Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth. (II Timothy 2:15)
The Evangelical Free Church was born out of a heritage of commitment to the authority and inerrancy of Scripture. The absolute truth of God’s Word is the objective standard by which we are to lead our lives and represent the Lord Jesus Christ to a needy world. The trademark of our high and uncompromised view of Scripture is arguably the most definitive trait of the Evangelical Free Church of America. It only follows that those who lead our churches and ministries be held accountable to an objective standard.
Types of Credentials
There are four types of credentials for ministry issued by the EFCA:
Purpose of a Ministerial Credential
- To affirm God’s call upon a person’s life
- To verify that this person meets the qualifications and standards for ministry in the EFCA
- To approve this person for ministerial service under the auspices of the EFCA
- To provide legal status in the exercise of that person’s ministry
Who Should Seek
Licensure or Ordination?
While requirements will vary from church to church, it is strongly urged that any pastoral staff member of an EFCA church who is engaged in ministry for 30 hours or more per week consider pursuit of a ministry credential. While it is legally possible for a local congregation to bestow a ministry credential upon an individual, there is an issue of integrity involved as we seek to be a consistent witness to outside observers. One example would be the IRS, who currently views the EFCA as a trustworthy and qualified credentialing agency. Another would be the United States military branches. An EFCA credential insures not only consistency in doctrinal position but suggests a spirit of teachable accountability to others. A local church credential, while accepted by certain government agencies, short-circuits the high level of doctrinal excellence and accountability we expect from our pastors.
Requirements for Credentialing
A candidate for licensure or ordination in the EFCA must:
- Be a member in good standing of a local Evangelical Free Church
- Subscribe without mental reservation to the EFCA Statement of Faith, and agree to reaffirm that commitment every five years
- Be engaged in a fulltime ministry (30 hours per week or more) that qualifies for a ministerial credentia
- Demonstrate a cooperative spirit with the purposes and policies of the EFCA, and a lifestyle consistent with biblical standards of Christian conduct
- Be examined and approved by a district ordination council or committee
- Complete the prescribed course on Free Church history, doctrine, and policy as directed by the EFCA
Beginning the Process
Credentialling in the EFCA originates at the local level. For that reason, you should contact the district office closest to your primary place of residence and ministry. Procedures and requirements vary slightly from region to region.
If your primary place of residence and ministry is in the Central District, please use our request form linked on this page to notify us of your desire to receive a credentialing packet. You will receive a packet including:
- A procedural instruction letter
- Thesis guidelines
- Application forms
Important note: In the event that a divorce and/or remarriage is part of either your background or that of your spouse, an entirely separate procedure must precede the credentialing process to determine eligibility.