Click here to expand the Credentialing Checklist
For ALL candidates, please include the following before we can schedule you for an interview with the District Board of Ministerial Standing (DBOMS):
- Credentialing Application (below)
- A letter from you stating your desire and reasons for wanting an EFCA credential
- Processing Fee ($100 for temporary credential; $150 for permanent credential)
- Completed Personal Spiritual and Character Qualifications (PSCQ) Questionnaire for Candidate if you have not already submitted it for a previous credential (click HERE for questionnaire)
- Completed Personal Spiritual and Character Qualifications (PSCQ) Questionnaire for Spouse if you have not already submitted it for a previous credential (to be sent to the district office separately and directly from your spouse, click HERE for questionnaire)
- Completed Personal Spiritual and Character Qualifications (PSCQ) Questionnaire for Elders if you have not already submitted it for a previous credential (or equivalent body of primary leaders, to be sent to the district office separately and directly from them, click HERE for questionnaire).
- For Ordination Candidates, a letter of recommendation from the church of your membership or ministry you are serving if your elders are not completing a PSCQ, because they already did it for a previous credential.
- Follow-up Questions on Pre-Marital and Marital History if you or your spouse have a divorce in your background (click HERE for the form).
- Credentialing Thesis in Microsoft Word format, written according to the district and national guidelines and reviewed by at least two individuals well versed in English composition and theology.
- Completed EFCA Minister’s Profile from the link to the appropriate credential on the national Board of Ministerial Standing website (see the list of credential options elsewhere on this page).
- The form indicating completion of EFCA Required Reading or completion of TEDS History, Theology and Polity course if you have not already submitted it.
For those transferring their ordination to the EFCA, please also include the following:
- Original ordination paper (if not available, then present a 35-40 page Ordination Thesis according to the guidelines under the EFCA Certificate of Ordination)
- Minutes of original ordination council (if not available, please note)
- Copy of present ordination certificate (If the original Ordination Certificate is unavailable, a letter from the ordaining church including the date of ordination and the years of ministry is required.)
Download a PDF document of this information
Click HERE to download a PDF document of the information on this page. (Note - some links in this PDF are out of date and will be updated soon. The links on this webpage should be current.)
To the Candidate
Dear Credentialing Candidate:
I commend you for your desire to pursue an EFCA credential. This is to your benefit, since the process:
- affirms God’s call upon your life;
- ensures a commitment to and alignment of beliefs between you, your local church, and the EFCA;
- provides accountability doctrinally and morally at the local, district and national level;
- helps in your educational and personal development; and
- provides confirmed legal status for the IRS through the EFCA.
Here is what you must do to be credentialed in the EFCA:
1. Depending on the credential you are seeking, click on the appropriate link below and complete all the requirements, fill in all the forms, and remit the appropriate processing fee ($100 for a ministry license, $150 for an ordination or a Certificate of Christian Ministry). Send everything (but the spouse PSCQ and the elders PSCQ) to the Midwest District EFCA, PO Box 360, Elkhorn, NE, 68022 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Ask your spouse and elders to send their PSCQ’s separately.
- Certificate of Ordination
- Transfer of Ordination
- Certificate of Christian Ministry
- Ministry License (Three-Year Renewable)
- Ministry License (Expedited)
- Ministry License (Five-Year, Non-Renewable)
2. Follow the specific the Midwest District guidelines for your thesis as follows:
- Use the prescribed format for the two-sided cover page of your thesis (click HERE for the format in PDF, and HERE for DOC).
- Capitalize all personal pronouns referring to deity in your thesis.
- Insert page numbers on your thesis (bottom center) with page 1 of your thesis starting with the biographical section.
- Provide continuous line numbers in your thesis, suppressing the line numbers on your title pages, subheadings, and doctrinal statements. To do this:
a. click on the “Layout” tab at the top of your Microsoft Word document;
b. click on “Line Numbers” und the “Layout” tab;
c. click on “Continuous;”
d. highlight the title pages, subheadings, and doctrinal statements in your paper;
e. click on “Line Numbers“ again;
f. click on “suppress for current paragraph.”
- Ask two individuals well versed in English composition and/or theology to edit your thesis before you send it to the district, because we will not accept a poorly written thesis.
- Send your edited thesis in Microsoft Word format as an email attachment to email@example.com.
3. We will schedule your credentialing interview only after all your credentialing materials are:
- received in the district office (due 60 days before your credentialing interview),
- reviewed by the appropriate district staff, and
- revised as requested (due 30 days before your interview).
- Click HERE for upcoming credentialing interview dates.
4. Your region’s District Board of Ministerial Standing (DBOMS) chairman will inform you about the date, time, and location of your credentialing interview. He will determine the location based on limiting the distance of travel for other candidates and DBOMS members. Please, do NOT schedule anything else for this date, as your interview may last longer than anticipated.
5. Our Midwest District Executive Assistant will send you materials, which will help you prepare for your credentialing interview, along with a pledge form, which you must sign and return before your interview.
6. Arrive 30 minutes before your credentialing interview with two people from your church, who know you well, to serve as witnesses to your character and ministry. They also serve as part of your interview team, who can also ask questions they consider appropriate during your interview.
7. During your interview, give brief answers to the questions your interview team asks, because time is limited. If they want more information, they will ask for it. Each team consists of 8-10 EFCA pastors and laypeople, who will examine your doctrinal beliefs and ministry. The credentialing interview is about 90-120 minutes for a temporary 3-year license (to determine theological competency), four hours for the Certificate of Christian Ministry (to determine theological proficiency), and five hours for the Certificate of Ordination and the Transfer of Ordination (to determine theological mastery).
8. Immediately after your interview, the interview team will deliberate and inform you of their decision to recommend, recommend with conditions, or not recommend you for credentialing in the EFCA. If they recommend you with conditions, follow through with the conditions of your interview team, which may include minor or major revisions to your thesis.
9. Once everything is in order (which may include a revised thesis), your region’s DBOMS chairman will inform our district executive assistant, who will send all your completed materials to the National Board of Ministerial Standing. They make the final determination regarding your credential, which can take up to six weeks. When they approve you for a credential, they will send your certificate to the Midwest District, who will forward it to you by U.S. Mail for Ministry Licenses. In the case of a Certificate of Ordination or Transfer of Ordination, the District Superintendent or member of the District Board may present it to you personally during a special ceremony you will schedule in your local church, where your call to ministry is officially recognized and affirmed (Note: your credential remains the property of the Evangelical Free Church of America and will be given to you "in trust").
To the Church or Ministry Leader
Dear Church or Ministry Leader:
Thank you for encouraging your pastor or staff member to pursue a credential with the Evangelical Free Church of America. This benefits not only him/her, but you as well, helping to insure biblical and doctrinal integrity along with a good fit within the Evangelical Free Church family. There are several things we ask of you as part of this process.
1. Please complete the Personal Spiritual and Character Qualifications (PSCQ) questionnaire for elders if you haven’t done it before (click HERE for the questionnaire). Feel free to interact with your pastor or staff member in the process, which is intended to be a tool for learning and growth where needed. We ask that this questionnaire be the collective effort of all the members of the elder board (or equivalent body of primary leaders), who must all sign it when it is completed. This serves as your recommendation and assessment of your pastor or staff member’s character, ministry skills, and Biblical/doctrinal integrity.
2. Please consider paying the processing fee for your pastor or staff member pursuing credentialing. This not only encourages him/her, but it helps us cover some of the costs involved in facilitating the credentialing process. Make a check payable to the "Midwest District EFCA" in the amount of $100 for a 5-year renewable license or $150 for a permanent credential, and give it to your pastor or staff member so (s)he can include it with the other material (s)he needs to send to the district office. The fee does not guarantee approval for an EFCA credential, and it can be reduced for church planters or others for whom the cost is prohibitive. To request a reduced fee, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Please consider giving your pastor or staff member paid time-off from normal responsibilities (not counted against his/her vacation time) to complete the various requirements. One of those requirements is a credentialing thesis (20 pages for a temporary license, 40 pages for a permanent credential), which will require his/her undivided attention to complete well.
Don't forget the checklist - expand the checklist at the top of this page
Regional District Board of Ministerial Standing Members
- Mr. Kurt Andres
- Mr. Les Bennett
- Pastor Jason Briggs
- Mr. Clint Frerichs
- Rev. Donald Moore
- Rev. Tom Starkjohn, Chair
- Rev. Joe Eash
- Mr. Cary Lavender
- Dr. David Pauls
- Rev. David Thomas
- Mr. Chet Toole
- Mr. Jeff Carlson
- Rev. Wes Holen
- Mr. Dave Malone
- Rev. Noah Palmer
- Mr. Tom Shield
- Rev. Pastor Tom Thompson, Chair
Questions? Contact us!
If you have questions,
please don't hesitate to contact me by email (email@example.com) or phone (785-472-8633).
Together, In His Service,Phil Green, Director of Theology and Credentialing for the Midwest District of the EFCA