LICENSING & ORDINATION
We are so excited you have expressed a call to ministry, and we hope you will feel empowered and equipped in this journey. In the following outline, you will find resources, tools, and an overview of the steps required to pursue licensing and ordination. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us, as we would love to help you.
STEP 1: TALK TO YOUR PASTOR
If you feel as though you have been called to ministry, your first step is to talk with your pastor at your local church. The pastor and the local church serve as your first partner in ministry. Your pastor and local church will help you to discern a call to ministry and support you as you make decisions about pursuing your call.
STEP 2: APPLY FOR A LOCAL MINISTER’S LICENSE
Upon receiving the support from your local pastor, she or he will have you fill out an application for a Local Minister’s License. This license is supported by your local church staff and church board, affirming your call to ministry. Below are the steps for you and your church to follow in obtaining a Local Minister’s License:
- Complete a Local Minister’s License application.
- Complete the Local Church Board Interview Guidelines (to be filled out by the local church).
- Complete a Verification of Credential History form (to be filled out by the local church).
- The local church must complete
a Criminal Background Check on the candidate.
- Register with the Michigan District Ministerial Studies Board.
- Send all documentation to the Michigan District Ministry Center by emailing the District Secretary.
- Order the Local License from the General Church. Alternatively, the local church may print a local license using this template.
The Global Ministry Center will issue a Local Minister’s license to the candidate. This license is to be renewed annually by your local church. Below are the steps for you and your church to follow in renewing a Local Minister’s License:
- Complete a Renewal Application for a Local Minister’s License
- Complete the Local Church Board Interview Guidelines for Renewal (to be filled out by the local church).
- Send all documentation to the Michigan District Office by emailing the District Secretary.
- If you have decided you no longer wish to seek a ministerial calling, please notify your local church’s pastor.
STEP 3: START FULFILLING YOUR EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS FROM THE COURSE OF STUDY
While holding a Local Minister’s License, it is your responsibility to be learn as much as you are able to in your church and from your educational requirements. The Church of the Nazarene requires pastors to finish an outlined Course of Study to ensure quality and consistent education among their ministers. Take a look at The Guide to Ministerial Preparation and Ordination 2017 and the Course of Study outline and consider registering at one of the following schools:
Any courses you have already taken at a college or university may gain you credit in your course of study journey. To have your transcripts evaluated for credit, please visit: nbc.edu/go/evaluation. Evaluating your transcripts through Nazarene Bible College qualifies you to take a free course.
For a better understanding of approved colleges and curriculum, please contact the Ministerial Studies Board Chair, Ryan Quanstrom (email) or the District Superintendent.
STEP 4: APPLY FOR YOUR FIRST DISTRICT MINISTER’S LICENSE
After holding a Local Minister’s License for at least one year and completing one-fourth of the Course of Study requirements, you are eligible to apply for a District Minister’s License. This next step requires your local church’s support and the approval of the District Ministerial Studies and Studies Boards. Below are the steps for you and your church to follow in applying for a first-time District Minister’s License:
For applicants seeking a new or renewed District License at the 2021 District Assembly, all forms need to be received by the District Secretary no later than February 22, 2021.
Your District Minister’s License is to be renewed annually using this same process. Upon receiving your first district license, you will be expected to make progress in the Course of Study (educational requirement) each year. If you have graduated from the Course of Study, you are expected to follow the guidelines for Lifelong Learning hours.
STEP 5: BEGIN ACCUMULATING ASSIGNED MINISTRY EXPERIENCE HOURS
To be eligible for ordination, you must have been an assigned minister on a full-time basis for three consecutive years and, at the time of ordination, you must currently be serving in assigned ministry.
There are multiple assignments (called role codes) and various levels of service time requirements. If you are assigned in a full-time role, you will need just the three calendar years to be eligible for the next step. However, if you are serve in a half-time or quarter-time role, your ministry experience must be the equivalent of three calendar years (At half-time this would be six calendar years and quarter-time would be twelve years).
STEP 6: ANNUAL ASSESSMENT
Once a candidate receives a District License, the candidate will meet annually with the Board of Credentials and Studies Board.
For applicants seeking a new or renewed District License at the 2021 District Assembly, all forms need to be received at the District Office no later than February 22, 2021.
Please note that no appointment will be scheduled until all of the documents are received.
Documents to renew a District Minister's License (Due February 22, 2021):
- Application for District License Renewal
- Board Recommendation for District License
- Recommendation for Granting/Renewal of District License
- Answer the required Essay Questions found in the Candidate Preparation Guide.
- E-Mail all of these documents to the District Secretary.
- Mark your Calendar: District License Interviews will take place on March 15-16 at Indian Lake Nazarene Campground.
The final interview schedule will be announced no later than March 8, 2021.
STEP 7: APPLY FOR ORDINATION
After graduating from the Course of Study and fulfilling the three required years of assignment ministry, you are eligible to submit an application for Ordination. From the time you receive your first District Minister’s License, you have ten years to complete the requirements for Ordination; if any exceptions are made, they will be from the District Ministerial Credentials and Studies Boards. Ordination is a privilege for each minister that commissions them to live out their ministerial calling. Below are the steps for you to follow in applying for Ordination:
- Complete an Ordination Application.
- Attend the Board of Ministry Training Day and interview with your assigned committee.
- Attend the Ordination Interview Day and interview with the District Board of Ministry.
For further information, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Michigan District Secretary or use the following resources:
- 2017-2021 Nazarene Manual (English)
- 2017-2021 Nazarene Manual (Spanish)
- Nazarene Guide to Ministerial Preparation and Ordination