Credentialing/Licensing and Ordination of
MB ministers in BC
Christian greetings with the promise of our Lord, “I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last.” (John 15:15)
It is a joy to welcome you to the growing team of the Mennonite Brethren Church. We trust that you will experience much joy as you serve the Lord in this important capacity.
As you may know, the licensing, credentialing and/or ordination of Mennonite Brethren pastors, missionaries, etc., is subject to the examination and approval of the provincial Pastoral Ministries Committee.
Please note that the BC Conference can only credential leaders who are ministering in, or on behalf of, the Mennonite Brethren Conference.
Requests for Credentialing and/or ordination must come from an MB church
- where you are presently ministering or
- that is calling you to serve in the church.
Ministers who serve in another capacity (e.g. Bible College/Seminary teachers, missionaries) should attach a letter of endorsement from their home church.
The Conference Office will supply the books. Complete your reading before beginning the credentialing document.
Send your completed document to our office, after which we will advise you of an interview date with the Board of Pastoral Ministries.
Select 3 persons to fill out the reference forms linked above. If applicable, also include a 4th spousal form linked below. Have them complete the forms and send them to this office as soon as possible.
Please have your senior pastor or moderator sign your credentialing document indicating that he/she has read supports the application.
Board Schedules Interview
We will require a minimum of 4 weeks from the time we receive all of your materials (including references) and the time of the interview.
Please bring your spouse to the interview (spousal reference form linked above) to share briefly on his/her spiritual pilgrimage, commitment, and role in the ministry. As well your senior pastor should join the interview with you. Each interview is about 1 1/2 hours.
Pastoral Ministries Committee
The Pastoral Ministry Committee (PMC) has recently met to review the policies on credentialing and licensing for all BCMB Pastors and Leaders. This policy document supercedes all previous policy notifications. The rationale for the following changes is twofold. First, the practices of the BCMB Conference need to be in compliance with the BC Marriage Act. Second, it reflects the PMC’s efforts to assist BCMB churches in ensuring that their leaders have met the required steps as outlined by the BCMB Conference that enable them to pursue their leadership calling successfully.
This policy document addresses three areas: a mandated timeline for all pastors to complete the licensing/credentialing process, criteria concerning temporary licenses to perform weddings, and the retention of credentials for retired and inactive pastors.
It is the expectation of BCMB that every pastor will complete the licensing/credentialing questionnaire, and participate in a credentialing interview with the Pastoral Ministries Committee within two years of being hired in a church ministry position.
Additionally, within this same two year period, all new BCMB pastors are expected to attend both the Pastors Credentialing Orientation, an event organized by the Canadian MB Conference and MBBS (it is hosted in BC in alternate years), and the Sacred Trust seminar, held periodically throughout each year in different parts of BC.
The PMC desires to assist all BCMB Churches and leaders in being compliant with this policy. Upon the hiring of a new BCMB pastor, the BCMB sends out a welcome packet that includes a welcome letter outlining the licensing/credentialing policy and process, web links for the credentialing questionnaire, information on the Pastors Credentialing Orientation (PCO) and Sacred Trust seminars. This welcome packet also contains the two books that are required reading for the book reviews requested in the licensing/credentialing questionnaire.
The PMC believes that every reasonable step is being made to make successful compliance with this two-year policy possible. We recognize the challenges sometimes associated with the licensing/credentialing process for some of our BCMB pastors and churches. At the same time the PMC wishes to highlight the fact that failure to comply with the two-year mandate exposes both the uncredentialed pastor and the congregation to possible legal liability in the case of unfortunate circumstances. Additionally, in order to comply with the Marriage Act no temporary licenses will be issued after this two-year window has expired.
Lastly, the BCMB office staff requests the gracious assistance of all BCMB Churches in informing the office staff whenever a new pastor/leader is hired. This is especially true of associate positions where the “grapevine” does not always bring timely news of a church’s hiring.
Please contact the BCMB Conference office at 604-746-4436 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In order to comply with the BC Marriage Act, the BCMB Conference will only make application for a temporary marriage licenses for individuals who fit one of two primary categories with a proviso for “special situations.”
New leaders within BCMB
For individuals who are new to pastoral ministry within the BCMB family and who have not yet been credentialed by the PMC, temporary licenses to conduct marriages in BC will only be granted within the first two years of pastoral service. Any requests beyond two years will be denied.
Out of Province Requests
For individuals who are not residents of BC, and who wish to perform a wedding in BC, the BCMB Conference will make application for a temporary license for individuals who meet the following criteria:
- They must be members in good standing of an MB church in Canada.
- They must currently be licensed/credentialed for ministry by the MB Conference in the province in which they reside.
Where a church does not have a licensed pastor, consideration may be given to provide a temporary license, although this will be a case by case basis and no unlicensed pastor will receive more then one temporary license.
Retired and/or inactive BCMB pastors shall be granted permission to retain their credentials for up to five years following retirement or departure from their church ministry post, as long as they are a member in good standing of an MB church in BC. Following this time period, credentials will no longer be renewed.