Approval Process for Local/District License & Ordination

The following steps are required to complete the ministerial credentialing process and Election to Ordination. This process is designed primarily for those who have a clear calling & desire to serve in full time ministry.

  1. To begin the credentialing process, the local church board and senior pastor must recommend and grant you a local minister’s license for a minimum of one year, with the following conditions: 

    a. You must consent to a complete background check prior to approval for a local minister’s licensing. The District Office will be able to assist all local license candidates in completing this procedure. 


    b. If you personally have experienced a divorce, you must complete the process for removing the divorce barrier by the appropriate procedure, prior to application for a district minister’s license. Please notify the District Administrator for instructions regarding this requirement.

  2. When you receive your first local license, you must begin an approved course of study. You may also complete classes within the course of study prior to being locally licensed. To enter the course of study and confirm approved courses please contact Anita Graef in the Central California District Office.

  3. You are required to complete the following classes in the first two years of the course of study: 

    a. Nazarene Church History & Polity

    b. Becoming A Holy People

    c. Wesleyan Holiness Spiritual Formation

    d. Telling the Old Testament Story

    e. Telling the New Testament Story

    f. Communicating in Spoken and Written Language

  4. The above six classes must be completed through:

    a. A Nazarene University

    b. The Central California District Course of Study

    c. Nazarene Bible College or Northwest Nazarene University Course of Study online

  5. To apply for your first district license you must:

    a. complete one year as a local licensed minister and one fourth of the approved course of study, and
    b. be recommended by your local church board and/or senior pastor to the District (form 813.2), and
    c. submit official transcripts by December 31st for all completed courses to the Board of Ministerial Preparation Chairperson, and
    (Rev. Joshua Jorgensen (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ), (209) 358-8110, 1374 Shaffer Rd., Atwater, CA. 95301. Your transcripts will be reviewed and you will be placed in the respective year of study.)

    d. submit an “Application for a Minister’s License” and all required documents by December 31st to the Central California District Office at: 1640 West Shaw, Suite 101, Fresno, CA 93711, or to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , and
    e. complete a written assignment on the 16 Articles of Faith and Interview questions and submit it to the district office.

  6. Once you have completed all of the required documents and requests, you will be scheduled for an interview with the Ministerial Studies & Credentials Boards in their annual meeting: January 2017. 


  7. To renew a District License annually you must:

    a. be an assigned minister in good standing, and
    b. complete two approved courses between January 1st and December 31st, and
    c. be recommended and affirmed by your local church board and senior/lead pastor (form 813.2) and
    d. have a Pastoral Recommendation submitted by your senior pastor or approved mentor, and
    e. submit an “Application for a Minister’s License” and all required documents by December 31st to your respective Mission Area Education Coach, and
    f. complete a written assignment on the 16 Articles of Faith and Interview questions and submit it to the Mission Area Education Coach.

  8. To apply for and be considered for ELECTION to ordination, you must:

    a. be a minister in good standing, and
    b. be a graduate of the Course of Study, and
    c. be recommended and affirmed by your local church board and senior/lead pastor (form 813.2), and
    d. have a Pastoral Recommendation submitted by your senior pastor or approved mentor, and
    e. submit “Application for a Minister’s License” and all required documents for renewal to the Mission Area Education Coach, and
    f. submit an “Ordination/Recognition Questionnaire,” and
    g. complete a written assignment on the 16 Articles of Faith and Interview questions and submit it the district, and
    h. be previously granted a district license for a minimum of three consecutive years, and
    i. serve your local church full time as an officially “Assigned Minister” for at least three consecutive years, and
    *For PART-TIME associates, consecutive years of ministry are increased, based on documented local church ministry records.
    *Key words for License Renewal and Election to Ordination, you must be LICENSED and ASSIGNED in CONSECUTIVE YEARS!
    j. submit a copy of your portfolio (SME Binder) with your application.

The official statement for an Ordained Minister in the Church of the Nazarene: 
 (applicable to both Ordained Deacon and Elder as stated in paragraphs 531.3 and 532.3)

An elder/deacon candidate professes a call of God to this ministry. The candidate currently holds a district license, and has at one time held a license for not less than three consecutive years. In addition, the candidate has been recommended for renewal of district license by the church board of the local church in which he or she holds membership or by the District Advisory Board. Further the candidate: 1. has fulfilled all the requirements of the church for the same, 2. has successfully completed a validated course of study prescribed for licensed ministers and candidates for ordination as elder, and 3. has been carefully considered and favorably reported by the Ministerial Credentials Board of the district assembly. The candidate may be elected to the order of elder by two thirds vote of the district assembly. To be eligible for election, the candidate must have been an assigned minister for not less than three consecutive years, and the candidate must currently be serving in an assigned ministry. In the case of part-time assignment, it should be understood that there should be an extension of the consecutive years of in-service time, depending on their level of involvement in local church ministry, and that their testimony and service demonstrate that their call to ministry is primary to all other pursuits. Further, any disqualification that may have been imposed by a district assembly must be removed in writing by the district superintendent and the District Advisory Board of the district where the disqualification was imposed before the minister is eligible for election to elder’s orders. In addition, the candidate’s marriage relationship must be such as not to render him or her ineligible for ordination. (30-30.4, 203.6, 320, 527) Nazarene Manual 2013-2017