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Licensing & Ordination


 Licensing & Ordination

To receive your License & become an Ordained Minister of the Gospel Through A.C.O.J., Inc.

 

Becoming a licensed or ordained minister is not a trivial matter. It represents the setting apart of an individual for ministry, where you are joining a group of Men and Women who are devoted to the highest level of spiritual conviction. With this ability to organize fellowship, officiate wedding, and start your own congregation, becoming ordained as a Christian minister is a step that should be taken with the utmost level of seriousness and dedication.

 

How does one become legally licensed or ordained within the laws that govern our society?

 

The specific purpose for which The Apostolic Church of Jesus, Inc. has been initially organized is to:

  • Establish and oversee places of worship
  • Teach and preach the gospel to all people
  • Conduct evangelistic and humanitarian outreach
  • License and ordain ministers of the gospel
  • Engage in activities, which are necessary, suitable, or convenient for the accomplishment of that purpose or which are incidental thereto or connected therewith, which are consistent with section501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  
  • This corporation is organized and operated exclusively for religious purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3), Internal Revenue Code"

 

Introduction
 

In addition to our National Church status through out the South Eastern United States. We are also an online Apostolic-Oneness church, we serve to help spread the gospel of the Lord by ordaining Christian ministers so that they may go forth and share the good news. Minister registration is provided directly through our church, and all of our online ordinations carry the full influence of an ordination performed in a chapel. Ordination gives you the full religious authority to perform all Christian ceremonies, officiate weddings, and even start your own church. In addition we hold an Annual Ceremony commemorating in the Month of December.

What comes to mind when you hear the word "ordination"? For many of you the word likely arouses a variety of thoughts, ideas, and emotions. Perhaps you think of ordination as an official designation given to ministers of the gospel. Many of you may be thinking about, or even looking at, the ordination certificate hanging on your office wall. For others, you might be thinking back to the day of your ordination ceremony when the elders or leaders of your church laid hands on you, consecrating you as a minister of the church to teach and preach the gospel. The bottom line is that the word ordination has a slightly different meaning and significance to us all. But, have you ever thought about what it means to be legally ordained or the process involved in becoming such? Moreover, did you know that being legally ordained really matters?

 

What it means to be legally ordained

The word "ordained" or "ordination" often conjures up the thought or idea of a spiritual act or religious ceremony that involves the "laying on of hands" of one individual to another; a spiritual act that consecrates an individual as a minister of the gospel. This spiritual act is generally modeled after the "ordination" of Barnabas and Saul (Paul) in the Book of Acts, which reads,


"One day as these men were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, 'Dedicate Barnabas and Saul for the special work I have for them.' So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid hands on them and sent them on their way." Acts 13:2-3 (NLT)

This act is commonly practiced amongst many churches and ministries today, but is this act alone enough for a minister to be legally ordained? Although the state or federal governments will not question one's "spiritual ordination", many ministers are unaware that their ordinations do not meet the requirements of ordination for legal purposes. To better understand the reasoning behind that process, it is necessary to understand the definition of a minister for legal purposes. In essence, for legal purposes, there are three main definitions of a minister, which are: 


1) A minister for the purpose of solemnization of marriages
2) A minister for employment purposes 
3) A minister for tax purposes.

 

A minister for the purpose of solemnization of marriages

 

All 50 states have laws in the books concerning the solemnization of marriages and who can conduct weddings. For your convenience, below we have included a state-by-state marriage solemnization guide for all 50 states.
State-by-State Solemnization Laws
After reviewing the laws of all 50 states, we have boiled down the definition of ordination (for this purpose) to the following:

Ordination must be designated by a considered, deliberate, and responsible act of the church, and the minister must be in regular communion with the organization that licensed or ordained him.

 

A minister for employment purposes

As an ordained minister of a religious organization who receives compensation for the ministerial services performed, you are considered a common-law employee. As a common-law employee, both state and federal law regulate your employment. However, there is a special stipulation known as the "ministerial exception" that frees churches from many of these rules when selecting and employing ministers to Speak or Preach. (Ordained Minister's in the Apostolic Church of Jesus, Inc. are independent contractors).

 

A minister for tax purposes

Unfortunately, the IRS does not have a concrete definition of the word minister, but has used some court precedence for the setting of guidelines that say who is or is not a minister for tax purposes. IRS Publication 517 defines ministers as,
"...Individuals who are duly ordained, commissioned, or licensed by a religious body constituting a church or church denomination. They are given the authority to conduct religious worship, perform sacerdotal functions, and administer ordinances or sacraments according to the prescribed tenets and practices of that church or denomination."

 

Classifications of Ministers

The Apostolic Church of Jesus, Inc. has three classifications of ministers, such as a commissioned minister (Christian Worker), a licensed minister, and an ordained minister. 

 

A Commissioned minister: 

This recognition is automatically given to all believers in fellowship with this ministry. They are not authorized to perform any sacerdotal services, but primarily assist others in the Body of Christ. Individuals in this category may include, but are not limited to: Adjutant, teachers, worship leaders, instructors, hospital and jail visitation, ministerial assistance, and laypersons.

 

A Licensed minister:

The Chief Apostle & Presiding Bishop of the Apostolic Church of Jesus, Inc. gives this recognition. This recognition is for those who are somewhat seasoned in the ministry, but need further experience. Many of these are individuals that have been working in their chosen vocation, but for some reason or another have never entered full-time ministry, or have only been in full-time ministry for less than three (3) years. Such persons are authorized to perform the following religious functions:


1.    Conduct religious worship
2.    Religious instruction
3.    Assist in the administering of the communion
4.    Provide spiritual biblical counseling 
5.    Serve on the board of directors of a church
6.    And other sacerdotal functions including


a.    Assisting in the Conducting of a baby dedication ceremonies 
b.    Assisting in the Performing of baptisms
c.    Assisting in the Performing weddings
d.    Assisting in the Conducting of funerals
e.    Visit the sick and shut-in
f.    Minister in prisons

 

However, this person is not in charge of a congregation. Limited authority is granted to run the affairs of the ministry.

 

Ordained pastor/minister:

The Chief Apostle & Presiding Bishop of the Apostolic Church of Jesus, Inc. gives this recognition to those persons who have an "established" or "proven" ministry. Ordained ministers are authorized to perform all functions of the Christian ministry and religious functions, and must be capable of doing so. Ordained ministers are authorized to perform all religious functions:


1.    Conduct religious worship
2.    Religious instruction
3.    Administer communion
4.    Provide spiritual counseling 
5.    Serve on the board of directors of a church
6.    Ministry administration
7.    And other sacerdotal functions including
a.    Conduct baby dedication ceremonies 
b.    Perform baptisms
c.    Perform weddings
d.    Conduct funerals
e.    Visit the sick and shut-in
f.    Minister in prisons
An ordained minister must be capable, as determined by the senior Chief Apostle & Presiding Bishop of the Apostolic Church of Jesus, Inc., to take charge of a congregation.


Application for License & Ordination

Please start your application today. 

This will give us a great opportunity to learn more about you as a potential candidate, please see the cost of services below. The fee covers the cost of licenses, certificates & administration services. Your application for licensing & Ordination provides the church with a good record of our candidates, as well as your contact information in case of an emergency or future contact. Lastly, this creates an opportunity for the church to once more confirm that the candidate agrees with the sincerely held religious beliefs of the church. Please read and familiarize yourself with all of the church's bylaws, policies and procedures, written doctrines, and any other pertinent church documents. Please click on the application below to start the process of your ordination program.

Licensing & Ordination Application

 

Please see the require examination test to be license

As a church, it is important to the Apostolic Church of Jesus, Inc. that we have a record showing that a minister or pastor is qualified based on the church's guidelines. We require an exam to be taken and passed with a minimum requirement score of 70% or better. In addition, requiring candidates to take and pass an exam helps to establish that the candidate went through a "considered, deliberate, and responsible act." 
Please click on the required set of exam questions which is a part of our licensing & ordination program.

Minister Examination Questions


There will be a formal process of commissioning Service

The Apostolic Church of Jesus, Inc. ends it's physical year in the month of December and is always culminate by an ordination ceremony. During our Deacon & Minister's Council on that Saturday Morning we will hold the ordination ceremony. The ceremony is a celebration of the fulfillment of completing the process that our candidates recently went through in order to be ordained. Under the assignment of a committee and haven completed the task recommended by the church Examining Board and the Chief Apostle, this an ordination ceremony will help to legitimize the ordination for all parties involved. Furthermore, performing an ordination ceremony can have two benefits for your church and the candidates. Firstly, the church gets to recognize those being ordained and understands that the call of God on their lives is to be taken with weight. Secondly, making it a part of the ordination program further establishes it as a program that is a deliberate and responsible act.

 

Expiration/Renewal date of Licensing

Licensing with the Apostolic Church of Jesus, Inc. carries an Expiration date of two years from the date of issuance. Please click on the link below to renew you Licensing
Licensing & Ordination Renewal Application

 

Required renewal process

In order to initiate the renewal process, each Applicant is required to submit in writing a written letter requesting there desire to renew with The Apostolic Church of Jesus, Inc., in addition to completing the renewal application above. 

 

A record is kept of all License & Ordained Ministers

A record of all License & Ordained ministers that are ordained, commissioned, licensed, active, inactive, and those with revoked credentials with the Apostolic Church of Jesus, Inc. There will be a record showing the status of each minister's credentials (active, inactive, revoked). 

 

Qualifications

 

Qualifications are specifically referring to the qualities and abilities of the applying candidates. Qualities are the distinguishing characteristics showing God's call on your life. Abilities are the ways in which candidates can maintain a level of consistency that exudes Christ as their Lord and Savior.
There are five (5) qualities that we the Apostolic Church of Jesus, Inc. believes must be present in a man or woman of God before he or she is considered as a candidate for a minister's license. They are listed below:


 

 

1. Character

Is the candidate a person of integrity? Integrity is the ability to maintain godliness regardless of conforming pressures, and develops in proportion to our level of godly fear. It is evidenced in true humility, and uncompromising obedience to God's authoritative Word. Integrity consists of honesty in all things, including his/her preaching and story telling. Does he/she tell the truth in love, or does he/she choose to please man instead (Galatians 1:10)? 
Basically, these factors are the "qualities or features that distinguish one person" from the rest (The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition). Below are 6 character traits we look for in a candidate.

 

  • Wholeness of life (not perfect, but whole)
  • Set apart
  • Enthusiastic
  • Merciful
  • Patient
  • Realistic

Psalm 51:6 says, "Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden past you will make me to know wisdom." (NKJV)

 

2. Spiritual maturity

A Candidate should have consistent daily devotional time with the Lord? It can be surprising how many ministers and applying candidates (to be ministers) do not even pray 10 minutes in a day, except for meals. This is a serious deficiency in the brotherhood of ministers of the gospel. It is no wonder so many are falling into immorality and/or leaving the ministry. Working does not cause this for the Lord, but by forgetting whom He is. One of the things that Jesus did on a regular basis was find a solitary place to spend time with the Father. This keeps ministers connected to Him and His purpose for their lives.

Matthew 14:23 says, "And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there." (NKJV)


3. People skills

There are many people who want to enter the ministry and have little-to-no people skills. It is possible that some of them have fallen in love with the idea of standing in a pulpit. This does not suggest that such people will never qualify to enter the ministry to become licensed and/or ordained ministers. It does, however, require that candidates seriously work on bettering their people skills.


4. Godly wisdom

Unsurprisingly, God's wisdom can never be underestimated. The everyday ability of the minister to make good, sound decisions will never go unnoticed. On the contrary, bad decisions are rarely forgotten, and a series of them can greatly damage a ministry. Churches all across America decline in membership simply because of a few bad decisions made by the minister. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord, and as a shepherd, it is vital to look for God's wisdom in a candidate as it surely signifies that he fears the Lord. This statement requires qualification. Be cautious not to confuse wisdom with knowledge. Do not be impressed with "know how" or charisma. These are but fleeting facades that amount to nothing. Knowledge is the accumulation of facts. A person that lacks wisdom will never be able to successfully use acquired knowledge to build character, perseverance, or other useful life disciplines that will reflect the Lord in his life.


5. Student of the Word

For the most part, a licensed and/or ordained minister will be in a position of influence, and will often teach and preach by example. This responsibility requires the minister to be a student of God's Word. The term student has a precise definition. It is "a person engaged in study; one who is devoted to learning..." Learning from His Word is a lifelong, insatiable passion of the minister. Seek this quality out in the candidate and hold it dear to the heart of your ordination program.

 

Pre-application requirements

These are the requirements that are assessed on an application to enter the program, which potential applicants will see before they apply for induction into the program. 

 

  • Must have been a Christian for at least three years.
  • Must be of outstanding reputation within your church.
  • Must have the pastor's approval before applying.
  • Must have a good report among the saints, as it will be checked.

 

Commissioned minister

This recognition is issued to those persons called of God as helpers, or to those that are just beginning their ministry. They are not authorized to perform any sacerdotal services, but primarily assist others in the Body of Christ. Individuals in this category may include, but are not limited to: teachers, worship leaders, instructors, hospital and jail visitation, ministerial assistance, and lay persons who are called of God as helpers.
The commissioned minister must:

 

  • Meet the general requirement for licensing.
  • Be established in the local church body.
  • Be recommended by the pastor or an associate pastor.
  • Be recommended by his/her peers in the Christian ministry.
  • Meet all other criteria as determined by the ordination program.

 

Licensed minister

This ministerial recognition includes those who are somewhat seasoned in the ministry, but need further experience. Many of these are individuals that have been working in their chosen vocation, but for some reason or another have never entered full-time ministry, or have only been in full-time ministry for less than three (3) years. Such persons are authorized to perform limited religious function of the church.
The licensed minister must:

•    Meet the general requirements for licensing.
•    Be recommended for license by the pastor, another pastor of an established congregation, or the senior pastor of an established ministry.
•    Demonstrate a level of biblical and theological proficiency.
•    Meet all other criteria as determined by the ordination program.

 

Ordained minister

This ministerial recognition is given to those persons who have an "established" or "proven" ministry. Ordained ministers are authorized to perform all functions of the Christian ministry and sacerdotal services, and must be capable of doing so. They should be ready, as determined by the senior pastor, to take charge of a congregation or already in charge of one.

The ordained minister must:

  • Meet the general requirements for licensing.
  • Have an established ministry.
  • Demonstrate a level of biblical and theological proficiency.
  • Be capable of performing all sacerdotal services.
  • Meet all other criteria as determined by the ordination program.

 

The Apostolic Church of Jesus, Inc. is a denominational Apostolic-Oneness church, yet we give you the most flexibility to choose how best to help deliver the word of God. When choosing an ordaining institution, it is important to select an organization that not only supports a true Christian ethic but also has strong nationwide recognition. With members spanning from coast to coast, ministers who become ordained through our service are assured that the full strength of our establishment stands behind their success. 

We want you to succeed. In fact, we need you as well so that we can succeed! The Christian church is in constant need of new ministers. God's work is never ending, and in a world increasingly captivated by celebrity gossip, corporate greed, and divisive politics, new ministers are in demand more now than ever. For those who are new to the clergy, their ordaining institution is often their first resource for getting started. That is why we want to make sure that your experience with our organization is a positive one and that you get everything you need to begin the good work of the Lord. 

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