Credentialing in the EFCC
Credentialing in the Evangelical Free Church of Canada is a partnership between the EFCC and an EFCC local church, the EFCC Mission or an EFCC approved ministry in which the God-given gifts that a believer is exercising are affirmed. These gifts may be exercised in any number of ministry roles: senior pastor, local church staff or lay worker, para-church worker, missionary, chaplain, etc.
Credentialing enables the local church, the EFCC, the EFCCM and other EFCC approved ministries to affirm the Christian character, testimony, calling and spiritual maturity of those who carry out ministry within the Evangelical Free Church of Canada. Credentialing affirms the presence of spiritual qualities as found in the New Testament (Acts 6:1-6; I Timothy 3; Hebrews 13:17; Ephesians 4:11-13; etc). It is also a prerequisite for the EFCC supporting a minister’s legal standing with the local church, district, provincial and national jurisdictions. The credentialing process is overseen by the EFCC’s Ministerial Standing Committee (MSC)
There are Two Credentialing Designations in the EFCC:
The Ministry Credential is the EFCC’s basic standard affirming the holder’s character, calling, and compatibility with the EFCC’s ethos and belief. This credential is intended to grant affirmation and the basis for legal status to ministry workers serving as EFCC pastors, chaplains, association leaders, EFCCM missionaries, and lay ministry workers in EFCC local churches or in an EFCC approved ministry (institutional chaplaincies, missions and para-church organizations).
Men and women serving in such positions are expected to pursue Ministry Credentials. Ministry Credentials are issued once the requirements for Steps 1 and 2 are completed and is the minimum standard for a Ministry Worker to be in good standing in the EFCC. This Credential is valid as long as the bearer meets the general provisions set forth in the “Yearly Requirements” and remains a member in good standing of an EFCC local church.
The Ordination Credential is the EFCC’s highest standard affirming the holder’s character, calling, Biblical/theological competency, and compatibility with the EFCC’s ethos and belief. If desired by the local church and ministry worker, a male candidate can pursue an EFCC ordination credential, which is intended to grant affirmation and the basis for legal status to ministry workers serving as EFCC pastors, chaplains, association leaders and EFCCM missionaries in EFCC local churches or in EFCC approved ministries.
The Ordination Credential is issued once Steps 1 – 7 are completed. This Credential is valid as long as the bearer meets the general provisions set forth under the “Yearly Requirements” and remains a member in good standing of an EFCC local church.
EFCC Credentialing Process – New EFCC Pastor or Ministry Worker
A pastor or ministry worker is called by the church with the involvement of a District Superintendent. The following steps will be part of the hiring/application process:
Step 1 — Gathering of Credentialing Documents
- The Local Church writes a letter requesting that the candidate be accepted into the credentialing process.
- Candidate writes a Biographical paper (conversion, call to ministry, commitment to the EFCC).
- Candidate signs the following documents:
- Covenant of Personal & Professional Ethics
- EFCC 10 Articles Statement of Faith
- EFCC Character and Calling document
- Candidate writes paper interacting with the EFCC Character and Calling document
- Candidate writes Philosophy of Ministry/Leadership style/Ministry gifting paper
- Criminal Record check document obtained (at the beginning of every new ministry)
Documents submitted to District Superintendent (DS)
Candidate has Interview with the District Credentialing Committee
District Superintendent sends Documents on to the EFCC Home Office
Step 2 — Candidate Attends an Efcc Orientation Seminar and Completes Required Reading
(A signed statement of completion of required reading is sent to Home Office)
Step 3 — Candidate Receives an Efcc Ministry Credential and Continues to Fulfill Yearly Requirements.
If ordination is desired, the candidate’s local church requests in writing to MSC that the candidate proceed to Ordination Credential.
The candidate begins writing a paper, interacting on the Statement of Faith.
Step 4 — MSC Asks the DS To Appoint a Mentor for the Candidate
- They connect at least 4 times
- Address issues needing attention from the first draft of Ordination Paper
- Discuss ministry issues
Step 5 — Candidate Submits Ordination Paper to MSC
The paper is to include interaction on the EFCC Statement of Faith & culturally sensitive issues.
Step 6 — MSC Approves Paper (after necessary revisions)
Step 7 — Ordination Council
Confirms Character, Orthodoxy and Gifting
Step 8 Candidate Receives an EFCC Ordination Credential and Continues to Fulfil Yearly Requirements
YEARLY REQUIREMENTS (for both Ministry Credential and Ordination Credential)
Re-sign the 3 Documents (from Step 1c.) – Will be sent from Home Office in January each year.
- Return documents by March 31 of each year
- Obtain Continuing Education Credits (any 2 of the following):
- Meet with Evangelical pastors at least 2 times/year
- Attend District Conference
- Take a Seminary or Bible School Course
- Attend an EFCC sponsored or approved seminar
- Read at least one book about Leadership, Spiritual Formation or Contemporary Ministry
- Attend EFCC Conference (biennial)
- Other professional development completed. Explain: ___________________________________