• Ordination Prerequisites
  • Course Requirements
  • Not Ordained?
  • Ordained, Not ABC?
  • COMSAO Schedule

All applications for ABCUSA ordination must include the following:

1. ABC history and polity course
2. Professional ethics course.
3. Candidacy assessment by Midwest Career Development Center
4. Place of service in an ABC Ministry in the GRR

“Place of service” must be a compensated, permanent position.  Student pastorates and interims normally do not qualify; part-time is o.k.  This process should not be initiated until the candidate has such a place of service.

Education must include ABC History and Polity, and Professional Ethics training AND completion of a core group of classes from an accredited school.

The following minimal coursework must be documented in the official transcript:

  • Old Testament survey (2 credit hours)
  • New Testament survey (2 credit hours)
  • Christian Theology (2 credit hours)
  • Preaching and worship (2 credit hours)
  • Pastoral Leadership/Administration (2 credit hours)
  • Supervised field experience
  • American Baptist History & Polity
  • Professional Boundaries (Ethics)


Educational programs that are deficient in any of these may be completed through Alternative Ministerial Education

 

Five personal references must be submitted on the form provided by the GRR office.

The “ordination paper” includes a description of personal faith experience, call to ministry and the topics of doctrine of God (Trinity), authority of scriptures, doctrine of salvation, spiritual development (discipleship), our purpose in life and final destiny, the purpose and place of the church in today’s world, the ordinances of baptism and Lord’s Supper, personal commitment to the ABC, role of the minister and the relationship of the local congregation to the American Baptist Churches, ecumenical witness, and women in ministry.  This paper will provide the basis for the Examination Council.

Required Classes

1.   The following minimal coursework must be documented in the official transcript:

  • Old Testament survey (2 credit hours)
  • New Testament survey (2 credit hours)
  • Christian Theology (2 credit hours)
  • Preaching and worship (2 credit hours)
  • Pastoral Leadership/Administration (2 credit hours)
  • Supervised field experience
  • American Baptist History & Polity
  • Professional Boundaries (Ethics)


Educational programs that are deficient in any of these may be completed through Alternative Ministerial Education

2.  Alternative Ministerial Education.

More details are available in the official Ministerials Standards and Policies Manual, rev. 1/2011

For those who have never been ordained before:

The candidate must meet all standards, including place of service in GRR.  Please see Overview of the Ordination Process below for more details.

•    The candidate submits application materials (including education,
references, “ordination paper” and the official report from Midwest Ministry Development Center) to GRR.

Education must include ABC History and Polity, and Professional Ethics training AND completion of a core group of classes from an accredited school.

The following minimal coursework must be documented in the official transcript:

  • Old Testament survey (2 credit hours)
  • New Testament survey (2 credit hours)
  • Christian Theology (2 credit hours)
  • Preaching and worship (2 credit hours)
  • Pastoral Leadership/Administration (2 credit hours)
  • Supervised field experience
  • American Baptist History & Polity
  • Professional Boundaries (Ethics)


Educational programs that are deficient in any of these may be completed through Alternative Ministerial Education

•    When all materials are in (at least 45 days before the meeting), an interview with COMSAO will be scheduled.

•    COMSAO will report its decision to the church and the Area.  If positive, then the Area proceeds with examination (Area procedures vary).  Decisions of COMSAO are final.

•    An Examination Council is arranged by regional staff as assigned by the Executive Minister (usually the Area Minister) using procedures adopted by the Area.  If the findings of the Council are positive, the church is then advised to initiate plans for ordination.

•    The church ordains and reports to COMSAO. 

•    The Region makes the appropriate report to the ABCUSA.

For those who have been ordained in another denomination and are now serving a GRR church:

The ordination is transferred through an official process we call “recognition.”  The candidate must meet all standards, including place of service in GRR.

•   The candidate submits application materials (including education, references, “ordination paper” and the official report from Midwest Ministry Development Center) to GRR.  

Education must include ABC History and Polity, and Professional Ethics training AND completion of a core group of classes from an accredited school.

The following minimal coursework must be documented in the official transcript:

  • Old Testament survey (2 credit hours)
  • New Testament survey (2 credit hours)
  • Christian Theology (2 credit hours)
  • Preaching and worship (2 credit hours)
  • Pastoral Leadership/Administration (2 credit hours)
  • Supervised field experience
  • American Baptist History & Polity
  • Professional Boundaries (Ethics)


Educational programs that are deficient in any of these may be completed through Alternative Ministerial Education

•   In addition to the above materials, the applicant must ask their most recent judicatory leader to send a letter affirming that they are presently in good standing with their denomination.

•   When all materials are in (at least 45 days before the meeting), an interview with COMSAO will be scheduled.  COMSAO will verify the credentials and examine the candidate for theological compatibility with ministry in ABC. 

•   COMSAO approves or rejects the application for recognition.  Decisions of COMSAO are final.

•   The Region makes the appropriate report to the ABCUSA.

2016 COMSAO Deadlines:


Documents due 6 weeks prior to scheduled date (or as specified per instructions to candidates) for meetings in 2017:
  March 6
  June 5
  September 11
  December 4
Meetings at 10:30 a.m.
2017 Dates TBA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

View some pictures of past COMSAO meetings with candidates