- 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.
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:
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
- The person and work of Christ (including the atonement)
- The Holy Spirit
- The human race and society
- 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).
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.
- 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.