How to Become a Licensed Baptist Minister

Licensed Baptist ministers are the spiritual and moral leaders of their community of faith.
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Baptists view the calling to ministry as one of the highest vocations in the Christian life. Baptists count on their ministers to be the spiritual leaders of a congregation, to preach the Gospel to all and to be an upright moral example in the community. Becoming a licensed Baptist minister can vary greatly from one Baptist denomination to the next. The traits, qualities and beliefs of the ministerial candidate always play a significant role in whether the candidate is licensed.

Prayerfully consider your vocation. Baptists believe ministers must be called by God to ministry. Your church expects you to spend time in thought and prayer before pursuing this calling.

Discuss licensing with your local Baptist church. Talk to your pastor, deacons or other spiritual leaders about the ministerial licensing process for your church or denomination. Listen carefully to their advice and counsel.

Identify other bodies that may have a say in whether you're licensed. Some Baptist denominations have a regional or national ministerial approval process. By contrast, licensing of independent Baptist church ministers comes entirely from the local church.

Attend ministerial education courses or college. Your church may require you to earn a Bachelor's degree, or they may simply encourage you to take some correspondence courses on the Bible and theology. Learn as much as you can about Baptist belief and about how to manage a local church effectively.

Meet your church's requirements for licensing. Your church or denomination will then have a review and approval process where they will decide whether to license you as a Baptist minister.

Accept your ordination. Attend an ordination ceremony, if your church or denomination offers one. Here, you will commit your life to serving God through ministry in the Baptist church.

Robert Allen has been a full-time writer for more than a decade. He previously worked in information technology as a network engineer. Allen earned a bachelor's degree in history and religion/philosophy from Indiana Wesleyan University, a master's degree in humanities from Central Michigan University and completed his graduate studies at Christian Theological Seminary.