Local Licensing

Welcome and congratulations on seeking to follow God’s call to ministry. Preparing for ministry is a journey.  The Guide to Ministerial Preparation and Ordination (Español or Français) handbook is designed to acquaint you with the journey and provide information and insight that will assist you in preparing well.

This journey takes time along with a good dose of endurance. As you begin, think is terms of a 10K run rather than a sprint. Thankfully, you are not alone on the journey, though you must take responsibility for making informed decisions. Along the way, prayerfully seek the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit and make every effort to connect often with trusted persons willing to partner with you, beginning with your pastor. If you have not already talked with your pastor about your interest in and call to ministry, open that line of communication today! Your pastor will come alongside you as you discern your call, seek responsibilities in ministry, communicate with the district, find educational provider, and begin the process of licensing in ministry. Again, let me urge you to spend some time reading the  Guide to Ministerial Preparation and Ordination (Español or Français).

On this page you should be able to find information to help you navigate the processes leading from a call to ministry, through local licensing and educational preparation, and on to ordination as an Elder or Deacon in the Church of the Nazarene.

When a member of a church feels a call to vocational ministry, the process begins with the pastor and local church board interviewing the candidate regarding your call. Talk with your pastor about your call and your desire for a local license.

Candidate for License

1. Essentials For Getting Started

Essential steps in qualifying any individual seeking a Local or District Minister’s License are to verify the individual’s credential history in the Church of the Nazarene with the General Secretary’s Office and to conduct a criminal background check.  The link below is to be filled out by either your local church or the District Office for Credential History Verification.   If you have a recent copy of a background check, send it to the district office to meet this requirement.  If you are divorced and remarried, contact the district office concerning the steps involved in this special circumstance.

Verification Credential History Request Form to General Secretary’s Office 

2. Course of Study

A broad and rich educational preparation is essential to faithful and effective ministry. The Church of the Nazarene has provided several pathways by which you may satisfy the educational requirements. Since this part of the journey takes several years to complete, it is important to carefully select a pathway that will be most fitting, challenging and informative for your future in ministry. Beginning your educational preparation my help you if your sense of calling is not yet clear. It seems God often uses the learning process itself to bring clarity.

The Church of the Nazarene requires completion of 24 classes in a Validated Course of Study to meet the educational requirements for Ordination. The courses consist of theology, ministry, evangelism, and church history. For a complete listing of courses required, click here. If an MIT has taken coursework that they think might meet the requirements of some of the classes in a Validated Course of Study, our District works with Nazarene Bible College to evaluate the transcripts.  The MIT should go to www.nbc.edu/go/evaluation for details.

Begin working toward completion of at least six courses (including ” History & Polity of the Church of the Nazarene and Exploring Christian Holiness”) or ¼ of a Nazarene college/university/seminary validated course of instruction for ministry in order to become a candidate for District License.


It’s very possible that you’re at this page because one of the members of your church has expressed a sense of the call of God on his/her life and is seeking to begin the process of ministerial preparation. It’s exciting as a pastor, to be starting this journey with one you’ll have the privilege or shepherding into rewarding new areas of serving God and the Church. But it also means that you now have some added responsibilities.

For the next few years of her journey, you will be the candidate’s primary mentor. She will be assigned an advocate by the Board of Ministry to help guide through the process, but you will remain the primary mentor. That means you must become thoroughly familiar with the process. Talk with her about the Call of God on one’s life, pray with her, help her clarify her call.

Read the Manual paragraphs 500-502.6, 529-534, and make sure your candidate for license becomes familiar with them as well.

Familiarize yourself with both the USA Handbook for Christian Ministries and the USA Sourcebook On Ordination. Your candidate will also need to be familiar with those documents, so walk through them with him.

Download and use the “Procedures for Issuing a Local License“, “Interview Guidelines”, and the “Application for Local Minister’s License”.

Submit the Verification of Credential History Form and a request for Background Screening (or a copy of a recent background screening which has been done on the MIT) to the District Office.

Help guide your candidate throughout the year in completing the required six courses in the Course of Study.

Make sure that you have a current criminal background screening on the license candidate.

Order the Local License and make the presentation of license a significant event in your church.

Remember that except for the screening through the General Secretary’s office, this is all a local church process at this point. None of those documents or applications need to be sent to the district office.

Blessings on what can be one of the most fulfilling parts of a pastor’s ministry.