Licensed ministers from other denominations, desiring to unite with the Church of the Nazarene, may be licensed as ministers by the district assembly, provided they present the credentials issued to them by the denomination in which they formerly held their membership; and further provided that they:
- have passed a course of study equivalent to one-fourth of a validated course of study in the Church of the Nazarene for local ministers and can demonstrate appreciation, comprehension, and application of the Manual and history of the Church of the Nazarene, and of the doctrine of holiness, by successfully completing the related portions of a validated course of study;
- have been recommended by the church board of the local Church of the Nazarene of which they are members;
- have given evidence of grace, gifts, and usefulness;
- have been carefully examined under the direction of the district assembly regarding their spiritual, intellectual, and other fitness for such work;
- have promised to pursue immediately a validated course of study prescribed for licensed ministers and candidates for ordination;
- have had any disqualification, which may have been imposed by a district assembly or its equivalent, removed by an explanation in writing by the district superintendent or his or her equivalent and the District Advisory Board or its equivalent of the district where the disqualification was imposed; and provided further that their marriage relationship does not render them ineligible for a district license; and
- in case of a previous divorce, the recommendation of the District Ministerial Credentials Board or District Board of Ministry along with supporting documents will be given to the Board of General Superintendents, which may remove this as a barrier to pursuing a license. (532.1)
A minister’s license shall terminate with the close of the next district assembly. It may be renewed by vote of the district assembly, provided:
- that the candidate for renewal shall file with the district assembly the Application for a District Minister’s License carefully filled in; and
- that the candidate shall have completed at least two courses in a validated course of study; and
- that the candidate has been recommended for the renewal of license by the church board of the local church of which he or she is a member, upon the nomination of the pastor.
In case, however, he or she shall not have passed a validated course of study required, the license may be renewed by the district assembly only upon submission of a written explanation for this failure. Such explanation shall be satisfactory to the District Ministerial Credentials Board or District Board of Ministry and approved by the general superintendent presiding. The district assembly may, for cause and at its discretion, vote against the renewal of a minister’s license.
Licensed ministers who have graduated from a validated course of study and have been placed in retired relation by the district assembly shall, with the recommendation of the District Advisory Board, have their license renewed without the filing of an Application for a District Minister’s License. (205.4)
To qualify for ordination, candidates must achieve graduation from a validated course of study within 10 years from the granting of the first district license. Any exception, due to unusual circumstances, may be granted by the District Ministerial Credentials Board or District Board of Ministry, subject to the approval of the general superintendent in jurisdiction.
A licensed minister who is not pursuing ordination or who is disqualified from ordination for failure to complete a validated course of study within the prescribed time limit may be granted renewal of minister’s license upon recommendation of the District Advisory Board and the District Ministerial Credentials Board or District Board of Ministry. Such recommendation shall be contingent upon the minister having graduated from a validated course of study or having completed at least two courses in a validated course of study during the past year.
In the case of licensed ministers who are serving as pastors, the recommendation for the renewal of minister’s license shall be made by the District Advisory Board. In the case of local ministers who are serving as pastors, the recommendation for the granting of minister’s license shall be made by the District Advisory Board. (225.13)
The general superintendent having jurisdiction shall issue to each licensed minister a minister’s license, bearing the signature of the general superintendent in jurisdiction, the district superintendent, and the district secretary.
Licensed ministers shall be vested with authority to preach the Word and/or to use their gifts and graces in various ministries to the Body of Christ. In addition, provided they serve in an assigned ministry recognized by the district on which they hold their ministerial membership, licensed ministers shall also be vested with authority to administer the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper in their own congregations, and to officiate at marriages where the laws of the state do not prohibit. (511–512, 515, 515.4, 523, 532.8, 533–533.2, 534–534.2, 700, 701, 705)
All licensed ministers shall hold their ministerial membership in the district assembly of the district wherein their church membership is held, and shall report to this body annually. Reports may be submitted on the appropriate annual report form or the Application for a District Minister’s License if renewing. (201, 205.3, 521)
If a licensed minister unites with a church or denomination other than the Church of the Nazarene or engages in other Christian ministry without the approval of his or her District Advisory Board or without the written approval of the Board of General Superintendents, he or she shall be expelled immediately from the ministry and membership of the Church of the Nazarene. In its minutes, the district assembly will record the following statement: “Expelled from the membership and ministry of the Church of the Nazarene by uniting with another church, denomination, or ministry.” (107, 112)
A deacon is a minister whose call of God to Christian ministry, gifts, and usefulness have been demonstrated and enhanced by proper training and experience, who has been separated to the service of Christ by a vote of a district assembly and by the solemn act of ordination, and who has been invested to perform certain functions of Christian ministry.
The deacon does not witness to a specific call to preach. The church recognizes, on the basis of Scripture and experience, that God calls individuals to lifetime ministry who do not witness to such a specific call, and believes that individuals so called to such ministries should be recognized and confirmed by the church and should meet requirements, and be granted responsibilities, established by the church. This is a permanent order of ministry.