Steps to a ministerial license

We are pleased to know of your interest in ministry with Brethren in Christ U.S. and are prepared to work with you in the steps toward a ministerial license which are outlined below.

Step 1. Contact the Bishop

To get started you need to contact the bishop in the region where you would be serving. The bishop in turn will notify the Commission on Ministry and Doctrine of your interest and at the bishop’s request you will receive a letter to begin the process.

Step 2. Assessment

To assess your compatibility with Brethren in Christ U.S.:

  1. Read the Brethren in Christ Articles of Faith and Doctrine and Core Values.
  2. Complete the This I Believe form which is provided in response to your application

Step 3. Interview with the Bishop

If after completing step two you wish to proceed toward ministerial credentialing with the Brethren in Christ contact the bishop in your area for an interview. In preparation for this interview you will:

  1. Complete the Pastoral Profile which includes the request for a brief spiritual autobiography. In the autobiography give a summary of your personal experience in Christ, your call, and your vision for ministry in your calling.
  2. Submit your completed This I Believe and Pastoral Profile to the bishop prior to your appointment. The interview with the bishop will include a review of these items. At the interview you will be asked to sign the Commitment to the Brethren in Christ statement.

Following the interview the bishop will forward the completed This I Believe form, Pastoral Profile and signed Commitment statement along with observations and recommendations to the Commission on Ministry and Doctrine (CMD). With the bishop’s favorable recommendation and an approved ministry assignment you will be issued a one-year provisional license.

If an approved assignment is not immediately available the issuing of a license will be put on hold until an assignment becomes available. However, you may still proceed to the next step which is completing the doctrinal questionnaire. With no immediate assignment there will be some alterations to the steps which follow.

Step 4 Doctrinal Questionnaire

With a one-year provisional card you will receive a copy of the Doctrinal Questionnaire (DQ). You will be expected to complete the DQ within six months to allow time for the CMD to review it. (If an assignment is not immediately available, you may still ask CMD to send you a copy of the DQ.)

Step 5. BIC U.S. Leadership Orientation

You will be invited to a BIC Leadership Orientation and your participation will be expected.

Step 6. Oral Examination

Toward the end of this first year while your provisional card is in effect and upon completion of the DQ and one of the core courses, your area CMD representative, the bishop for your area and several others will meet with you for your oral examination. Satisfactory completion of the oral exam will open the way for you to receive your six-year license with the Brethren in Christ U.S.

Step 7. Core Courses

You will need to complete four core courses (which provide an understanding of Brethren in Christ doctrine, history and polity) prior to renewal of the six-year license. At least one of those four courses needs to be completed before the oral exam. Learn more about the Core Courses.

Step 8. Ordination

At the completion of at least three years of ministry, the four core courses, and either a seminary or bible college degree or the Directed Study Program (DSP), your congregation or bishop may invite you to pursue ordination. Once approved by the Leadership Council and the CMD, the bishop’s office schedules your ordination.

Step 9. Periodic Review

The credentials for Brethren in Christ ministers, whether licensed or ordained, are reviewed every six years. In considering renewal, the CMD in consultation with bishops will give attention to five aspects of your life and ministry: (1) a ministry assignment with (or affirmed by) Brethren in Christ U.S., (2) ongoing theological compatibility, (3) exemplary godly living, (4) faithfulness in commitment to the church, and (5) fulfillment of expectations for lifelong BIC learning.

Published by the Commission on Ministry and Doctrine - October 2015