Purpose of the Ordination Process
The purpose of the process outlined below is threefold:
  • To prepare the Candidate for success when examined by the Transformation Ministries Ordination Standards Council
  • To engage local churches together in one of their most important tasks – credentialing ordained leadership; and
  • To train lay church leaders in Biblical knowledge and increase their understanding of the responsibilities of the pastoral office by their participation in this process.

Other processes that attain these purposes are acceptable.

Requirements for Ordination
Below is a list of the documentation to be sent to the TM Office to the attention of the Corporate and Human Resources Manager.

1. A letter from the local church of which the Candidate is a member or pastor, indicating the action taken to recommend the ordination of the Candidate;

2. A transcript from the college and/or seminary from which the Candidate is a graduate;

3. A signed statement agreeing with the Convictions of Transformation Ministries and Leadership Covenant of Ethical Behavior; and

4. A statement from the Candidate’s pastor, recent former pastor, or ministry mentor, who is well qualified to indicate the fitness of the Candidate for ministry;

5. Ordination Paper – the Candidate will write an ordination paper, including:


a. A brief biographical statement including place of birth, family and marital status (including widowhood or divorce, if applicable), and experiences important for personal development;

b. A description of how the Candidate became a Christian;

c. A description of how the Candidate is growing in the Christian life;

d. A description of the significance of the local church and the broader body of Christ in the life and growth of the believer;

e. A description of the Candidate’s call to a preaching or teaching ministry;

f. Reasons for seeking to be recognized as an ordained minister by Transformation Ministries;

g. A summary doctrinal statement of 1,500 to 3,000 words in the Candidate’s own words, so structured as to demonstrate Biblical and pastoral competence addressing the following.


  • The authority and reliability of the Scripture
  • God
  • The person and work of Christ (including the atonement)
  • The Holy Spirit
  • The human race and society
  • Sin
  • Salvation
  • Sanctification and growth of believers toward spiritual maturity
  • The nature and mission of the church
  • The meaning and practice of baptism and the Lord’s Supper
  • Eschatology (including the return of Christ, heaven and hell).


The Candidate shall substantiate their understanding of these important items with Scripture references in the doctrinal statements.

6. A local examination provides a unique opportunity to involve pastors as well as lay church leaders in discussion of key areas of Biblical teaching and doctrine.  At the same time, it draws together leaders from congregations that minister in relationship with one another.  By including pastors and leaders who are less familiar with the Candidate, greater objectivity is introduced into the process than could be achieved by the Candidate’s own congregation acting alone.  For more information, see the “Ministry Standards in Transformation Ministries” (Revised September 8, 2011).

7. The Candidate will complete the Bible Knowledge Test prepared by the Transformation Ministries Ordination Standards Council.  A grade of eighty-five (85%) correct answers is required before the Candidate may appear before the Ordination Standards Council.

8. An emotional assessment for ministry by a Christian counseling agency approved by Transformation Ministries will be completed.  If the Candidate is married, the pastor and spouse will participate together in this process.  A subcommittee of the Ordination Standards Council will review the assessment and report concerns or recommendations to the Ordination Standards Council.

9. The report of the local examination, a copy of the Ordination Paper, and the report of the Psychological Evaluation must be received at the TM Office not less than sixty (60) days prior to the next anticipated Ordination Standards Council meeting.

10. The role of the Ordination Council is to orally examine the Candidate’s readiness for ordained ministry. It is not to examine the standing of the person before God, his/her worth or spirituality.

Possible Outcomes for the Oral Examination
  • Recommend that the local church proceed with ordination of the Candidate;
  • Recommend that the Candidate complete further study or work prior to ordination; or
  • Recommend that the local church not proceed with ordination of the Candidate.

If the local church ordains an individual who was not approved by the Transformation Ministries Ordination Standards Council, the ordination will not be recognized by Transformation Ministries.

You may download the complete ordination procedures and standards document titled, “Ministry Standards in Transformation Ministries,” that details the oral requirements to be met during the examination by the Ordination Standards Council.
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 (discoverthejoy.org), 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 (highdesertchurch.com), 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: jackhamilton.co


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 (beachpoint.com) 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 onehopetemplecity.org) for 9.5 years. Currently, in my semi-retirement years, I am the Connections Pastor at Grace Point Church in Topeka, KS (gracepointtopeka.org).

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 (purposechurch.com ). 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 (coldspringschurch.net) 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.