CREDENTIALS

Thank you for your interest in exploring credentialing opportunities with the Assemblies of God. Following God's call in the Potomac Ministry Network requires a growing force of gifted and committed laborers. We would be delighted to have a conversation with you as you pursue God's call to ministry. 


Our Credentials Specialist is here to assist you: Becky Pucher - BPUCHER@POTOMACAG.ORG


CREDENTIAL LEVELS

Certificate of Ministry:  They shall show promise of usefulness in the gospel work.  They shall devote a part of their time to Christian ministry and, at the discretion of the district credentials committees, remain under the supervision of a pastor or a designated supervisor.  They shall be actively engaged in some aspect of ministry except in case of ill health or advanced age.

Ministry License:  Clear evidence of a divine call, a practical experience in preaching, together with an evident purpose to devote one’s time to preaching the gospel, except in case of ill health or infirmity.  This credential is required before advancing to Ordination.

Ordination:  Qualifications for Ordination are outlined in the New Testament scriptures (I Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:7-9).  They shall be persons of mature Christian experience who are qualified and able to undertake the responsibilities of the full ministry.  In addition:

  • Applicants must be twenty-three (23) years of age or older.

  • Applicants must be a member of the Potomac Ministry Network for no less than one (1) year prior to ordination.

  • Applicants must possess a Licensed Minister credential at least two (2) consecutive years and been engaged in active work as a pastor, evangelist or other recognized full-time ministry for at least two (2) consecutive years immediately prior to submitting an application.

  • If applicant is licensed in another district, approval to proceed with ordination must be received from former district.

 

CREDENTIALING CALENDAR

CREDENTIAL APPLICATION DEADLINES:

November 10, 2019 (for 2020 Ordination)

March 10, 2019 (for Certificate of Ministry and License to Preach, Spring session)

August 10, 2019 (for Certificate of Ministry and License to Preach, Fall session)

WRITTEN EXAMINATION DATES:

Credential applicants are required to successfully complete a written examination in addition to the oral interview with the credentials committee.  At the time an applicant is invited to the test, a synopsis is provided.  The Constitution and Bylaws of the General Council are necessary resources for an applicant to study. (access here)

April 4, 2019 (for Certificate of Ministry and License to Preach, Spring session)

September 5, 2019 (for Certificate of Ministry and License to Preach, Fall session)

 

QUALIFICATIONS

The following qualifications pertain to all applicants for ministerial recognition:

  1. Salvation: Testimony of having experienced the new birth (John 3:5).

  2. Baptism in the Holy Spirit: Testimony to having received the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the initial physical evidence of speaking in tongues (Acts 2:4).

  3. Evidence of Call: Clear evidence of a divine call to ministry, evidenced by a personal conviction, confirmed by the work of the Spirit and the testimony of fellow ministers.

  4. Christian Character: A blameless Christian life and good report of those who are without (Titus 1:7, 1 Timothy 3:7). This includes in practical detail that all applicants must state a willingness to abstain from using tobacco, alcohol, illegal or recreational drugs in any form, and involvement with pornography or gambling.

  5. Doctrinal Position: A thorough understanding of and agreement with the doctrinal position of the Assemblies of God as contained in the Statement of Fundamental Truths.

  6. Assemblies of God Polity: A satisfactory working knowledge of the principles, practices and purposes of the Fellowship through a study of the General Council and Potomac Ministry Network Constitution and Bylaws.

  7. Commitment to the Fellowship: An active loyalty to the constitutional agreements, a cooperative spirit, and a readiness to seek and receive the counsel of those in positions of authority.

 

EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS

Recognizing the tremendous diversity of the Body of Christ and the ministers God is raising up, educational requirements for credentials with the Assemblies of God can be met through a variety of customizable training venues. To begin your search for accredited course work from quality institutions across the nation, visit Assemblies of God Colleges or Universities, including correspondence and online opportunities through Global University.  Global University offers the same courses on a non-accredited basis for a substantially lower cost through Berean School of the Bible. Global University also offers a 20% tuition discount to those currently pursuing credentials.

The Potomac Network is pleased to offer all the necessary credentialing courses through the Potomac School of Ministry, with multiple locations and dates available for course offerings. This is a great way to learn from fellow Potomac leaders and to rub shoulders with other Potomac individuals who are exploring the call of God on their lives.

Minimum Academic Requirements: The General Council of The Assemblies of God offers the following rubric for educational requirements for credentials:

Certified Minister: Successful completion of two years of study as a Biblical Studies or Ministry major at an Assemblies of God Institute/College or successful completion of the Global University Courses as required by the General Council.

Licensed Minister: Successful completion of three years of study as a Biblical Studies or Ministry major at an Assemblies of God Institute/College or successful completion of the Global University Courses as required by the General Council.

Ordained Minister: Successful completion of four years of study as a Biblical Studies of Ministry major at an Assemblies of God Institute/College or successful completion of the Global University Courses as required by the General Council for Ordained Minister.  Two years of approved AG ministry as a Licensed Minister is a prerequisite.

Non-Assemblies of God Biblical Education: If you have completed theological coursework at non-Assemblies of God Institutions/Colleges, please contact BPUCHER@POTOMACAG.ORG regarding transcript(s) evaluation.  Courses will be evaluated against the Global University course requirements.  Credit will be given based on this evaluation.

Educational Requirements by Level: Potomac School of Ministry courses are designed to be taken by credential level. View a course listing and schedule here. Educational requirements can also be satisfied by distance learning with Berean School of the Bible – go to globaluniversity.edu, click on Berean School of the Bible.

 

THE CALL

Call is God's Invitation

Call is different for everyone.  God calls people at all stages and times of their lives. The Invitation is to proclaim the Gospel, live the Gospel, be transformed by the Gospel.

Call means you have gifts and talents that are needed in the church and in the world. We call this ministry.

What you are called to is different for everyone. Some are called to teacher, prison chaplain, missionary, etc. - but all become messengers of the Gospel.

Pastors are called to a lifetime of ministry service, Word, sacrament and leadership.

Pastors are authorized to preach and teach God's Word, to administer the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion, and to order the life of the church for mission and ministry.

The Potomac Ministry Network wants to partner with you in answering God's call.

 

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

The following steps are for ANYONE interested in obtaining first-time credentials:

STEP 1: Applicant Survey Form

Click here to request an Applicant Survey Form.  We will ask for your full name, home address and the name of your Potomac Network church and pastor.  This will set in motion the process by where you and your pastor will meet with your presbyter for an initial interview.

STEP 2: Educational Requirements

All applicants must meet the appropriate educational requirements (AS NOTED ABOVE) for the level of credentials being sought.

STEP 3: Application Packet

Once we receive the recommendation to move forward from your intial interview, you will be sent the Application Packet. The following items must be received at our office in order to proceed: 1) the General Council application with a picture attached, 2) application fee, 3) authorization forms, 4) background check disclosure, and 5) an acceptabe report from the General Council required background/credit check.

STEP 4: Examination

Once these items are received and processed, applicants will be sent a letter of invitation to the written examination and the exam synopsis. Credential written examinations are given in April and September for the certified and license level, and in December for the ordination level.  ALL paperwork must be completed and in our office one month prior to the exam date.

STEP 5: Credential Committee Interview

Applicants will be informed of the date to meet with the Credentials Interview Committe. (Conducted regionally.)

 

MARITAL STATUS ISSUES

While history with divorce and remarriage is not an automatic disqualifier from credentialing, it can be in certain cases.

We believe it is possible to maintain biblical standards for ministry and marriage, while at the same time offering a compassionate response to those who are called into ministry yet have a divorce and remarriage in their personal history. Perhaps these circumstances occurred before you came to Christ. Perhaps you entered into a marriage based upon fraudulent or deceptive circumstances, or a divorce occurred due to infidelity or abandonment by your former spouse. In any case, these are painful circumstances that should not necessarily disqualify you from fulfilling God's call upon your life.

We welcome the opportunity to help you explore the possibilities of pursuing God's call. We will treat your application with the utmost respect and confidentiality. We will afford you the dignity of listening to your story and will serve you gladly in the process. If your situation qualifies for General Council Recognition, we will move forward to facilitate your credentialing process. 

 

CREDENTIAL UPDATES

Processing requirements to upgrade your credential is 4 months, depending on the timing for application submission. 

Ordination Candidates:  Completed upgrade ordination application materials must be received in our office by the first week in November for ordination at Network Conference held each May.

The initiative to upgrade your credential must be taken by you, the credential holder. Once you meet the education requirements, please contact us to request credential upgrade application materials.

The application process to upgrade your credential shares similarities with the application process for a new credential. Once your completed application packet is received and processed, you will be contacted regarding scheduling your credential upgrade written exam for the level of credential you are pursuing and subsequently be interviewed by the credentials committee.

 

REINSTATING YOUR CREDENTIALS

Applicants who desire to reinstate a ministerial credential must complete an Application for Reinstatement.  Any dues outstanding to the General Council must be paid and accompany the Reinstatement Application.

PLEASE NOTE:  If a credential has lapsed for two (2) years or more, Reference Release Form(s), Background Check Release form, and an interview is required.

If a credential has lapsed for seven (7) years or more, Reference Release Form(s), Background Check Release form, the written exam and an interview is required.

If the credential lapsed or was resigned in a district other than the Potomac Ministry Network, a letter of recommendation and/or clearance from the previous district must be submitted with the reinstatement application.

A reinstatement application fee is required plus any monies outstanding at the time the credential lapsed or was resigned.  Unpaid General Council dues must also be fulfilled.

 

ANNUAL RENEWALS

Credentials granted through the Potomac Ministry Network by the General Council of the Assemblies of God are renewed on an annual basis, by December 31 of each year.

VIEW SECRETARY-TREASURER MESSAGE HERE

Two Options for Renewing Credentials:

1. Renew ONLINE. Be sure to follow instructions completely.

2. SIGN and SUBMIT original forms received from General Council. (You should receive these forms around December 1.) The forms give instructions and must be postmarked by December 31.

Annual General Council Dues:

  • Ordained = $300

  • Licensed = $240

  • Certified = $120

Items to Note:

  • Renewals postmarked after December 31st will require a $50 late fee.

  • Credential will be considered lapsed if renewal is not received by January 15 and will require reinstatement.

The following excerpts from the General Council Bylaws address credential renewals:

General Council Bylaws Article VII, Section 10, Credential Renewals
b. Expiration date. All fellowship certificates are valid only until December 31 of each year and must be renewed annually. The renewing of credentials is the responsibility of the individual minister.

The minister is to complete the form, taking care to answer all questions and sign the form. The renewal along with any outstanding tithe, should be mailed to the Potomac Ministry Network Center postmarked no later than December 31 of each year. If General Council dues are owed, please include a separate check made payable to the General Council.

 

FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES

By action of their respective deliberative bodies, ministers are expected to give financial support to the Potomac Ministry Network and the General Council of the Assemblies of God. Potomac AG ministers send 75% of their tithe on all income, on a monthly basis, to the Potomac Ministry Center, and support the General Council as noted in the Bylaws excerpts below.

Potomac Ministry Network Bylaws Article IV. Fiduciary Stewardship 2. Agreements a.
Each minister shall contribute not less than seventy-five percent (75%) of his or her tithes on all earned income and allowances into the ministry Network Operational Fund each month. Exception shall be made in accordance with the General Council bylaws or on a case by case basis by the Network Board of Directors.  The fulfillment of the agreement to contribute to Network support as stipulated herein shall be considered as being an essential requirement for the renewal of ministerial credentials each year.

General Council Bylaws Article VII. Ministry, Section 10. f.
Support of Headquarters. The work of The General Council of the Assemblies of God, in its program of developing the spirit of cooperation and fellowship in U.S. and world missions fields, incurs considerable expense, including the financial support of the executive officers and offices.

The required minimum is:

  • Ordained – $25 per month ($300 per year)

  • Licensed – $20 per month ($240 per year)

  • Certified – $10 per month ($120 per year)

Compliance with the above requirements shall be a prerequisite for renewal of credentials of all active ministers. If their contributions are in arrears, they shall be given opportunity to meet this deficit with their renewal.

 

CREDENTIAL TRANSFERS

Ministers Transferring out of the Potomac Ministry Network:

When a Potomac Ministry Network minister establishes residence in another district, the minister should notify the Secretary-Treasurer’s office and will be asked to complete a form.  Once the form is submitted, we will process your information and transfer your credential.

Ministers Transferring into the Potomac Ministry Network:

Ministers transferring into the Potomac Ministry Network from another district are to request a transfer from their former district within 60 days of taking up residence in the Network.  It is the responsibility of the former district to complete the transfer to the Potomac Ministry Network.  We will notify the minister when the transfer is complete.


 

POINT OF CONTACT:

BECKY PUCHER, CREDENTIAL SPECIALIST - BPUCHER@POTOMACAG.ORG