Information Concerning Credential Application
MINISTERIAL CREDENTIAL INFORMATION herein has been prepared to assist those seeking ministerial credentials with Elim Fellowship. Credentials are granted to recognize the Christian Worker, the Licensed Minister and the Ordained Minister. Once granted, credentials are viewed as equivalent to unqualified endorsement by Elim Fellowship, although they are subject to annual renewal by the Council of Elders of the Elim Fellowship.
Applicants for all levels of credentialing must petition the Fellowship for credentials utilizing the appropriate application form which is available from the Administrator of Elim Fellowship at its Brantford, Ontario offices. This application will contain all the necessary information for initiating and completing the process of credentials application.
Those desiring credentials should acquaint themselves thoroughly with the purposes and practices of Elim Fellowship as revealed in its Constitution and By-Laws. It is expected that applicants will be in accord with the Statement of Faith of the Fellowship and will endorse those principles in the conduct of their ministry. It is recommended that all credential applicants familiarize themselves with the history of Elim by reading Ivan Spencer: Willow in the wind, by Marion Meloon.
Although there are no formal educational requirements for credentials, those who review applications will take into consideration the educational preparation accomplished by each individual. In order to better equip applicants for ministry, they may be required to read books from a prescribed reading list. Formal training, although it carries weight in the evaluation process, in no way will substitute for personal character, experience, and other accepted qualifications for the ministry.
Ordination is granted to those with a recognized and proven ministry. It acknowledges the outworking of the sovereign call of God in a life, and is generally of a marked nature which receives more than local acceptance.
Recognition of Ordination is granted to those applicants who hold ordination with a recognized church body and desire to transfer that ordination to Elim Fellowship. Recognition of Ordination is equivalent to ordination by the Fellowship.
License to Minister is given to those who have demonstrated both an ability and calling to minister, whose qualifications have been recognized, and who are seriously entering into the evidencing of the gift of God in their lives within the context of the local assembly.
Christian Worker Credentials are issued to recognize the initial call into ministry and serve to identify an individual's call in the early stages of its development. Involvement in ministry goes beyond Sunday School teaching, youth/children's work, song leading or occasional exhortation in a local assembly.
All credential applicants will be formally notified of the decision made by the Council of Elders. A certificate for each credential will be given to each accepted applicant. Those receiving license will receive the formal recognition of their credentials at a meeting of Elim Fellowship ministers in the area in which they live. If this is not possible because of geographical limitations, the certificate will be presented either personally by officer of the Fellowship, or will be received through the mail.
Those being Ordained by Elim Fellowship will be so recognized by the laying on of hands by one or more persons duly authorized by the Council. The ordination will take place in a formal ceremony, and will be attended by those who have endorsed and also will receive from the ministry of the ordinand.
Credential renewal is not automatic, but is granted as the Council of Elders reviews each annual request by the credential holders. All credential holders will receive their credential renewal notice in the Spring of each year from the Administrator of Elim Fellowship. The completed renewal portion and applicable fees should be promptly returned to the Brantford offices. A wallet card reflecting the then current period for which credentials are valid will be sent to all credential holders after renewal.
Recognizing that each credential holder is a person who is responding to a genuine call from God, it is anticipated that the highest personal character will be recognized in each person.
The Apostle Paul's words in 1Timothy 3 and Titus 1 will be considered as the Biblical standard set forth before each applicant. Additionally, it is expected that each applicant would give evidence of a genuine born-again experience, and should have been baptized in water and with the Holy Spirit (John 3:3, Matt. 28:19, Acts 2:4). Evidence is expected from every candidate as to spiritual growth and an increase in maturity of character during the years they have walked and do walk with God. It is anticipated that they will have a basic working knowledge of the Bible and be integrally involved as active members of a local church. A willingness to learn and to serve, a willingness to take responsibility and authority, a willingness to be accountable, a willingness to be flexible in changing situations and a willingness and an ability to seek and train others will be among the characteristics expected in a ministerial candidate.
Although in some cases the duties of Christian Worker, Licensed minister and Ordained minister as noted in the By-Laws (Section 13) may differ from one ministry to another, it is expected that credential holders will abide by the formal assignment of duties as listed. Should a variation of these duties become necessary for a credential holder to function effectively within their assigned ministry, exceptions should be discussed directly with Elim Fellowship's General Overseer.
Ministerial credentials may be revoked by the Council of Elders of the Fellowship upon clearly documented substantiation of moral charges, serious departure from the Faith, or a manifest spirit of rebellion. Such revocation will be enacted only after very careful and prayerful evaluation of all aspects of the charges brought against a minister. Such action is taken in the gravest sense of responsibility before God, and is not lightly accomplished.
Receiving credentials from Elim Fellowship extends far beyond the acknowledging of God's call on a life and recognition of that call by the brethren. Those who hold credentials within the Fellowship must acknowledge with the receiving of their credentials that they are joined together with all Elim credential holders. We extend ourselves one to another in brotherhood and fellowship, not because we are under compulsion to do so, and not because we are in total agreement in every area of our understanding, but because we recognise that we voluntarily unite together as brethren under the lordship of Jesus Christ.
Elim Fellowship speaks of mutual submission and support. It speaks of brethren working out their faith with other brethren in ways that will in every way cause the world to know that Christianity is a unique lifestyle. We need to hear God through one another, and we need to be willing to walk with one another when things do not go our way. When difficulties surround us, we must be willing to lay the matter before God and our brethren for resolution and healing. As Elim Fellowship continues to grow in God, requests for credentials and the granting thereof will cause us to be involved in a brotherhood which counts dearly the cost of standing one with another.
In addition to the interpersonal relationships which are entered into when an individual accepts credentials from Elim Fellowship, there are three areas which need to be recognized as further expectations of the credential holder. First, it is anticipated that credential holders will pray regularly for Elim Fellowship personnel and the ministry and for activities with which it is involved.
Secondly, for Elim Fellowship Canada to exist and operate, it depends upon on the generous donations of our credential holders. The following is the suggested support for our three credential levels:
Ordained Minister - 5% of income
Licensed Minister - 3% of income
Christian Worker - 1% if income
Finally, active participation in and undergirding of the ministry programs of the Fellowship are expected. These three areas are important certainly in and of themselves, but more so as they reflect the act of commitment of an individual who has joined with the Fellowship. We so often speak of the commitment of members of churches being evidenced in these three areas. Is it not proper for us to respond in similar manner toward the group to whom we enjoy voluntary fellowship?
The annual membership fee for all credential levels of Elim Fellowship is $50.00 per person of $75.00 per credentialed couple. There is a $10.00 non refundable application fee, payable with the application. The balance of the annual fee will be required after the credential is granted.