Long-Distance Ordination

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Bearhouse, Dec 14, 2007.

  1. Bearhouse

    Bearhouse
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    Hi everyone. This forum talks about long-distance ministry education a lot. How about long-distance ordination/license ministries? I know there are ordination mills that ordain everyone instantly online. But there are also many ministries that appear to be very sincere. For instance, they require you to submit references, list ministry training, and provide essays on your Christian experience. My qestion is, how seriously would people take you if you are ordained through those ministries? I'm just curious.
     
  2. JDale

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    When I left my denomination a few years ago, I did considerable research into this subject, trying to find a fellowship where I would be welcomed, feel comfortable, and have accountability without an overbearing heirarchy.

    I came to The Evangelical Church Alliance ( ecainternational.org ), because they are orthodox, Evangelical, broad enough to accomodate a variety of varying views on "secondary issues," and they have a fantastic reputation and dedication to promoting the ministry and mission of the Church. Among their credentialed ministers are several of Billy Graham's associate Evangelists, most notably Josh McDowell.

    I can highly recommend you contact this fellowship if you find yourself in need of reputable and respectable credentials outside the strict contect of a denomination (and I might add that most churches I have been in recognize these credentials as valid, as do states for the purpose of performing marriage ceremonies, etc.)

    JDale
     
  3. Bearhouse

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    Thank you Dale. It's great to know that there are legitimate organizations out there like the one you mentioned.
     
  4. Squire Robertsson

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    As this is a Baptist forum, I would remind y'all of a point of Baptist polity. In Baptist Polity, local churches do the "ordaining". A properly ordained Baptist is one who is ordained by his (at least at the time of ordination) local church.

    I can remember one church's constitution that stated its ordinations were only valid as long as the individual held a pastoral office in that church. That church did not want to bind other churches to its decision. Mind you this situation is unuslual engough for me to remember it 25 plus years later. Normaly, among my sector of the Baptist galaxy, ordinations are recognized church to church. However, ordination does not confer pastoral status from church to church. All it means is you can marry and bury from state to state.
     
  5. tinytim

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    In our denomination, ABC/USA , It would not be accepted...
    Nor in our State Convention WVBC,
    Or our Local Association...

    If a person had one, they would have to go before our ordaining counsel and still be questioned...
    At that point they could possibly be recognized by the local association.
    but they would have to meet education requirements to be recognized by both our state and or denomination.

    My advice.... Find a good Bible believing Baptist church, and get settled...
    Get licensed, then ordained the right way...
     
  6. JamieinNH

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    Tim, you bring up a question. How do you get licensed without having school behind you? I ask only because I am just starting out with school, so it's some years away before I complete my degree, but I do at times feel like I should be doing more now. (To be honest, at times, I want to just start holding a church service in the corner of Elm street on a regular basis.) Of course, right now with all the snow and cold weather, I doubt anyone would stand still long enough for me to reach them.. :laugh:

    Seriously though. How does one get licensed? I suppose I could ask my pastor, but since you mentioned it I thought I would ask you.

    Jamie
     
  7. Broadus

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    How can those who have never observed a candidate's life day in and day out sign off on his ordination?

    Bill
     
  8. tinytim

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    It is up to the local church, but here is our procedures...

    After you have announced your call to preach, you would be given opportunities...
    then around a yr later, the church will license you, just to say, we acknowledge that God has called you into ministry...

    Then I had to pastor for a yr before I could be ordained...

    Not all churches require this, but this is what I had to do.

    I will try to find our State Conventions procedure for licensing and ordination.. .I think it is online.

    Found it... here is what the WVBC (West Virginia Baptist Convention) and the ABC/USA suggests....
    http://wvbc.ab.edu/Ordination Web/PDF/Manual.pdf
     
    #8 tinytim, Dec 14, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2007
  9. tinytim

    tinytim
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    Here is a document that all ABC pastors are expected to sign at ordination...

    THE COVENANT AND CODE OF ETHICS FOR PROFESSIONAL CHURCH LEADERS OF​

    THE AMERICAN BAPTIST CHURCHES IN THE U.S.A.

    Having accepted God’s call to leadership in Christ’s Church, I covenant with God to serve Christ and the

    Church with God’s help, to deepen my obedience to the Two Great Commandments: to love the Lord our God with
    all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love my neighbor as myself.
    In affirmation of this commitment, I will abide by the Code of Ethics of the Minister’s Council of the
    American Baptist Churches and I will faithfully support its purposes and ideals. As further affirmation of my
    commitment, I covenant with my colleagues in ministry that we will hold one another accountable for fulfillment of all
    the public actions set forth in our Code of Ethics.

    .
    I will hold in trust the traditions and practices of our American Baptist Churches; I will not accept a

    position in the American Baptist family unless I am in accord with those traditions and practices; nor will I
    use my influence to alienate my congregation/constituents or any part thereof from its relationship and
    support of the denomination. If my convictions change, I will resign my position.

    .
    I will respect and recognize the variety of calls to ministry among my American Baptist colleagues, and

    other Christians.

    .
    I will seek to support all colleagues in minis try by building constructive relationships wherever I serve,

    both with the staff where I work and with colleagues in neighboring churches.

    .
    I will advocate adequate compensation for my profession. I will help lay persons and colleagues to

    understand that professional church leaders should not expect or require fees for pastoral services from
    constituents they serve, when these constituents are helping pay their salaries.

    .
    I will not seek personal favors or discounts on the basis of my professional status.


    .
    I will maintain a disciplined ministry in such ways as keeping hours of prayer and devotion,

    endeavoring to maintain wholesome family relationships, sexual integrity, financial responsibility, regularly
    engaging in educational and recreational activities for professional and personal development. I will seek
    to maintain good health habits.

    .
    I will recognize my primary obligation to the church or employing group to which I have been called,

    and will accept added responsibilities only if they do not intefere with the overall effectiveness of my
    ministry.

    .
    I will personally and publically support my colleagues who experience discrimination on the basis of

    gender, race, age, marital status, national origin, physical impairment, or disability.

    .
    I will, upon my resignation or retirement, sever my professional church leadership relations with my

    former constituents, and will not make professional contacts in the field of another professional church
    leader without his/her request and/or consent.

    .
    I will hold in confidence any privileged communication received by me during the conduct of my

    ministry. I will not disclose confidential communications in private or public except when in my practice of
    ministry I am convinced that the sanctity of confidentiality is outweighed by my well-founded belief that the
    parishioner/client will cause imminent, life-threatening, or substantial harm to self or others, or unless the
    privilige is waived by those giving the information.

    .
    I will not proselytize from other Christian churches.


    .
    I will show my personal love for God as revealed in Jesus Christ in my life and ministry, as I strive

    together with my colleagues to preserve the dignity, maintain the discipline, and promote the integrity of the
    vocation to which we have been called.
    Signed_____________________________________ Date ________________
    8/90 Adopted by West Virginia Baptist Minster’s Council 9/90 Adopted by the Committee on Ministerial Standing

    http://wvbc.ab.edu/Ordination Web/PDF/Manual.pdf
     
  10. Squire Robertsson

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    Jamie, historically, most Baptists have looked on "licensing" as an apprenticeship. So, not being out of school should not a hinderance.
     
  11. tinytim

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    Good point.
     
  12. JamieinNH

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    Thanks for the information Tim. I will have to talk to my pastor about this.

    Jamie


     
  13. JamieinNH

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    This is good to know. I haven't really talked to my pastor about my plans and my calling. I am going to have to sit down with him and talk to him about it. This is the first I have ever heard of it. I was always under the impression that one would need to get through school first.

    Thanks for the information also.

    Jamie
     
  14. JDale

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    This is a good point SR. It is Baptist Polity (among most SB's and IFB's) for the local church to do the ordaining -- that's not true among ALL Baptist groups, however.

    A question at this point -- would your SB Church ordain a man who maintained a doctrinal position such as Reformation Arminianism," though he held to all other points of SB doctrine and practice? Just curious.

    JDale
     
  15. JDale

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    By this, do you mean the "Baptist way," or are you implying that no other ordination should be recognized by the local Baptist Church? Local Church autonomy among most Baptist Churches allows that church -- and that church alone -- to determine what credentials they recognize, or refuse to accept...Correct?
     
  16. JDale

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    In the fellowship of which I am a part, each candidate must be sponsored by another minister who is already credentialed. They do extensive background checks, seek a number of referrals, send an extensive questionaire regarding beliefs, etc., contact those familiar with ones past ministry, and finally arrange for a meeting for examination with an "Ordaining Council," which usually includes the sponsor of the candidate.

    In my case, the examination period took almost 6 months from Appllication to ordination -- and I'd already been in ministry for 17 years. It wasn't an "easy" process, and it certainly wasn't some kind of credentials mill either.
     
  17. Squire Robertsson

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    Dale, I am not nor have I ever been affiliated with the SBC. My lineage is as an Historic Northern Baptist. My home church was founded in 1881. We were Fundamentalist before Fundamentalism was fun. But to answer your question, anybody we ordain would have to be unreservedly in agreement with our church's statement of faith. There are enough churches around that a man can find one he fits.
     
  18. JDale

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    This makes sense -- I understand your position as an IFB.

    I have attended Independent Fundamental Baptist Churches, Southern Baptist Churches and Free Will Baptist Churches. I was ordained by FWB's, but found it necessary to leave that denomination. The call on my life, however, did not end with my departure from that denomination.

    I understand the loyalty that IFB's in particular - and Baptists in general - have to the local church. However, should those who are called of God but don't quite "fit" into every minute detail of doctrine in a given local church be barred from ministry? Should those called to parachurch ministries (like Billy Graham's associate Evangelists) or missions be denied credentials?

    Certainly there are those who would hold to that strict position. And I can understand. I am thankful, however, that God has called me by His Grace -- and my calling is not subject to that interpretation.

    Blessings,

    JDale
     
  19. Broadus

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    Two points:

    First, agreeing with a statement of faith unreservedly is not the same as agreeing to every minute detail of doctrine. A statement of faith does not typically deal with minutia of doctrine. However, why would one want to be ordained by a body with whose statement of faith one disagrees?

    Second, we must be careful about claiming the call to the ministry without the confirmation by the church. Among many denominational groups, the ordaining by the denomination or local church, depending upon their polity, has historically been a confirmation of one's call. For instance, Baptists have looked at the call as a subjective, or inward, call and an objective, or external call. Both were needed in order to be a valid call. The objective/external call was needed for the candidate to be certain that what he perceived as an inward call was in reality God's call and not his own misperception of the call.

    Unfortunately, in our culture of hyper-individualism, often the external call is seen as either unnecessary or perfunctory. I think, though, that our big problem is pride--we simply refuse to be submissive to the authority of the local church.

    Enough rambling for one evening. I hope you God's best.

    Bill
     
  20. Squire Robertsson

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    A point to remember is the standard ordination is to "the Gospel ministry." It is not to a particular organization.
    So, after a man is ordained where the Lord leads him to serve is between him and his Master.

    Further, I do not like to be pegged as an Independent Fundamental Baptist. To label me as such does a diservice to my spiritual forebearers. If I took the time for research, I could trace my spiritual lineage back to the early 1800s, i.e. before the formation of the Southern Baptist Convention. IFB is a recent formulation that does not take into consideration those of us of Northern Regular Baptist heritage.
     
    #20 Squire Robertsson, Dec 16, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2007

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