STAGE 1: RECRUITMENT AND REFLECTION
The purpose of this stage is to support and educate individuals with regard to pastoral ministry, through the provision of resources by the Association, and the local church, to enable:
- existing pastors to identify and mentor potential new pastors;
- clarity for persons considering pastoral ministry concerning the nobility, privilege and demands of pastoral leadership.
This stage is a very early exploration of the second of the seven dimensions, namely, ‘call’.
STAGE 2: PRE-APPLICATION
The purpose of the pre-application stage is to further educate individuals by outlining requirements of the accreditation process, and support them in discerning God’s call on their life. This stage starts assessing the first and second dimensions, namely, ‘call’ and ‘character’.
STAGE 3: FORMAL APPLICATION
The purposes of this stage are to maintain rigorous standards in application processes and moves to a formalised stage in testing the desire to become an accreditation candidate. It also aims to demonstrate that the vocation of a pastor is a demanding role requiring rigor, and to connect Applicants to an ongoing process and support network.
This third stage examines in more depth the first and second dimensions of character and call as well as that of the third and fourth dimensions, namely, doctrine and capacity.
STAGE 4: FORMAL EVALUATION AND ACCEPTANCE
Stage 4 consists of two phases: (i) interviews and (ii) candidacy and probation.
The purposes of this stage include:
- assessing in more detail the Applicant’s capacity to undertake pastoral ministry;
- improving the likelihood of sending into ministry holistically healthy persons;
- demonstrating that the vocation is a demanding role requiring rigour in training;
- informing the Applicant and their family of the value and importance of the Baptist principle of association and
- educating the Applicant and their family regarding the demands of pastoral leadership.
The dimensions examined in Stage 4 include the first four, namely, character, call, doctrine, capacity and are now widened to include the remaining three, competence, training and capability.
STAGE 5: POST-ACCREDITATION
Accreditation is an ongoing process, requiring persons to demonstrate continued growth over a three-year cycle, in areas of spiritual life, professional skill and connection.
The purposes of the Post-Accreditation three years include:
- support newly accredited ministers
- to continue to educate ministers in their professional and personal formation
- assess the well-being of the ministers in these early vulnerable years
- to continue to connect ministers with peers and the resources of the Association
STAGE 6: CONTINUING MINISTERIAL DEVELOPMENT
Accreditation is a continuing process. Accredited ministers are required to fulfill and demonstrate fulfillment of certain requirements (see Continuing Ministerial Development Guidelines, Appendix 6) over repeated three year cycles, in order to retain their accredited standing.