Reaching the Northwest ► to Reach the World ► by Planting & Assisting Churches

Ordination Standards

CALLING AN ORDINATION COUNCIL

  1. OFFICIAL ACTION BY THE CHURCHUpon completion of the license period, if the candidate appears prepared to meet the requirements for ordination, the church shall take official action, either in a congregational meeting or through its official board, to call an ordination council.
  2. INVITATION TO COUNCIL PARTICIPANTSThe ordination council shall consist of not less than six ministers together with one delegate from each church pastored by these ministers in addition to the minister and two delegates from the local church calling the council. The council may also include approved individual ministers. At least four of the minister and four of the delegates must be respectively, IFCA International members or from member churches.
  3. SUGGESTED FORM LETTER OF INVITATION TO THE COUNCIL DateAddress
    Dear ____________________,

    (Name of Church) requests you and one delegate appointed from your church (if minister is pastor of church) to sit in an Ecclesiastical Council to be constituted as stated below, hereby called to meet at (Place-of Meeting) on the ______________ day of______________ at ________________o’clock to take into considerationtheexpediencyofordainingtotheworkofthe Gospel Ministry (Name–of Candidate)

    The date of ordination will be set if and when the candidate has successfully passed his examination. The enclosed card is for your reply to this request together with the name of your delegate. The pastors and churches invited are as follows:

    _______________________________________ _____________________________________ (etc) On behalf of the church,
    Signed

  1. DESIGNATION OF WRITTEN REQUIREMENTS
    1. Itisrecommendedthatthecandidateforordinationpreparea minimum of three written documents.
      1. A doctrinal statement.
      2. An exegesis of 1000 words on a Greek or Hebrew passage. In the event of an absence of language study, an exposition of similar length of the English of an approved passage.
      3. A full sermon manuscript designed for twenty minute delivery.
    2. Allmanuscriptsshallbesubmittedintriplicatetothehost pastor or host church board.
    3. Themanuscriptsshallbeassignedforevaluationtomenwho have agreed to sit in the ordination council. It is recommended that each manuscript be assigned to two men for their consideration.
    4. After the ordination council, the ordaining church retains the first copy of each of the manuscripts as part of the official record, the other two being returned to the candidate.
  2. HOSTCHURCHPREPARATIONSFORTHECOUNCILMEETING A. Adequate,comfortable,andprivatemeetingspace.
    B. Refreshmentsand/orlunchforbreaktimes.
    C. Computerornotepadforusebythecouncilsecretary.D. A certificate of ordination to be signed by council members.

CONSTITUTING THE ORDINATION COUNCIL

I. ORGANIZATION OF THE COUNCIL
It is suggested that a leader of the ordaining church lead the council in the election of a Chairman who will then direct the proceedings.

  1. Chairman
    1. He may be any official delegate, but it is thought wise that the host pastor serve as the permanent chairman.
    2. He should have the qualifications of knowledge and skill in guiding the deliberations of an assembly.
  2. Secretary
    1. He may be any official delegate, but it is thought wise that the clerk of the host church serve as secretary.
    2. He shall keep a record of the minutes, providing a typed copy for the church’s Official Board calling the council, and a copy for the candidate.
    3. He shall arrange for the prompt signing by delegates of the Certificate of Ordination authorized by the council.
  3. QUORUM
    1. A quorum shall consist of a least twelve official delegates.
    2. It is recommended that this examining council meet privately.
  4. VOTING
    1. Only authorized representatives shall have the power to vote in the council meeting.
    2. A majority shall determine routine business and the “arresting” of examination parts.
    3. A three-fourths majority vote shall be required to pass the final recommendation of the examining council to the host church.

II. DOCKET OF THE COUNCIL
A. Meetingcalledtoorderbyhostpastororchurchofficial

1. Hymn

2. Prayer by individual or group.

  1. ElectionChairman
  2. ElectionofSecretary
    1. Read minutes of the church calling the council, and the letter of call to the council.
    2. Roll call by secretary and certification of delegates.
    3. Motion, if quorum is present, that gathering be constituted an ordination council.
  3. Motion to proceed to Examination
  4. DecisionastomethodofExamination(Individual examiners or council as a whole). If the first method waspreviously contemplated, the host pastor should have previously designated the assigned parts to competent delegates, but the final decision for method rests with the council.

    EXAMINING THE CANDIDATE

I. EXAMINATION OF THE CANDIDATE’S BACKGROUND, PREPARATION, AND CHARACTER

  1. ExaminationastoChristianExperience.Motion:“Thisportion to be arrested”.
  2. Examinationastoordinationstandards.Thisshouldinclude the following items:
    1. Educational background.
    2. Call to the ministry.

3. Reasons for seeking ordination.

C. Examinationofpersonalqualificationsforspiritualleadership as listed in I Tim. 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-9.

It is recommended that the council go through each qualification and get some positive response from the candidate. Testimonies of those present as to his meeting of these standards may also be requested.

Motion: “This portion to be arrested.”

II. REVIEW OF WRITTEN MANUSCRIPTS.

A brief evaluation of each manuscript listed below is to be given by the two reviewing pastors.

  1. Adoctrinalstatement.
  2. Anexegesisof1000wordsonaGreekorHebrewpassage.In the event of an absence of language study, an exposition of similar length of the English of an approved passage.
  3. Afullsermonmanuscriptdesignedfortwentyminutedelivery.

A motion is made at the conclusion of all the reviews that the written part be received as satisfactory or unsatisfactory.

III.EXAMINATION OF THEOLOGY, BIBLE KNOWLEDGE, AND CHURCH HISTORY AND POLITY

  1. ExaminationastodoctrineincludingEnglishBibleand Theology. The doctrinal position of the IFCA shall form the overall basis for the doctrinal examination.Motion: “This portion to be arrested.”
  2. Examination in church history and polity.Church history should focus on an appreciation of our Reformation heritage, and on contemporary theological issues. Polity should include the following items:

1. The nature and purpose of the church including the specific functions of the local church in the light of the Great commission as stated in Mart. 28:18-20.

I.

2. The nature and function of the pastor as the leader of the local church, especially as seen in Ephesians 4:1 – 16 and the Pastoral Epistles.

Motion: “This portion to be arrested.”

C. Delivery of any or all of a twenty-minute sermon if the council so desires.

Motion: “Examination as a whole be arrested and council meet in closed session.”

DECISION OF THE COUNCIL

CLOSED SESSION MEETING OF THE COUNCIL.

  1. Discussionbythecouncilwhethertorecommendordination, recommend ordination upon further study/experience, recommend not to ordain, or postpone final decision until further examination.
  2. Motionasappropriateforoneoftheaboveoptions.Three- fourths majority required to pass.