction or a divorce in their history, the candidate will need to contact the Ministerial Credentials Secretary, Rev. Brian Robbins (email), to discuss potential barrier removal first, before applying for District License). 



The following two forms must be completed and submitted to the District Office to apply for a District Minister's License.


Application for a District License


Recommendation from the Local Church Board

For applicants seeking a new or renewed District License at the 2019 District Assembly, all forms need to be received at the District Office no later than February 1, 2019.   Once these forms have been received, the District Office will contact the candidate to set up an interview with the Board of Credentials.  The sponsoring Pastor (Ordained Elder) must accompany the candidate to the interview.  This is required of all first time District License candidates.

Step 4: District License

RECEIVE YOUR DISTRICT LICENSE: Candidates receiving their first District Minister's License are expected to attend MISSION ADVANCE that year. Having been approved by the District Assembly, their license will be received through a special presentation during the Ordination Service of the Mission Advance. 

Candidates who have received their District Minister's License have a maximum of ten years to complete the educational requirements for ordination.  Each candidate is expected to complete a minimum of two courses each year in order to maintain their District Minister's License. A candidate must also receive the approval of his or her pastor, the local church board, the Ministerial Studies Board, and the Ministerial Credentials Board in order to maintain their District Minister's License each year. (Note-if there is a felony conviction or a divorce in your history, the candidate will need to contact the Ministerial Credentials Secretary, Rev. Brian Robbins, to discuss potential barrier removal, before applying for District License).

Each candidate is responsible to keep in touch with the District Office in order to obtain schedules or meetings which they will be required to attend. If you have a change of address, change of ministry position, or change of status, please contact the District Office or the District Superintendent.

Step 5: Annual Assessment Process

PARTICIPATE IN THE ANNUAL ASSESSMENT PROCESS: Once a candidate receives a District License, the candidate will meet annually with the Board of Credentials and Studies Board.  Contact  the  District Office, to obtain an appointment with both boards. The scheduling of appointments will begin on January 7, 2019. Please call (517-622-8450) or email District Office to set up your appointment with the Ministerial Studies Board and Credentials Boards. 


Please note that no appointment will be scheduled until all of the documents are received. Please make sure your documents have been submitted and received before attempting to schedule your appointment.   

Documents to completed year to renew a District Minister's License: 

Board Recommendation for District License

The District Credential and Ministerial Studies Boards will meet  March 18-19, 2019. 

* Step 5 will need to be repeated annually for the renewal of a District License until the candidate receives Ordination Credential - Step 6.

Step 6: Ordination

RECEIVE YOUR ORDINATION CREDENTIAL: Ordination is a privilege, not a right.  When a candidate has completed all required elements for Ordination, the candidate can request that he or she be ordained.  This request must be approved by the District Board of Credentials, the Ministerial Studies Board, the District Assembly and the General Superintendent in jurisdiction.  When the approvals are granted the candidate is ordained at the Annual Mission Advance. A slightly different application packet must be completed by those preparing for ordination. 


When applying for Ordination all four of the following forms and procedures must be completed.  Both an application for District License and application for Ordination must be completed.

Application for District License

Ordination/Recognition Questionnaire

Completed Criminal Background Check

         A new background check is required before ordination,  so please complete this form even if you have had a
            background check through the Michigan District previously. Please note that there is a $20.00 cost for processing your
            background check. Your background check will be incomplete and you will be unable to schedule your appointment
           until this payment has been received. 

        * Receiving a district minister's license (as well as receiving a recommendation from your local church for a district

           license) is privilege and not a right. This form should be completed out of your involvement and relationship with         

          your pastor and local church board. Please work with your pastor and board for the completion of this form. 
      ** When an individual is serving as a local church's senior pastor, the District Advisory Board (not the local church

          board) recommends that individual for a new/renewed license.


After these applications have been sent to the District Office, please call (517-622-8450) or email ( and make an appointment with the Board of Credentials.