Suggested Licensing Qualifications
A person seeking to be granted a license by a local church shall:
  • Be a person who has accepted Jesus the Christ as Lord and Savior;
  • Be a person of good reputation in the community, emotionally stable, a proven leader in his/her church, and have the ability to communicate; and
  • Be an active member in good standing of a Covenanting Church of Transformation Ministries.

A local church license shall be valid for one (1) year and can be renewable as long as ministry continues for the licensing church. It can be so written to describe the ministerial/pastoral duties the church so authorizes the individual to do (always in accordance with the laws of the state).

Pre-Ordination Licensing as a Step Toward Ordination
1. A person planning to become an ordained minister shall first secure a pre-ordination license from the church of which he/she is a member. To obtain such a license, the Candidate shall:

  • Be a person who has accepted Jesus the Christ as Lord and Savior;
  • Be a stable person of good reputation; and
  • Be preparing for the Christian ministry as a professional vocation.

2. The Candidate’s church shall counsel with the Candidate regarding the Christian ministry, and shall provide an opportunity for the Candidate to preach and/or conduct public worship. After favorable action by the church, a suitable pre-ordination license shall be presented to the Candidate.

3. This license shall be validated annually by the Church.

4. This license is typically valid for four (4) years from the date of issue unless revoked by the congregation and shall authorize the licensee to perform ministerial duties as defined by the church.

Licensing moves the Candidate toward ordination within Transformation Ministries. Ordination is appropriate not only for local church pastors, but also for missionaries, seminary and Christian college teachers, military and institutional chaplains, pastoral counselors, music ministers, and Christian education directors, etc.

Note:  The church determines the appropriate committee or board to interview the Candidate, review the Candidate’s gifts and experiences, theology and call to ministry. Generally, the board or committee who interviews the Candidate makes the recommendation to the church that gives the approval (by vote and/or acclamation.) One of the best times for this to take place would be during a Sunday worship service.

You may download the complete licensing and ordination procedures and standards document titled, “Ministry Standards in Transformation Ministries.”
Matt Barnes

I long to help pastors fulfill their calling to the mission of Jesus! I've been blessed to have others come alongside me, teaching me how to coach and support Christian leaders.

My StrengthsFinder top five are Futuristic, Ideation, Learner, Input, and Strategic meaning that I'd love to help you see a path forward in situations that seem impossible and difficult, from a ten-thousand-foot level, at a relational level, and/or in real life.

I'm currently the Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church of Alhambra (, with extensive experience in SoCal and Texas as a church staff member, a missionary, and an academic.

I'm privileged to be married to my amazing wife and to parent our three great boys! I look forward to hearing from you!

- Rev Matt Barnes PhD

Jack Hamilton

Jack is the former Executive Pastor for 32 years at High Desert Church in Victorville (, California. He’s been on staff for over 37 years, has seen the church grow from under 150 to 8,000 people with four church sites in the High Desert, and currently serves as a Mentor Pastor for Transformations Ministries working with 9 Senior Pastors in the Inland Empire.

He’s served on a number of non-profit boards, including Forest Home Christian Conference Center, Association of Christian Schools International, and American Baptist Churches of the Pacific Southwest. He has also served as a public school board member for Hesperia Unified School District for 19 years in a district of nearly 22,000 students. Jack has also served on the board of directors for the Hesperia Recreation and Park District for 10 years and a church plant, Fellowship Monrovia Church for nine years.

Family Bio:
Jack and his wife, Linda, have been married for 51 years and have 3 adult children and 6 grandchildren. Our oldest son, Ethan, is married and lives in San Diego, and is the Athletic Director at Point Loma Nazarene University. Our other two adult children, Phoebe and Jared, our both public school teachers for the Hesperia Unified School District. Each of the three adult children is married and has two children each.

Top 5 StrengthFinders:


Visit Jack's website:


David Harris

A natural leader who is a compelling communicator, Dr. David Harris has over twenty-five years of ministry experience as a pastor, church planter, evangelist, church consultant, and conference speaker.

He served as the Thrive Director and the Managing Director of Thriving Churches International at Bayside Church in Granite Bay, CA. A native of Chillicothe, OH, he has served as an adjunct college professor and has pastored churches in Charlotte, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Sacramento, and Phoenix.

David loves investing in others, and he has coached pastors, corporate executives, and leaders in preaching and/or public speaking. Additionally, he has coached and developed hundreds of pastors and corporate leaders in leadership, team building, strategic planning, and conflict management. Helping others realize their maximum potential is a passion of his.

David’s wife, Tami, is the Regional Executive Director of Human Resources for a Fortune 500 Corporation out of Philadelphia. A California Labor Law Specialist, Tami has trained and taught hundreds of church leaders about the consequences of their HR Blind-spots, and how they can avoid them. Tami and David currently live in Scottsdale, AZ, with their two disobedient dogs and two cats.

David’s education is extensive and includes a BA in Christian Ministry, a Master of Church Management, and a Doctor of Ministry in Preaching and Communication Dynamics.

StrengthsFinders: Maximizer, Futuristic, Strategic, Activator, Learner

Bill Staffieri

Bill has spent the past 30 years in pastoral ministry at Beachpoint Church ( serving Huntington Beach and Fountain Valley, CA. Over the past 13 years, he has led the church as it’s senior pastor. Prior to that, he spent 17 years developing student and family ministries. He has also spent the past 22 years as an adjunct faculty member at Biola University and Talbot Seminary teaching Christian leadership and pastoral ministry.

His top five StrengthFinders are Belief, Strategic, Maximizer, Relator, and Significance.

Through God's unique design and years of experience, Bill has found a passion to come alongside pastors to discover God's vision, define reality, and discern a strategic way forward to make disciples.

Bill and Kimberly have been married for 31 years and they have three kids.

Jim Walden

I’ve been in full-time ministry since 1985. Born in 1960 outside of Boston, MA. In my growing up years, while my dad pastored, we lived in Massachusetts, Ohio, Michigan, and New York State. I attended high school in East Lansing, MI, and Binghamton, NY. I then graduated from Judson University and Northern Baptist Theological Seminary (both in the Chicago area.)

My first full-time assignment was at First Baptist Church of Pontiac, IL as a youth and music pastor. In the last year of my time at Pontiac, I was the interim senior pastor until 1989.

In 1989, I moved to Kansas City, MO, and planted Rolling Hills Community Church and was so blessed to pastor that new congregation for 19 years. Then I moved to Big Bear Lake, CA in 2008 and was the lead pastor at First Baptist of Big Bear (Now Bear Valley Community Church) for 4 years. Then our family moved down the mountain and was the lead pastor at First Baptist Church of Temple City, CA, (now for 9.5 years. Currently, in my semi-retirement years, I am the Connections Pastor at Grace Point Church in Topeka, KS (

My top 5  StrengthFinders:


I simply want to coach pastors in order to come alongside and richly encourage them as I know ministry can be challenging, lonely, and draining, as well as at the same time rewarding, and invigorating. I believe there is no call like a lead pastor. Yet, pastors need others who understand what it is like to be a pastor – for no one can truly understand until they have been in such a called position.

I come from a line of pastors. My grandfather, dad, two uncles, and brother have all served as pastors. I believe I have a rich heritage and am still only here because I stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before me.

My wife, Diona, and I have been married 28 years and our son, Gabriel (age 26) and his wife, Tanya abide in Syracuse NY. They have a boy, John who is seven months old! We now reside in Topeka, KS near Diona’s mom and sister. I currently have a YouTube podcast called “Mathaino” and am teaching through the book of Exodus!

Gregg Svalstad

Gregg Svalstad currently serves as Executive Pastor at Purpose Church in Pomona ( ). He has also served in the roles of Senior, Associate, Discipleship & Groups, and Youth Pastor during his 40 years in ministry. He served in three different sized churches - small (150-250), medium (300-500), and large (3500), in very different geographical and demographic areas - Pomona (mid-urban Inland Empire), Sacramento, and Huntington Beach/Fountain Valley (Coastal Orange County).

Gregg's Top 5 StrengthsFinders are Developer, Arranger, Strategic, Adaptability, and Maximizer.

He has a sports background and feels like he was always a better coach than a player or performer. He has been serving as a mentor and coach throughout his ministry career and loves to coach pastors to be able to apply the perspective he has gained from all of his various roles to the role and context a pastor is currently serving.

Gregg and his wife Laurie will celebrate their 40th anniversary in 2023 and have two young adult children: Caleb (28) and Emma (23).

Reynel Tapia

Bio coming soon!

Esther Tress

Since 2011, I have considered myself an advocate and thought partner for those with whom I coach. My credentials pertinent to coaching pastor leaders are an undergraduate double major in Psychology and Philosophy/Religion; a Master of Arts in Leadership; and Certification as a Christian Leadership Coach (since 2012).

I am the Executive/Spiritual Formation Pastor at Cold Springs Church ( in Placerville, California (since 2007). These and other ministry associations afford me the opportunity of coaching and equipping a variety of leaders.

My top 5 StrengthsFinders are: Learner, Ideation, Strategic, Connectedness and Futuristic.

I wish to coach pastors because coaching is non-hierarchical in style and I consider the peer-to-peer approach effective in bringing out one’s best. The goal of the coaching relationship is to help the person being coached to move forward. Thus, whether to get unstuck or discover the next steps, the point is to help the person thrive. This fits well with my passion to journey with others as they increasingly become who God has created them to be.

I am originally from Southern California. I was raised in a ministry family, a typical “pastor’s kid” so to speak. In 2006, my husband (of 34 years) and I moved to Northern California, about 40 miles east of Sacramento. I still travel often for ministry and family visits, both to Los Angeles and Orange County.