Vocational ministry begins with a personal sense that God Himself is indeed calling you to be set apart for ministry within the body of Christ. This calling must be tested and authenticated by the larger church. When the church affirms this calling it offers the appropriate credential endorsing a person to serve and lead within the various roles of ministry. The credentialing and endorsement process is crucial in creating a healthy context for ministry. This process makes the pastor accountable to the local church and denomination as well as to the community of pastors in the Covenant Ministerium.
The Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) grants or revokes credentials to ministers and establishes programs to encourage ministers in discipleship and in their calling. The ECC establishes the Rules for the Ordered Ministry and administers them through the Board of Ordered Ministry and the Covenant Miniserium. The Ordered Ministry of the Evangelical Covenant Church manages the credentialing process with the support of the regional conferences.
If you feel ready to begin the process, please read more on below. The Covenant grants several different types of credentials. Some are permanent credentials and some are annually renewable credentials (licenses).
More information is available on the Ordered Ministry’s FAQs page.
“Permanent” credentials refer to those which are bestowed by laying on of hands at the Annual Meeting of the denomination on candidates who have been carefully examined in matters of faith, theology, and call. Permanent credentials include:
- Ordination to Word and Sacrament (OWSa)
- Ordination to Word and Service (OWSe)
- Consecrated Missionary
Each credential is appropriate to specific callings within the structure of a church or other ministry setting. The Evangelical Covenant Church accepts Transfer of Ordination candidates for both ordinations offered.
For information on receiving a permanent credential, please contact the Ordered Ministry (773.583.3211).
Licenses are granted to persons who are called to serve in Covenant churches and other approved ministries. Licensure is reserved for those who, by demonstration of character and gifts and by virtue of place of service, require credentials in order to perform pastoral ministry. Annually renewable licenses include:
- Membership in a Covenant Church and a call to a Covenant Church or approved ministry are required.
- Contact Aune Carlson at the Alaska Conference office to discuss the appropriate license and to request an application packet.
- Complete all licensing requirements as outlined in the licensing packet.
- To be sent following contact with Aune.
- An interview will be conducted by the Alaska Conference Committee on Ministerial Standing (COMS).
- A license will be issued by the Evangelical Covenant Church after a favorable recommendation is received from the Alaska Conference Committee on Ministerial Standing.
- Final approval of a license is voted on for recommendation by:
- The Alaska Conference Ministerial Association
- The Alaska Conference Annual Meeting
- The Board of the Ordered Ministry
- The Covenant Ministerium
- The Covenant Annual Meeting
A license can be renewed each year. License renewals are sent out from the Alaska Conference office in early spring. The license year is July 1 through June 30 of the following year.