LOCAL CHURCH CREDENTIAL
Guidelines for the Local Church Credential are provided below.
Please note that only General Council Affiliated churches are eligible to grant the Commissioned Minister credential. For applications and certification forms, churches may contact our office at 703.753.0300.
The General Council of the Assemblies of God
Guidelines For the Issuance of A Local Church CredentialAugust 2004
Adopted by the General Presbytery
Revised: August 2007
1. The local church credential holder shall be referred to as a commissioned minister.
2. The local church credential is intended for the minister to subsequently become credentialed with the district and General Council, and not be a terminal credential.
3. The local church credential shall be issued by the local General Council affiliated church board upon recommendation by the pastor, consistent with the basic qualifications provided in Bylaws Article VII. MINISTRY, Section 2. Basic Qualifications, paragraph a. Salvation, paragraph b. Baptism in the Holy Spirit, paragraph c. Evidence of call, paragraph d. Christian character, paragraph e. Doctrinal position, paragraph k. Marriage status; paragraph l. Annulments, marriage dissolutions, and divorces and paragraph m. Eligibility of women.
4. In considering applicants for a local church credential who have a former spouse living, the local church board must have a reasonable good faith belief that the applicant could be approved at a later time by the district and General Council Credentials Committees for either an ecclesiastical annulment (fraud or deception prior to the marriage), recognition of preconversion divorce (not preconversion separation), or a divorce for the scriptural causes of a former spouse’s marital unfaithfulness (Matthew 19:9) or the abandonment of the believer by the unbeliever (I Corinthians 7:10-15).
5. The local church board shall certify to the district through a completed form that it has agreed to issue the local church credential consistent with guidelines adopted by the General Presbytery and district. The form shall simply provide for the church to state its intention to issue the local church credential consistent with said guidelines. The district shall maintain a roster of all General Council affiliated churches that have filed the completed form with the district.
6. The local church credential is intended to provide a mentoring relationship by the senior pastor or his designee to the local credential holder. During the mentoring process the local church credential holder shall make progress in fulfilling the basic educational requirements for certified minister as provided in General Council Bylaws Article VII, Section 2, paragraph i. Basic education requirements.
7. The local church shall provide the district the name, start date, and renewal date for all those to whom it issues local church credentials. It is recommended that the district establish personal contact and relationship with the local church credential holder as a preparation for him or her becoming credentialed with the General Council. Neither the General Council nor the district council shall publish a roster of those who hold local church credentials.
8. An application form shall be provided by the General Council Credentials Committee and it may be used by the local church for applicants to the local church credential. The local church may use such interview or examination process as it desires. The local church shall design its own credential certificate and renewal forms for its local church credential holders.
9. All those who hold a local church credential should provide the church a Social Security number and be a U. S. citizen or if a non-citizen, be able to give proof that he/she can legally perform work for compensation on the basis of either of the following categories:
a. A lawful permanent resident (any category of immigrant visa) who holds a Permanent b. A non-citizen having an R-1 nonimmigrant temporary work visa or other lawful
Resident Card (Green card).
nonimmigrant temporary work visa.
10. The discipline of local church credential holders shall remain with the local church. The local church is encouraged to use the means of discipline consistent with that given for those who hold a General Council credential.
11. A local church may not issue a credential to a minister who has been dismissed by the General Council, or is currently under discipline by the General Council.
12. A local church may not issue a credential to anyone whose primary residence is outside the United States, or whose ministry is primarily outside the United States.
13. A local church shall conduct a confidential background check for all applicants, utilizing the means prescribed by the General Council Credentials Committee for conducting such a check.
14. A local church credential holder may hold credentials with another credentialing body during a transition time if approved by the local church issuing the credential.
15. A local church credential holder shall tithe to the local church, but shall have no financial obligation to the General Council or district council.
16. A local church credential holder may not hold this form of credential more than 2 years unless the credential is solely required for active and ongoing local ministry in a prison, hospital, or institution.
A local church credential ceases to be valid when the General Council affiliated assembly is reverted or reverts to district affiliated status.