Classifications of ministry

The following classifications of Ministry are recommended in the normal process of Ministry training and development together with the procedures and steps involved. However, it is accepted that in some instances it may be deemed acceptable to the Issuing Authority to move an applicant directly to a State Minister’s Credential (ie: bypassing the Trainee Minister’s Credential) should the applicant have the proven qualifications and evidence of Ministry calling and fruitfulness.

Trainee Minister’s Credential

Issuing Authority: State Council or its nominated officers

This Credential may be issued by the State Council or its nominated officers, to those in a training/apprenticeship role, for the purpose of giving official recognition to a person who has formally completed the necessary competencies for a Trainee Minister and who:

  • Fulfils regular pastoral, Ministry and platform responsibilities in a Local Church as a Minister in training, or

  • Has been given responsibility for an outreach, or

  • Is pioneering a Local Church with the objective of it becoming a recognised CRC Churches International Church, or

  • Is fulfilling a viable form of Ministry and is obviously a developing Ministry Gift

A Trainee Minister’s Credential is to be normally held (at the discretion of the Issuing Authority) for a duration of at least three years before an application for a State Minister’s or Specialist Minister’s Credential is to be considered.

The Trainee Minister shall work under the covering of an approved Coaching Minister appointed by the Issuing Authority. The objective is that the appointed Minister has a close ‘mentoring relationship’ with the Trainee Minister and that the Trainee Minister demonstrates his/her competencies requisite to receiving a State Minister’s Credential.

A person holding a Trainee Minister’s Credential is an Associate Member of the relevant State Council and does not have voting rights but is expected to attend all State Councils and Conferences; and is strongly encouraged to attend all National Councils and Conferences.

The Issuing Authority has the right, in exceptional circumstances, to waive elements of the training requirements normally incumbent on the Trainee Minister – however all pastors being considered for a Trainee Minister’s Credential must demonstrate that they have successfully completed the competencies required for a “Trainee Minister’s Credential”.

If the area of Ministry function for which this Credential was issued should cease, the Credential lapses forthwith.

State Minister’s Credential

Issuing Authority: State Council or its nominated officers.

This Credential is issued by the State Council or its nominated officers and may be given to such persons who have completed the requisite competencies for a CRC Minister and who are functioning as the Senior Minister or Assistant/Minister of a Local Church:

  • while still gaining experience, or

  • who continues to perform an effective Ministry solely related to a particular locality; and.

  • who has made the decision to step aside from some of their secular vocation to devote at least one day of effort to the Ministry of Christ in their local church. This does not prejudice ministers who because they are personally pioneering a new local Church or new Ministry venture may need to be in secular employment for a season

The State Minister’s Credential is a recognition of an effective and fruitful Ministry being performed in a particular area of service and applies only to the office or position concerned.

The State Minister shall work under the covering of an approved Coaching Minister appointed by the Issuing Authority. The objective is that the appointed Minister has a close ‘mentoring relationship’ with the State Minister.

A State Minister will be registered with the Australian Government as a Minister of Religion and an Authorised Marriage Celebrant.

(Ministers, who because of the change to the credentialling process have not completed the State Ministry Competencies, can apply to the Issuing Authority for a Marriage Celebrant’s licence.  A decision will be made based on:

  • The applicant having completed the competencies pertaining to a Marriage Celebrant’s training and responsibilities.

  • The length of time the applicant has held a State Minister’s Credential. (Normally, [at the discretion of the Issuing Authority] a period of at least twelve [12] months would be considered a minimal requirement.))

Any person issued a State Minister’s Credential shall be a Member of the relevant State Council, with voting rights in accordance with State Constitutions, and is an Associate Member of the National Council without voting rights. Such persons are expected to attend all State and National Councils and Conferences.

A State Minister’s Credential should normally be held for a minimum of three years before a person may be invited by the Issuing Authority in consultation with the Coaching Minister, to complete an application for a National Minister’s Credential. (Refer 3.4)

A State Minister’s Credential may be held in perpetuity, for the duration of one’s Ministry life.

It is recognised that in some cases the Minister in a local church fulfils a very significant and ongoing Ministry role that will continue through the Minister’s lifetime. Due to any number of circumstances the person concerned may Minister to a relatively small number of people or may not move from their one place of Ministry due to secular employment or other circumstances.

The person holding the State Minister’s Credential may simply not have the Ministry calling or is not available for Ministry to the larger body of Christ. It is therefore the intent of this document that the CRC Churches International gives due honour and esteem to those who may hold a State Minister’s Credential in perpetuity.

Before a State Minister’s Credential is granted it is expected that the required State Ministry Competencies training courses (or their equivalent acceptable to the Issuing Authority) are completed or are in the process of being completed.

The Issuing Authority has the right, in exceptional circumstances, to waive elements of the training requirements normally incumbent on the State Minister – however all pastors being considered for a State Minister’s Credential must demonstrate that they have successfully completed the competencies required for a “State Minister’s Credential”.

If the area of Ministry function for which this Credential was issued should cease, the Credential lapses forthwith.

Specialist Minister’s Credential

Issuing Authority: State Council or its nominated officers.

This Credential may be issued to a person involved in a specialised area of Ministry, or to a person who is functioning in a Ministry role within a Local Church, but is not covered by other Credential classifications.

It is a recognition of an effective and fruitful Ministry being performed in a particular area of service and applies only to the office or position concerned.

The Specialist Minister may, in certain circumstances, be registered with the Australian Government as a Minister of Religion and an Authorised Marriage Celebrant.    Such applications are to be considered by the Issuing Authority and a decision will be made based on:

  • The need in the Local Church for a registered marriage celebrant.

  • The character and stability of the applicant.

  • The length of time the applicant has held a Specialist Minister’s Credential. (Normally, a period of at least twelve [12] months would be considered a minimal requirement.)

The Specialist Ministry may include such areas as:

  • Prison chaplains

  • Hospital chaplains

  • Youth Ministry

  • Evangelistic Ministry

  • World Missions (Missionary), etc.

The written designation on the Credential will read as follows:

  • “Specialist Minister

The Specialist Minister would normally have completed at least three years as a Trainee Minister and have completed the competencies necessary to become a Specialist Minister in the CRC… (See 3.2)

The Specialist Minister shall work under the covering of a Coaching Minister appointed by the Issuing Authority. The objective is that the appointed Minister has a close ‘mentoring relationship’ with the Specialist Minister.

A person holding a Specialist Minister’s Credential shall be a Member of the relevant State Council with voting rights, except for constitutional or Credential matters [subject to consistency with the relevant State Constitution], and an Associate Member of the National Council without voting rights. Such persons are expected to attend all State and National Councils and Conferences.

Before a Specialist Minister’s Credential is granted it is expected that the required competencies, training courses, or their equivalent acceptable to the Issuing Authority, are completed to the level of “Specialist Minister” or are in the process of being completed.

The Issuing Authority has the right, in exceptional circumstances, to waive elements of the training requirements normally required for a Specialist Minister – however all pastors being considered for a Specialist Credential must demonstrate that they have successfully completed the relevant competencies required for a “Minister’s Credential”

If the area of Ministry function for which this Credential was issued should cease, the Credential lapses forthwith.

National Minister’s Credential

Issuing Authority: National Executive on the recommendation of the State Council or its nominated officers.

The National Minister’s Credential is a recognition of the clear expression of an Ascension Gift Ministry which extends beyond the particular area of service concerned and is a recognition of the Ministry Gift throughout the CRC Churches International.

In order to provide an outline of the expectations of the Ministry of a person who is issued a National Minister’s Credential the Minister should have completed the competencies required for a National Minister’s Credential and:

  • Have the capability to lead an average sized Australian Church of 80 to 100 people by providing the leadership, preaching Ministry, pastoral care, organisational and associated duties of that office;

  • Or, in the case of the Minister being a Missionary, Itinerant Ministry, Teaching Ministry, etc, the Minister displays a level of Ministry capability, leadership and organisational capability commensurate with leading an average sized Church.

  • That the person concerned has made the decision to step aside from their secular vocation and devote their full time efforts to the Ministry of Christ. This does not prejudice Ministers who because they are pioneering a new Local Church or new Ministry venture need to return to secular employment for a season;

  • Or, in cases where a person may retain a secular business or employment interest that they display a clear priority for the Ministry of Christ and that they display an imminent willingness to step aside from their secular vocation.

This Credential is issued by the National Executive on the recommendation of the State Council or its nominated officers and may be given to such persons who have a proven Ephesians 4:11 Ministry Gift and who meet the Credential requirements as stated in Clauses 1&2.

All applications for a National Minister’s Credential are to be submitted at the invitation of the Issuing Authority, in consultation with the Coaching Minister, to the State Issuing Authority who shall then make recommendations to the National Executive for endorsement.

Any person issued a National Minister’s Credential shall then be:

  • A Member of the State and National Councils with voting rights, and is expected to attend all properly convened Council meetings.

  • Registered with the Australian Government as a Minister of Religion and an Authorised Marriage Celebrant.

The Issue Authority has the right, in exceptional circumstances, to waive elements of the training requirements normally incumbent on the National Minister – however all Ministers being considered for a National Minister’s Credential must demonstrate that they have successfully completed the competencies required for a “National Minister’s Credential”

Affiliate Minister’s Credential

Issuing Authority: National Executive on the recommendation of the State Council or its nominated officers in some cases, or a State Executive in all other cases.

This Credential may be recommended by the State Issuing Authority to the National Executive for approval for:

  • a Minister who is holding (or has recently held) the equivalent of a “State Minister’s Credential” in another movement or denomination and is moving into permanent Ministry within the CRC, or,

  • to a Minister who is Credentialed with the CRC Churches International at a ‘National Minister’s’ level, but whose Ministry prevents the applicant from being closely involved in a CRC Churches International church or National Council. (eg;  Working overseas in a non-CRC Field or country)

  • To a leading minister in a Para-Church ministry not covered by other categories,

  • To a Minister of a significant local Church considering:

    • becoming a member Church of CRC Churches International
    • becoming a Church in fellowship with CRC Churches International.

This Credential may be approved by the State Issuing Authority for:

  • a Minister who is holding (or has recently held) the equivalent of a “Trainee Minister’s Credential” in another movement or denomination and is moving into permanent Ministry within the CRC, or,

  • to a Minister who is Credentialed with the CRC Churches International at a ‘State Minister’s’ level, but whose Ministry prevents the applicant from being closely involved in a CRC Churches International church or National Council. (eg;  Working overseas in a non-CRC Field or country)

  • To a minister in a Para-Church ministry not covered by other categories,

  • To a Minister of a local Church considering:

    • becoming a member Church of CRC Churches International

    • becoming a Church in fellowship with CRC Churches International.

 

In the event of a Minister moving from another denomination the following shall apply:

  • The applicant must be in good standing with their previous Credentialing authority.

  • The applicant must be coming into the CRC to fulfil a Ministry role and function endorsed by the State Issuing Authority.

  • The applicant must exhibit a clear desire to be identified with the CRC and be committed to the objectives, philosophy, ethics, etc., of the CRC, as outlined in the Charter, Constitutional documents, etc., at State and National level.

  • A person holding an Affiliate Minister’s Credential shall (where geographically possible) work under the covering of a Coaching Minister appointed by the Issuing Authority. The objective is that the appointed Minister has a close ‘mentoring relationship’ with the Affiliate Minister.

  • It is recommended that the Affiliate Minister’s Credential shall be held for a minimum of one year prior to an invitation being extended by the State Issuing Authority in consultation with the Coaching Minister, to complete an application for a “National Minister’s Credential”, or a “State Minister’s Credential”.  An Affiliate Minister must demonstrate satisfactory completion of the competencies required for a National or State Minister’s Credential prior to the award of this credential.

  • A person holding an Affiliate Minister’s Credential shall be a Member of the State Council with voting rights except for constitutional or Credential matters [subject to consistency with the relevant State Constitution], and an Associate Member of the National Council without voting rights. Such persons are expected to attend State and National Councils and Conferences.

  • In the case of a Minister who is not able to relate closely to a CRC Churches International church or State Council (eg; Working overseas in a non CRC Field) an Affiliate Minister’s Credential may be held indefinitely.

  • A person issued an Affiliate Minister’s Credential may be registered with the Australian Government as a Minister of Religion and an Authorised Marriage Celebrant.

Retired Minister’s Credential

Issuing Authority: National Executive on the recommendation of the State Council or its nominated officers.

The Retired Minister’s Credential is a recognition given to a person who has provided at least ten years of faithful service in the CRC whilst holding a National Minister’s Credential or a Minister’s Credential and whose involvement at a State and/or National organisational level is no longer appropriate (e.g. due to advanced age or ill health).

In being granted a Retired Minister’s Credential, such person would no longer have voting rights nor be included in any quorum requirements at State and National Council meetings.

A Minister holding a National Minister’s or State Minister’s Credential wishing to be reclassified as a Retired Minister should notify their State Executive; and on their recommendation, the National Executive may process the reclassification.  Alternatively, the move for reclassification may be initiated by the National Executive or the relevant State Executive, if they deem that a particular Member or Associate Member is no longer able to fulfil their organisational responsibilities; and in consultation with the Minister, make the appropriate decision.

Any person issued this Credential may be registered with the Australian Government for the purpose of conducting marriages

The holder of a Retired Minister’s Credential is not required to pay the annual Credential Fee

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