I’ve been working with a few groups on ways to revamp their credentialing or ordination process– essentially, how to prepare ministers for ministry. This week on my blog I’m reflecting on some of my general thoughts in this topic.

practicalAlong with theology and biblical knowledge, which almost every network and denomination requires of their pastoral candidates, you also need to include practical skills and experience. Much of what is required in the day-to-day role of a ministry leader is not just theology but practical ministry skills. How can you ensure that your candidates are trained and qualified in this area? Here are few options– find one that works for you.


  • Make local church ministry experience a prerequisite. This will weed out candidates who should not be there before you invest a lot of time in training.
  • Make your candidate training interactive. The more you can help candidates learn through exercises, discussion, direct observation, and hands-on assignments– rather than through lecture and reading– the better equipped they will be for ministry.
  • Put a required residency in place. Instead of taking a seminary graduate, ordaining them, and putting them into a pastoral position, try placing them in an internship first within a local church. This will allow them to come in with a learning posture, as well as encouraging your existing pastors to pass along their knowledge.