Most Baptist ministers serving in churches are ordained. Ordination is defined by Baptist Distinctives as "a means of indicating to churches and to the world in general that a person has been accredited as worthy to be a pastor or deacon". Some churches do not require ordination for its pastors, but it is necessary if that pastor wants to officiate marriage and funeral services as well as administer communion or The Lord's Supper. There are no fees incurred for ordination other than the cost of a certificate and a reception. These expenses are met by the local church hosting the ordination.
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Complete steps to obtain a license. A man is licensed after he makes a public declaration of his calling to the pastoral ministry. The church will then present him with a license which serves as recognition that a man has been deemed worthy to pursue his chosen vocation.
Complete the training and coursework necessary to become a pastor. Many men enrol in a seminary and attend for four years or more and attain a higher degree in a specific area of ministry. Others serve as associate pastors and gain practical experience.
Apply for pastoral jobs. Respond to ads in Baptist newsletters or inquire at your local Baptist Association office. You may be asked to preach at churches as a guest speaker or become an interim preacher, serving in the capacity of pastor until a church finds a permanent replacement. Often, interims are asked to become permanent.
Complete ordination. The church that votes to call you as pastor will assume the responsibility of the ordination ceremony with your input. Ordination consists of a meeting with deacons and pastors in which they pose questions to the candidate and give advice on pastoral duties. This is followed by a formal ceremony at the church in which the candidate is "charged" with formal assumption of his duties.
Tips and warnings
- A college degree is not required for ordination. Baptist churches are autonomous, and are free to state their specific requirements in their bylaws.
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