Transfer of Ordination

Transfer of Ordination

Description of Credential

Pastors who are ordained in another denomination and who currently serve a Covenant church or institution are eligible for transfer of ordination to the Evangelical Covenant Church. It is possible to transfer an ordination into either category of ordination: ordained to word and sacrament or ordained to word and service. The decision to which ordination standing one can transfer will be made after examining a) the nature of the pastor’s current ordination, b) how that pastor understands his/her calling and c) the pastor’s educational preparation for ordination. The following guidelines are to assist one in discerning which category of ordination to pursue.

Eligibility

A pastor may be eligible to transfer to ordained to word and sacrament if:
  • The pastor is currently ordained in a recognized denomination. (The Board of the Ordered Ministry determines whether to recognize an ordaining body.)
  • The pastor understands his or her calling as functioning as the theologian in residence and missional leader, overseeing, empowering, and enabling all forms of the church’s ministry.
  • The pastor has completed a master of divinity degree or equivalent as determined by the Board of the Ordered Ministry.
A pastor may be eligible to transfer to ordained to word and service if:
  • The pastor is currently ordained in a recognized denomination. (The Board of the Ordered Ministry determines whether to recognize an ordaining body.)
  • The pastor understands his or her calling as one to staff ministry in a specific area of specialization.
  • The pastor has completed a sixty-hour theological master’s degree including twelve semester hours in an area of specialization or equivalent as determined by the Board of the Ordered Ministry.

Requirements

The candidate shall submit the following paperwork to his or her conference office:

  • All of the paperwork required for the ministry license (statement of faith paper, baptism statement, Disclosure Form, criminal record screening, and Minister’s Profile Form). Transfer of ordination candidates normally hold and renew the ministry license while working toward completing the requirements for transfer, such as Covenant Orientation, or other educational requirements.
  • Educational transcripts
  • Photocopy of ordination certificate
  • Character recommendation from ordaining denomination

The candidate must also:

  • Be a member of a Covenant church
  • Have received a call to a Covenant church or other approved ministry
  • Enroll in and complete Covenant Orientation (Candidates preparing for ministry primarily in the Hispanic community, and for whom Spanish is the primary language, may complete orientation studies through CHET.)
  • Enroll in the Covenant Pension Plan if serving a Covenant church/institution.
  • Holding a license is a prerequisite for transfer of ordination

Procedure

Once the candidate has completed the above requirements, he or she notifies the Department of the Ordered Ministry and is placed on the transfer of ordination candidate list. If you would like to verify if your name is on the list of potential candidates, please email the Department of the Ordered Ministry. Note that the finalization of transfer of ordination process takes about a year and always culminates with the service of ordination, commissioning, and consecration at the Covenant Annual Meeting in June. Therefore, if a candidate wishes to transfer ordination in any given June, he or she must enter into the process no later than July 15 of the previous year.

  • The Department of the Ordered Ministry sends all potential candidates an email in June asking if they wish to finalize their transfer of ordination at next year’s Annual Meeting.
  • The candidate responds to the letter by July 15.
  • The candidate must complete Covenant Orientation at or before the Midwinter of the year he/she plans to finalize transfer of ordination.
  • The Department of the Ordered Ministry sends all candidates the questions for the final ordination/commissioning/transfer paper.
  • The candidate sends the completed final paper to the conference office by August 15.
  • The conference committee on ministerial standing interviews the candidate based on the final paper. The committee makes its recommendation and may require the candidate to rewrite sections of the paper.
  • The conference committee on ministerial standing sends its written report on the interviews to the Department of the Ordered Ministry.
  • The Board of the Ordered Ministry interviews the candidate at its winter meeting and makes a recommendation.
  • The candidate must receive a favorable recommendation from the Board of the Ordered Ministry, a favorable recommendation from the regional conference ministerial association at its annual meeting, approval of the Covenant Ministerium, and approval of the Covenant Annual Meeting.
  • The candidate must participate in the service of ordination, commissioning, and consecration at the Covenant Annual Meeting.