Page 5 - Set Apart Ministry 2017
P. 5


                                                AND ORDINATION

               Preparing for service in the set-apart ministry should be a precious time in your life.
               Just as your salvation was and continues to be a life-transforming event, so preparing to
               answer God’s calling on your life to serve as a set-apart minister will be a life-
               transforming event.

               There are several options for formal ministry training available within the Church of the
               Brethren.  These include Training in Ministry (TRIM), Education for Shared Ministry
               (EFSM), Academy Certified Training Systems (ACTS or SeBAH-CoB for Spanish
               language students) or a Master of Divinity degree (MDiv.).  These training options are
               available through either the Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center or Bethany Seminary.
               Specific information on which tract might be most appropriate for you is available in a
               separate pamphlet.

               The training programs mentioned above do not automatically confer ministerial
               credentials upon completion.  At some point, either during or after formal training, it will
               be necessary to be credentialed by the District Ministry Commission.  That credentialing
               process is outlined below.

               Answering God’s call to leadership in ministry is serious business.  Ministerial
               leadership may be desired by many.  While it is important to have such a desire, desire
               alone is not sufficient.  God has specific expectations and requirements for those who
               would serve as set-apart ministers in the local church. (1 Timothy 3:1-15, Titus 1:5-9;
               James 3:1, 1 Peter 5:1-4)  The Apostle Paul cautions Timothy, “Do not lay hands on
               anyone hastily, nor share in other people's sins…” (1 Timothy 5:22).  The purposes of
               the Discernment, Licensure, and Commissioning / Ordination processes are to assist
               you in clarifying your call to ministry and to assist you in preparing to fulfill this very
               responsible calling.

                   Discerners enter into a period of time, typically one year, of concentrated and guided
                   study in God’s Word, of personal reflection and evaluation, and of multiple
                   discussions with a mentor and a calling cohort on various topics of personal and
                   family life, calling, and ministry.  Discerners are involved in supervised ministry in
                   their local congregations but have no ministerial credentials and are not permitted to
                   officiate weddings.

                   This year of study, reflection, and discussion affords discerners many opportunities
                   to consider their own fitness and preparedness for ministry. Discerners will receive
                   honest, constructive input from others. It is very important, especially during this
                   discernment period, to clearly recognize the reality of a call and the nature or

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