North Central CBA Ordination Policies and Procedures
I. DEFINITIONS AND DISTINCTIONS
Ordination is recognition and confirmation of God’s call upon an individual for ministry
of the Gospel. Ordination is an acknowledgment of a certain role within the body of
Christ and does not confer special spiritual power or authority.
B. THE ORDAINING BODY
Ordination is a function of the local church. Because an ordained individual can
influence and impact other local churches, the ordination process can be a cooperative
effort with affiliated churches. Involvement from other churches primarily takes place
through representation and input at the ordination council.
C. THE ORDINATION CANDIDATE
The ordination candidate should meet these guidelines:
1. A clear testimony of conversion.
2. Evidence of God’s call to the ministry.
3. Character and behavior consistent with a mature Christian.
4. Qualifications for church leadership (1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9).
5. Membership in the local church initiating ordination.
6. Theological competency and possession of ministerial abilities/aptitude.
7. Ministry experience of at least two/three years.
8. Agreement with, and commitment to, the biblical, Baptistic positions of the
Conservative Baptist movement.
D. THE ORDINATION PROCESS
The ordination process involves these steps:
1. Initiation – Ordination should be initiated by the local body as it recognizes God’s
call upon an individual for ministry. Because many churches are unfamiliar with
the process of ordination and fail to initiate proceedings, a potential candidate
may request, through the NCCBA General Director, the Senior Pastor or church
board member, that the church initiate proceedings.
2. Church action – The ordination process is activated by an official vote of the
church leadership and/or membership. Notification of this action should then be
forwarded to the NCCBA General Director.
3. Doctrinal Statement – The candidate should prepare a formal doctrinal statement
(see appendix A). To assist this process a mentor will be assigned to the
candidate by the General Director. The mentor will proofread the paper and assist
the candidate by recommending changes/revisions.
4. Pre-ordination Council – The Pre-ordination council will examine both the
candidate and the doctrinal statement to evaluate readiness for the full council.
This council has the authority to assign the candidate areas for further study if
deficiency or weakness are discovered.
5. Official Church Action – Official church vote to call an ordination council.
6. Ordination Council – The Ordination Council will examine the candidate and
areas of doctrine, Christian character and call to ministry.
7. Official Church Action – The church votes on the recommendation of the
ordination council. A vote to ordain the candidate should follow the
recommendation of the ordination counsel.
8. Ordination Service – Public celebration of the candidate’s ordination.
E. OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
a. Individuals who have been ordained through a denomination whose
practices, beliefs and/or policies are widely divergent from those held by
Conservative Baptists should be encouraged by their local church to have
their ordination confirmed by the Conservative Baptist Association by
following the steps for ordination outlined above.
b. Individuals who have had their ordination revoked (see below) must first
present to the NCCBA Board a statement of agreement for this action by
the church(s) which revoked the original ordination. The steps towards reordination,
following the receipt of this statement, will be determined on a
case-by-case basis by the NCCBA Board and General Director.
2. Revocation or ordination
a. Grounds – Lifestyle unbecoming a minister of the Gospel, including but
not limited to: Immoral conduct, heretical teaching, declared change of
doctrinal beliefs to positions inconsistent with the Conservative Baptist
positions, improper financial dealings, fraud or refusal to pay legitimate
1. Local church vote to call a disciplinary council and charges forwarded to
the NCCBA General Director.
2. Council consisting of the NCCBA General Director, three NCCBA
Pastors appointed by the NCCBA Board of Directors and three lay
representatives from NCCBA churches appointed by the ordaining body.
3. Council investigates the charges and conduct relevant interviews.
4. Vote on a recommendation to the church.
5. Official church action on the council’s recommendation. The church
SHOULD act in a manner consistent with the council’s recommendation.
The revocation should be done by the ordaining church, but in conjunction
with the local church where the minister presently serves.
c. Publication – Notice of the revocation should be placed in all
Conservative Baptist periodicals and sent to all Regional Directors.
II. THE PRE-ORDINATION COUNCIL
A. PURPOSE – The pre-ordination council is to evaluate the candidate and his doctrinal
statement. The goal of this evaluation is to determine the candidate’s readiness for an
B. COMPOSITION – The NCCBA General Director and 2-4 ordained ministers selected
by the General Director.
1. Recommendation to proceed with the ordination council.
2. Recommendation to delay the ordination council for further study or reassessment
of areas of doctrinal weakness or error.
a. Areas of concern should be stated specifically.
b. A date for the completion of the study should be set.
c. One member of the council should be assigned to the candidate to assist
him in the process and to notify other council members when the work has
been satisfied. A recommendation to proceed with the ordination council
can be made at this time, without a formal meeting.
3. Recommendation that the candidate not proceed with the ordination process.
III. THE ORDINATION COUNCIL
A. PURPOSE – The ordination council is to evaluate the candidate relative to his
testimony, call to ministry and doctrinal positions. The goal is to assess qualification and
fitness for ministry as well as to determine the candidate’s consistency with Conservative
Baptist beliefs and practices.
B. COMPOSITION – Invitations to the Ordination Counsel should be issued to:
1. The NCCBA General Director.
2. Full-time pastoral staff members of all NCCBA churches.
3. Two lay representatives from all NCCBA churches.
4. (OPTIONAL) Ordained personnel from national CBA agencies.
5. (OPTIONAL) Pastors and lay representatives from other churches not affiliated
with the NCCBA. Voting rights can be extended to these individuals ONLY IF
THEY ARE IN A GENUINE MINORITY.
C. OFFICERS – Officers for the Ordination Council are the Moderator and the Secretary.
These officers are elected by the counsel. Specific duties for each officer are listed in
1. Counsel called to order by the Moderator Pro-tem and opened in prayer.
2. Reading of the church resolution and the council purpose statement.
3. Vote to seat the council, registration of council members and guests.
4. Election of the Moderator and Secretary.
5. Examination of the candidate.
6. Vote to move to the Executive Session. Guests and the candidate should be
excused from the proceedings.
7. Executive Session. Motion, discussion and vote on a recommendation to the
church about ordination of the candidate.
8. Signing of the Ordination Certificate.
9. Candidate and guests invited back. Recommendation of the Counsel read.
10. Vote to adjourn, announcements, closing prayer, dismissal.
1. Recommendation that the church proceed with ordination.
2. Recommendation with reservation – that the church delay ordination or proceed
with ordination with awareness of specific areas of concern to the council. These
are areas of concern, as specified by the council, should be addressed by the
3. Recommendation not to proceed with the ordination process.
F. OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
1. Extra copies of the candidate’s doctrinal paper should be available at the
2. The church, as host, should make refreshments available to the council members.
This should include coffee/punch/donuts upon arrival, lunch or supper and a
snack at the completion of the council.
IV. THE ORDINATION SERVICE
A. PURPOSE – To rejoice in God’s call of the individual to ministry and to publicly
acknowledge the candidate’s ordination.
B. TIME – The time is determined by the ordaining church and the candidate. The
service should be scheduled at least one week after the ordination council.
C. PROCEDURE – Elements of the service are to be set by the ordaining church and the
candidate. It is recommended that the church collect a special offering on behalf of
the candidate during the ordination service. The offering is traditionally given to
the candidate for the purchase of professional supplies and materials. A sample
order of service is provided in Appendix D.
APPENDIX A – THE DOCTRINAL STATEMENT
A written document presenting the candidate’s testimony and doctrinal beliefs. The
statement should present the candidate’s position and be supported by appropriate
biblical references. Avoid disclaimers which detail what you do not believe. This
document should be 15-25 pages.
The doctrinal statement should cover the following topics and sub-topics:
1. Biographical Information
a. Candidate’s general background data, education and work experience.
b. Candidate’s conversion (testimony).
c. Candidate’s call to ministry.
d. Candidate’s family information (spouse, children). The
conversion/testimony of the Candidate’s spouse should be included.
a. Special and general revelation defined and distinguished.
b. Inspiration, inerrancy and infallibility defined.
c. Illumination and method of interpretation defined.
d. Address: Is the canon closed, is revelation ongoing?
3. Theology Proper
a. The Trinity. Distinguish ontological and economic aspects.
b. Attributes of God.
c. God as Creator.
d. Decree, plan and will of God.
a. Deity and attributes of Christ. His pre-existence.
b. Incarnation, humanity and hypostatic union.
c. Earthly ministry – purpose and activities.
d. Death, resurrection, ascension and return.
e. Past, present and future sessions.
a. Deity and “personhood.”
b. Old Testament ministry and works.
c. His ministry related to Christ, believers and the world.
d. Spiritual gifting, your position on the “sign” gifts.
e. Terms and concepts: Spirit baptism, indwelling, sealing, filling and fruit.
6. Angelology and Satanology
a. Existence, creation and nature of angels.
b. Holy angels – their purpose, work and ministry.
c. Satan – who he is, his rebellion and fall, his present activity and judgment.
d. Demons – their fall, work and judgment.
e. Demonic oppression and possession – who can be possessed and how.
7. Anthropology and Harmartiology
a. Theory of creation – literal, day/age, etc.
b. Define “imago dei” (image of God).
c. Composition of man (trichotomy/dichotomy).
d. The temptation and fall of man: original state, resultant state (sin nature),
sin defined, the results of sin (penalty, depravity, inability).
e. Transmission of sin: imputation, inheritance of sin.
a. You position on the five points of Calvinism.
b. What is the basis and cause of our salvation.
c. How does one become a Christian – what is man’s responsibility?
d. The results of salvation.
e. Terms: election, foreknowledge, security, redemption, reconciliation,
propitiation, conviction, glorification, sanctification.
a. Origin, essence and foundation of the church.
b. Church and Israel distinctions.
c. Christ as Head, purpose and ministry of the church.
d. Church leadership and government.
e. Church ordinances.
f. Your position relative to the Baptist distinctives.
a. Death and resurrection.
b. Intermediate state.
c. The Great Tribulation – purpose, time and participants.
d. Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ.
e. The Bema Seat and Great White Throne Judgments.
f. Eternal state, new heaven and earth.
11. Other – (Optional)
The candidate should be prepared at the time of the counsel to interact on the following
topics. The candidate has the option of whether or not to include these topics in the
a. Your devotional life – methods used, areas of study, personal growth
b. Your methods and plan on discipleship – what are you doing to train
c. Your methods and plan of evangelism – what are you doing to reach
d. Your position on divorce and remarriage.
APPENDIX B – ORDINATION COUNCIL OFFICERS
A. Moderator Pro-tem – The moderator Pro-tem will be the NCCBA General Director or
one appointed by him. Specific responsibilities are:
1. Call the meeting to order and open in prayer.
2. Read the church resolution to call the Ordination Council.
3. Give a statement of purpose for the council and remind counsel members that
they are assembled to evaluate the candidate and his beliefs, not to debate or to
push the candidate to adopt their doctrinal positions.
4. Call for a vote to seat the council.
5. Call for the election of a Moderator and Secretary. The Moderator Pro-tem is
eligible for nomination to either of these positions.
6. Turn the meeting over to the elected Moderator.
B. Moderator – The Moderator is to exercise control over the council proceedings.
Specific responsibilities are:
1. To make sure questions asked of the candidate are appropriate and clear. To
make sure the proceedings don’t degenerate to a debate or teaching/preaching
session. The moderator may ask questions of the candidate though his primary
function is to oversee the proceedings.
2. To initiate any necessary breaks in the council session – dinner, coffee, etc.
3. To introduce the candidate and open the examination time.
4. To call for a vote to move to Execute Session.
5. To oversee the Executive Session.
6. To announce the decision of the council to the candidate.
7. To call for a vote for adjournment, make closing announcements, close in prayer
and dismiss the council.
C. Secretary – The Secretary is to keep record of the council proceedings. Specific
1. To keep minutes of the council proceedings.
2. To make a roster of council members and guests.
3. To get the Certificate of Ordination signed and delivered to the candidate.
4. To complete and distribute an official record of the counsel proceedings. The
official record should include a copy of the official action of the church in calling
the council, minutes of the proceedings and a copy of the candidate’s doctrinal
statement. Copies should be sent to: the candidate, the ordaining church, the
NCCBA office and the CBA of A office in Littleton. The Secretary should also
retain a copy of the minutes.
APPENDIX C – SAMPLE FORMS AND LETTERS
A. SAMPLE RESOLUTIONS
1. Resolution to Call an Ordination Council
We, the congregation of ___________, believing __________ has been chosen by
God for Gospel ministry, will convene an ordination council for the purpose of
evaluating the candidate’s call, testimony, character and doctrinal positions.
The time and date of the counsel should be established after the candidate
has successfully completed the pro-ordination counsel.
2. Resolution to Ordain
We, the congregation of ‘____________’ with the confirmation of the Ordination
Council, do hereby ordain ‘__________’ to the ministry of the Gospel.
B. INVITATION TO THE ORDINATION COUNCIL
1. Sample Letter of Invitation
The congregation of ______________ church has voted to call an Ordination Council
for _____________. Your pastoral staff and two lay representatives from your
congregation are invited to serve on the council.
The council will convene ___(start time)___, on ___(date)___ at
Please return the enclosed, postage paid, reply card by ________.
In Christ, ______________ (Letter to be signed by the Senior Pastor, Clerk or Board
2. Sample Reply Card
(A self-addressed, postage paid 4×6 postal card should be used).
NAME OF CHURCH:
We will send representatives to the council.
We will NOT send representatives to the council
North Central CBA Ordination Policies and Procedures