Credentialed Ministry in the Wesleyan Church falls into two main categories:
A. Vocational Ministry includes those whom God has called to full time vocational ministry and their calling, gifts and usefulness have been recognized by their local church and their district. Individuals who serve in this capacity include: Senior Pastors, Solo Pastors, Associate Pastors, Assistant Pastors, Pastors of: Youth, Young Adults, Singles, Worship, Missions, Christian Education, Children, Discipleship, Administration, Evangelism, and Assimilation; as well as Missionaries, Counselors, Chaplains, Educators, etc. The Wesleyan Church recognizes two forms of credentialing in this area of Vocational Ministry:
- Ordained Minister – This is the highest credential given by the Wesleyan Church to an individual who meets all the academic, spiritual and governmental standards of the church. They have authority to preach, administer baptism, serve the sacraments, perform weddings, transfer from one district to another, serve in any position in district government that they qualify for and to vote in district conference sessions.
- Commissioned Minister – Holders of this credential have authority to preach, serve the sacraments, and baptize, but can vote in district conference sessions only when currently appointed to a local church. They may perform weddings except in those localities where they may be restricted by law. They may not hold any district governmental positions that require an individual to be an ordained minister. To enter this track of ministry an individual must be 40 years of age or older and have the approval of his District Board of Ministerial Development (DBMD).
B. Lay Ministry includes lay people whom God has called to special service in their local church and/or district. The Wesleyan Church recognizes two forms of credentialing in this area of Lay Ministry:
- Special Worker – God has called certain lay people to ministries such as director of Christian Education, lay evangelist, youth director, children’s worker, director of music, lay missionaries, lay counselors, etc. Special Workers serve under the guidance of their pastor and/or the district/general church. They are nonvoting members of the district conference.
- Lay Minister – These are lay people whom their local church has licensed to preach and serve under their pastor’s direction and as opportunity affords. Normally lay ministers have no plans for ministry except in connection with their local churches.
PLEASE NOTE: A more detailed definition of these categories of ministry can be found here: manual-of-ministerial-preparation