Obtaining Credentials by AWH157E




                 CREDENTIALS - WHO NEEDS THEM?

What are credentials? For those who have the call of God on their lives for full-
time ministry, credentials are the link to an organization from which vital
information is received, to which the minister provides support, and through which
there is accountability. Credentials provide that essential “card carrying”
membership which can be presented to our government and the public.
Credentials are the “stamp of approval” by a recognized organization that
authorizes the performance of all ordinances and ceremonies of the church, in
accordance with applicable federal or state laws.

An official application is the first step after the educational requirements have
been satisfied. The official application deadline is August 1. Because of the
General Council mandated background check requirement for all applicants, there
can be no grace period for having the application in by August 1.

The first credential is Certified Minister. If the person seeking credentials is
unsure of the call to ministry, this level may be like a courtship--it provides an
opportunity to get acquainted and decide whether the calling is a “till death do us
part” relationship; or you may discover that you want to be involved in your
church, but your calling is not to a full time, lifelong ministry.

 All born again Christians are “. . laborers together with God. . .” and all should
follow the admonition in 2 Timothy 2:15 to “Study to show yourself approved
unto God, a workman that need not be ashamed.” The better prepared we are, the
better we can serve in the Harvest. However, everyone does not need credentials
to serve and be an asset to the church. There are many positions that can be filled
by those who are secularly employed. Their ministry is doubly important in that
they support the church financially as well as providing assistance in the various
areas of ministry in the church. They also touch the lives of many people outside
the church where their Christian influence is beneficial. There are no
“unimportant” tasks in the effort to reach the lost and fulfill the Great
Commission. God measures by faithfulness.

The next two levels of credentials, Licensed Minister, and Ordination, are for
those who are called and committed to full time ministry. The educational
requirements must be met prior to requesting the Upgrade Application.

Education requirements for all levels are as follows: Certified Ministers - two
years at an Assemblies of God Bible College, with a Biblical, ministerial, or
church-related major, or the required Berean courses; Licensed Ministers - three
years at an Assemblies of God College, with a Biblical, ministerial, or church-
related major, or the required Berean courses; Ordination - four years at an
Assemblies of God College, with a Biblical, ministerial, or church-related major,
or the required Berean courses.

Deadline for Applications to be returned to the District Office: :

        July 15th:      Certified and Licensed Applications
        Nov 1st:        Ordination Applications

                 Credential Classifications

Certified Minister
       Efficient helpers in gospel work, especially those who work under
pastoral supervision and who devote a part of their time, and are actively
engaged in some aspect of ministry.

Licensed Minister
        Those who give clear evidence of a Divine call, who have had
practical experience in preaching, and who give evidence in purposing to
devote their entire time to ministry.

        Those who are of mature experience and who are qualified and able
to undertake the responsibilities of the full gospel ministry, and whose
ministries are recognized and proven. Applicants must be at least 23 years
of age and have been actively engaged in full time ministry for at least two
full consecutive years immediately prior thereto. They must have been
licensed for two years by the time they are ordained.

                           Credential Requirements
Applicant must be a member of an Assemblies of God church.

Applicant must have received the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in
other tongues.

If married, neither the applicant nor the spouse may have a living spouse from a previous marriage
unless the divorce occurred prior to conversion, or where there was unfaithfulness or
abandonment of the believer by an unbeliever. In the above mentioned cases, an application to
recognize those exceptions shall be reviewed by the district presbytery and forwarded to the
General Council for their consideration and approval, before an application for ministerial
credentials can be accepted.

All ministerial applicants and upgrades must consent to a General Council mandated background
check, which includes a National Criminal File Search, Social Security Verification, Felony
Including Misdemeanor County court Records Search, and State Sexual Offender Database
Search, and a credit report. The fee for this background check is $40 and is due at the time the
application is returned. If we need to run a multi-county Felony county court Records search, or
multi-State Sexual Offender Database Search, their may be an additional fee.

All study requirements for each level of credentials must be completed as follows:

A/G HISTORY, MISSIONS, AND GOVERNANCE: All candidates applying for credentials for
the first time, or upgrading, must give proof that they have completed a course in A/G History and

        CERTIFIED: Two years (48 hrs minimum) at an Assemblies of God College or school
with a Biblical, ministerial, or church-related major, or completion of all required courses for
Certified Ministers through the Berean University of the Assemblies of God.

        LICENSE TO PREACH: Three years (72 hrs minimum) study in an Assemblies of God
College or school, with a Biblical, ministerial, or church-related major, or completion of all
required courses for Licensed Ministers through the Berean University of the Assemblies of God.

                ORDINATION: Four years study (96 hrs minimum) study in an Assemblies of
God College or school, with a Biblical, ministerial, or church-related major, or completion of all
required courses for Ordained Ministers through the Berean University of the Assemblies of God.

                          Life Experience Exception
Life experience will only be accepted in lieu of educational requirements on a case by case basis,
and for certified level only. If the credential committee can substantiate the applicant has a
proven, long-term, in-depth ministry, and that the applicant is involved in full-time ministry, the
applicant may be granted life experience on the licensing level, after the applicant successfully
completes the licensed minister exam. Life experience will apply only to the applicant’s initial
credentialing leve. Pertinent study courses will be required when upgrading to any subsequent
credential level. Life experience will NOT apply to any applicant seeking ordination status.

         Credential Application Fees
                     Certified Minister - $40
                     Licensed Minister - $45
                     Ordained Minister - $50
                     Background check - $40

               Steps and Procedures

Step 1. Having met all requirements previously listed, if you are
         a first-time applicant, request an official application.
         If applying for the next level of credentials, request a
         credential upgrade application. All educational
         requirements must be completed. A transcript must
         accompany the application when it is sent to our office.
         Applications without transcripts will not be processed.
         After sending in your application, your sectional
         presbyter will contact you to schedule a brief meeting,
         where he can get to know you and learn a little
         about your desire for ministry.

Step 2. When the general application or upgrade application and
        the credential and background check fee has been
        received by the district office, and approved, a synopsis
        of the test will be mailed to you, along with a letter
        providing information regarding the location and time
        of the written examination.

Step 3. After the exam, you will be notified by the district office
        of the time and place to appear before the District
        Credentials Committee for a personal interview.

Step 4. The decision, whether or not to recommend an applicant
        to the General Council for a credential, is at the
        discretion of the District Credentials Committee
        following their interview with the applicant. You will
        be notified of the committee’s decision.

Step 5. The General Council is the credentialing body.
        Approved applications will be forwarded, along with
        the appropriate fee and paperwork, to their credentials
        committee for the final disposition. They will issue the
        credential and forward certificates and fellowship cards
        to the district for distribution.
                   Dates for Credentialing

Application deadline for Official Application or upgrade Application is July
15th each year. Exceptions to this date are only given if you are currently in
a ministry requiring you to hold a ministerial credential.

Application deadline for Credential Upgrade to Ordination is
November 1 each year.

        Ministers From Other Organizations
       Ministers from other organizations applying for recognition should
follow the same procedure as a new applicant, beginning with the official
application in Step 1.
       Completed studies from other organizations and adherence to
Pentecostal distinctives will be evaluated in the light of Assemblies of God
requirements. Following is a list of requirements for individuals coming
from another organization:

              A letter from the organization you are coming from showing
               your latest credential status and granting a release to the
               Assemblies of God.

              A copy of your ministerial certificate.

              Transcripts from colleges attended.

              Completion of any courses as may be required by the
               Assemblies of God after your transcripts have been
               evaluated. One course that all applicants coming from other
               organizations must take is A/G History, Missions, and


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