Congratulations on hearing and answering God’s call to ministry. The Texas Ministries of the Church of God Credentials Committee is looking forward to working with you through the Church of God credentialing process. There are two levels of credentialing that we will consider as we learn more about your calling. The information below is taken from the current manual:
1.30 Credentialing Vocational Ministers
In order to address the concerns and standards of some organizations and legal requirements, licensing will be the initial level of credentialing a ministerial candidate. The ordination process involves a minimum of two to three years. A candidate’s license may be renewed annually until ordination requirements are fulfilled. Being licensed for repeating years and even completing the prescribed preparation process is not a guarantee of ordination.
Licensing is the initial level of credentialing that acknowledges a minister’s call to the Christian ministry and a corresponding commitment to vocational involvement. Licensing affords a limited measure of recognition and accountability. While it may serve as a step toward ordination, licensing should not be viewed as the promise of ordination. Licensing often satisfies legal requirements, as well as requirements imposed by such institutions as hospitals, nursing homes, and jails when these provide opportunities for pastoral care.
Credentialing bodies may license ministers for terms of one or two years, at their discretion, depending on circumstances and the qualifications of the minister. A license is given on the condition of an annual review by the credentialing body. It may be voided by action of the credentialing body if deemed advisable. It may be renewed if the credentialing body judges the minister worthy of such continuing credentialing.
Ordination, the final step of vocational credentialing, recognizes a minister’s call and vocational commitment to the Christian ministry. It provides for accountability to the appropriate credentialing body and also satisfies certain legal requirements of the state or province. Ordination usually is needed by persons who serve as leaders of local congregations, in institutional ministries, missionary endeavors, and certain other formal capacities. Ordination is to be granted only when it is strategic to the performance of vocational ministry to which one is called, and when its recipient is found suitable for ordination by virtue of divine call, appropriate character, spirit, commitment, preparation, beliefs, and performance. See section 2.00 for a fuller description of these ministerial characteristics and qualifications.