Credentialing of Ministers
NJ-DSOM is NOT the same as credentialing. While NJ-DSOM certainly helps applicants meet the educational requirements for credentialing, the Credentialing of ministers is a process separate from completion of the educational requirements. Credentialing within our Fellowship is an altogether different process with its own exams, paperwork and interviews. Students interested in seeking credentials should read the below credentialing criteria as well as contact their senior Pastor and/or Presbyter for more information. Questions related to the credentialing process can also be answered through the Credentialing department of the New Jersey District Council: 609-747-7878.
[New Jersey District Presbytery thoughts: We certify a CALL, license a MINISTRY, and ordain a PROVEN MINISTRY.]
Levels of Credentials (General Council Bylaws, Article VII. Ministry):
Three classifications of ministry are recognized and transferable among all Assemblies of God districts: the ordained minister, the licensed minister, and the certified minister.
All ordained, licensed, and certified ministers holding current credentials are authorized to perform the ordinances and ceremonies (sacerdotal functions) of the church.
I. Certified Minister
(1) General requirements. They shall show promise of usefulness in the gospel work. They shall devote full or part time to Christian ministry and, at the discretion of the district credentials committees, may remain under the supervision of a pastor or a ministry coach or mentor. They shall show evidence of a divine call and be actively engaged in some aspect of ministry and proclamation of the gospel, except in case of ill health or advanced age.
(2) Pastoral requirements. In the event a certified minister is serving in a position as the pastor, he or she shall be expected to advance to the ministry license level within 2 years of acceptance of the pastorate. This shall not apply to any minister who has reached the age of 65 or older, or whose certificate ahs been issued on a provisional basis. Any exceptions shall be at the discretion of the district credentials committee.
(3) PROVISIONAL CERTIFICATION: Exception for Provisional Issuance. A Certificate of Ministry may be issued on a provisional basis to a person who has not met all the credential requirements but who is deemed by the district credentials committee to be essential to the continuity of a church or ministry. The reason for such a provisional issuance must be ministry driven, and the justification for its use is terminated when the minister ceases to be involved in the ministry for which it was initially granted unless the minister accepts another qualifying assignment. Other limitations are:
(a) The ministry certificate on a provisional basis will be issued for 1 year and shall not be renewed more than two times.
(b) A person who has been granted the Certificate of Ministry on a provisional basis must meet the qualifications for a ministry certificate within a 3-year period.
[Those enrolled in the New Jersey District School of Ministry and have completed 1 year of studies (equal to any 9 DSOM courses) are eligible to apply for a Provisional Certificate].
II. Licensed Minister
Qualifications for license shall include clear evidence of a divine call, character and preparation suitable for that calling, practical ministry experience, and an evident purpose to devote one’s life in service to the proclamation of the gospel.
II. Ordained Minister
Qualifications for ordination are outlined in the New Testament (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:7-9).
(1) Applicants must be 23 years of age or older.
(2) They must have met all the requirements in making application and in completing the prescribed application form.
(3) No person may be ordained to the ministry until he or she has shown evidence of a divine call and has held a ministry license and has been actively engaged in ministry and proclamation of the gospel for at least 2 full consecutive years immediately prior thereto.
(4) Ordination Initiative: “The right of initiative in requests for ordination shall be placed in the hands of the district presbyters. The presbyter shall observe the work and ministry of those within his section. When he deems ordination advisable, the presbyter shall make the request for ordination to the district Credentials Committee.” New Jersey District Bylaws Article V. Section 3d.
The following is an overview of the steps involved in credentialing. The timeline varies for each applicant depending on the time it takes for him/her to complete each step.
STEP 1 – Recommendation from Pastor
STEP 2 – Connect with Presbyter
STEP 3 – Preliminary Interview
STEP 4 – Educational requirements reviewed
STEP 5 – Application Packet - Forms, exam – interview
a. Completed application packet – sent to presbyter.
b. Reference – sent to District Office
c. Examination taken with Presbyter
d. Oral Interview – Sectional Committee
e. Application completed packet – sent to District Office – reviewed & prepared for New Jersey District Presbytery approval and approval of credential with General Council.
STEP 6 – NJ District Presbytery approval
STEP 7 – General Council – Executive Presbytery approval – Springfield, Missouri
For more information about the credentialing
process click the "CREDENTIALING" image below: