¶825 ORDAINED MINISTERS
Ordained ministers (formerly known as deacons and elders) are persons called by God to lead (typically as a lead pastor), to provide overall general pastoral leadership in the church and Kingdom. Ordination remains an option for those who feel called to broader ministry or leadership. It is also encouraged for associates/assistants, and may be required by some institutions for some specialized ministries such as chaplaincy. Membership in the conference and ordination constitutes the acknowledgment of the conference that the person so elected and ordained has fulfilled the ecclesiastical requirements to participate in the larger administrative and leadership roles of the church.
In order to become an ordained minister, a ministerial candidate must:
Demonstrate a serious desire to pursue God’s call to ordained ministry within The Free Methodist Church in Canada by:
- submitting a copy of required academic transcripts to the credentialing coordinator;
- completing 4 years of ministry experience (at least part time) under (conference) supervision as a ministerial candidate. Once a lay minister has been approved as a ministerial candidate and has been appointed at a local church, retroactive ministry experience equivalency credits may be granted by the director of leadership development and church health on an individual case-by-case basis, upon written request.
- submitting a minister’s statement of affirmation (See ¶ 872)
- submitting a reflection paper on the meaning of ordination to the MEGaP interview team and the bishop for evaluation prior to the final interview.
Receive the church’s confirmation of suitability for ordained ministry by being:
- a ministerial candidate in good standing;
- able to demonstrate leadership ability by establishing and multiplying a small group;
- (if married after becoming a ministerial candidate) spouse and ministerial candidate together meeting with a MEGaP subcommittee for spousal support interview
- interviewed and recommended by the MEGaP committee to membership in the conference and ordination;
- approved by the general conference or its board of administration for membership in the conference and ordination;
- ordained by the bishop
Receive basic academic preparation for ordained ministry in The Free Methodist Church in Canada by:
- in addition to the courses required for ministerial candidacy, successfully completing, as a minimum, the following prescribed core courses within an accredited and approved (by MEGaP) seminary, college, or directed study program:
– Biblical studies (9 credits)
– Church history (3 credits)
– Evangelism/church growth (3 credits)
– Leadership/administration (3 credits)
– Pastoral theology and practical studies (6 credits)
– Systematic theology (3 credits)
– Personal and Church Stewardship foundational course (3 credits)
– Culture and the Missional Church foundational course (3 credits)
– Additional electives distributed among biblical, theological, practical studies (12 credits)
– being certified by the credentialing coordinator
If a Ministerial Candidate disagrees with a recommendation from MEGaP after his/her interview, s/he may appeal that decision by sending a letter in writing to the bishop and the director of leadership development and church health outlining the reasons for the appeal. The bishop will review the MEGaP notes, the recommendation and the appeal from the candidate and decide whether or not the recommendation should be reconsidered.
Ordained ministers are required to attend ministers’ conferences, general conferences, network meetings and regional gatherings and to submit annual continuing education (CEU) reports as a condition of retaining their ordination credentials. Attendance at minister’s conferences, regional gatherings and network meetings and reporting CEU is optional for retirees.
In the case of ethnic ministries or on mission fields, ministerial candidates may be ordained having earned fewer than the normally required academic credits or having completed fewer than the full service requirements under the following conditions: circumstances warrant, the MEGaP committee recommends, and the presiding bishop approves.