Accreditation as a Baptist Minister
The Baptist Union accredits ministers who have:
tested their call by God to ministry by seeking the affirmation of the wider church;
undergone ‘ministerial formation’ that develops both character and theological understanding; and
entered a covenant with the Baptist Union to live in a way that models a Baptist understanding of discipleship and leadership and in return receive the support of the Baptist Union and associations.
So accreditation establishes the ongoing connection between the minister and the Baptist Union, and enables the Union to commend ministers to the churches.
Do you feel called to ministry?
We are at present hoping and praying that God will call more people to train for accredited ministry. If you want to explore becoming an accredited Baptist minister, whether you feel your calling is to church leadership, chaplaincy, evangelism, pioneering, or children’s youth and families work, we suggest the following steps.
Read through An Introduction to Accredited Baptist Ministry. This document explains more fully what ministry is and the process of gaining accreditation and includes a range of diverse stories of those who have made the journey before.
Speak to your own minister, if appropriate, to talk through what you thinking.
Contact your Regional Minister. They will help you to explore your calling and explain the process of testing that call.
Reflect on the Marks of Calling. These are the criteria (see page 4 of the document) we use to test the initial sense of call in any who hope to train for ministry.
Explore the Baptist college website pages. The colleges will ensure you gain the necessary diploma or degree in theology and will expect you to participate in a programme of ministerial formation.
There is wide variety in the way ministers are now trained. A small number spend three years based in college with a number of hours each week spent in a church or mission-based placement. Most are placement-based, spending three days a week in a church or mission setting and three days in study in college or at home. You can train full-time, part-time or bi-vocationally where you retain your previous profession or work alongside your study. Training can be accessed in the week or in some cases on weekends. There is great flexibility to explore options that will suit your circumstances. If you are concerned about the costs of ministerial formation, we have a guidance leaflet, Funding Ministerial Formation that you may find useful.
The Register of Nationally Accredited Ministers is maintained by the National Ministerial Recognition Committee. Three times a year we update and publish the list of accredited ministers. Full details of the criteria for enrolment onto, categorisation within and removal from the register can be found in the Ministerial Recognition Rules.