Licensing is the primary method of joining the FCA as a member and is the process whereby the local church endorses one who demonstrates promise of effective ministry. Only qualified endorsing churches may endorse in the FCA (see section 6.1).
The following subsections on licensing are minimum requirements established by the FCA for licensing in the FCA. These must be met in order to be officially licensed. Beyond these, additional qualifications and the process required are determined by each local church, details of which should be available from their policies or bylaws. Licensing is often used as an interim qualification that allows a minister to practice ministry under supervision and tutelage of the endorsing church and its leadership, confirming the call of God to ordination.
Criteria for Licensing
The candidate for licensing must:
Meet the basic membership requirements in 6.2.1.
Be a baptized believer who confesses to the infilling of the Holy Spirit, membership within their local church, and a divine call to Christian ministry
Commit to lifestyle and ministry expectations as described in 1 Timothy 3:1–7, Titus 1:5–9, and 1 Peter 5:1–11
Demonstrate a lifestyle of faithfulness to biblical ethics, morality, values, and ongoing spiritual growth
Subscribe to the statement of beliefs of their home church, and be supportive of the church mission, vision, and values
Respect the leadership of their home church, and the same leadership must believe in the ministry potential of the candidate
Have completed a minimum of one year of formal Bible training through a biblical training institution approved by the local church, or a minimum of two years of biblical self-study resulting in the candidate demonstrating a coherent theology and the capacity and desire for ongoing growing knowledge of spiritual truth
Demonstrate a willing servant spirit by his/her commitment to an active ministry of the church (Note: this requirement is not as strict on an ongoing basis for those who have transitioned to retirement)
Conferring the License
The process for establishing FCA membership through licensing is as follows:
In view of the candidate’s qualifications, service, and faithfulness, the church leadership from a qualified endorsing church (see section 6.1) may choose to confer a License to Minister upon the candidate. Alternatively, a minister may seek out an endorsing church for licensing purposes.
The candidate shall be interviewed by the leadership team of the church to gather and convey information related to licensing qualifications. Questions shall include topics of biblical doctrine, local church values, and FCA policy. The church is responsible to ensure the candidate meets the criteria in 220.127.116.11.
The license shall be conferred upon the candidate with the successful support of the church leadership, as determined by church policy or bylaws.
The church must request an FCA License to Minister from the FCA office. The license will be issued within two weeks of all the necessary information being provided.
The license shall be presented by the endorsing church leadership to the candidate in a public service.
The appropriate registration documentation shall be completed and submitted to the FCA office along with the membership fee in order to be registered as an FCA member. Incomplete registrations will not be processed until all required information is received. All registration documents can be found on the website. The required forms include:
Minister Application Form – to be filled out by the candidate minister
Minister Affirmation Form – to be filled out by the endorsing church
A copy of the minister’s signed licence certificate
The practice of ministry shall continue under the mentorship of the pastor or appointed leader of the local endorsing church or their designate.
The License to Minister may or may not carry with it the privilege of performing marriages, as per policy of the endorsing church. See section 6.2.9 regarding marriage privileges.
Ordination occurs after one has already been licensed (the only exception is a transfer of ordination). Ordination is the process whereby the local church affirms one who demonstrates an anointing and call of God to serve as a minister of the Gospel of Christ, who possesses the requisite gifts and abilities to carry out Christian ministry, and who is willing to be set apart to do so for an indefinite period of time.
Although membership and ordination are often linked, the ordination process is not the same as the FCA membership process (i.e. being officially licensed with the FCA). If one is a member of the FCA already, ordination does not change that membership status.
Criteria for Ordination
The candidate for ordination must:
Meet the criteria for licensing in 18.104.22.168 including the basic membership requirements
Have functioned satisfactorily as a licensed minister for a minimum of two years
Have completed a minimum of three years of formal Bible training through a biblical training institution approved by the local church, or a minimum of five years of biblical self-study resulting in the candidate demonstrating a solid and coherent theology and the capacity and desire for ongoing growing knowledge of spiritual truth
Embrace a call of God to serve in Christian ministry for an indefinite period of time (Note: this requirement is not as strict on an ongoing basis for those who have transitioned to retirement)
Conferring the Ordination
The process for conferring ordination is as follows:
The candidate shall submit a treatise on their philosophy of ministry to the leadership team of the church through which they are licensed.
The candidate shall be interviewed by the leadership team of the church to gather and convey information related to ordination qualifications. Questions shall include topics of biblical doctrine, local church values, and FCA policy. The church is responsible to ensure the candidate meets the criteria in 22.214.171.124.
The candidate shall require the successful support for ordination from the leadership team as determined by church policy or bylaws. The leadership shall view the candidate as a Godly and effective minister of the Gospel.
The intention to ordain the candidate shall be introduced to the church congregation at least one month prior to the event.
The church must request an FCA ordination certificate from the FCA office. The ordination certificate will be issued within two weeks of all the necessary information being provided.
The public ordination service shall be prepared with thought and prayer.
The following components are recommended for the ordination service:
A pastoral address on biblical ordination
The reading of the ordination charge to the candidate
The response of the candidate (by way of answered questions or a short message)
The laying on of hands and commissioning prayer by the church leaders
The celebration of the ordination by the congregation (either by a congregational time of prayer or worship, a reception line, a coffee fellowship time, or other)
A copy of the minister’s signed ordination certificate must be sent to the FCA office in order for the minister to be registered as ordained.
There are no additional membership requirements, fees, or forms to submit to the FCA office when a minister moves from licensing to ordination.