The Church of the Nazarene recognizes only one order of the preaching ministry, that of elder. It also recognizes that the member of the clergy may serve the church in various capacities. (Ephesians 4:11–12) The church recognizes the following categories of service in which a district assembly may place an elder, deacon, or, as circumstances warrant, a licensed minister: pastor, evangelist, missionary, teacher, administrator, chaplain, and special service. Ministerial training and ordination are normally required, or greatly desired, to fulfill these categories as an “assigned minister.” The Sourcebook on Ordination shall provide guidelines for each category of ministry that will aid district boards in identifying the qualifications necessary for consideration to be an assigned minister. Only assigned ministers shall be voting members of the district assembly.
All persons assigned to a particular role shall file a report annually to the assigning district assembly.
All persons assigned to a particular role may request and obtain annually from the assigning district a certificate of their role of service, signed by the district superintendent and the district secretary.
All persons assigned to a particular role of ministry, when placed on disability by approved medical authority, may be listed as “assigned disabled.”
The roles of ministry are listed in alphabetical order for convenience.
The administrator is an elder or a deacon either elected by the General Assembly as a general official; or a member of the clergy elected or employed to serve in the general church. An administrator may also be an elder elected by the district assembly as district superintendent; or a member of the clergy elected or employed as his or her primary assignment in the service of a district. Such person is an assigned minister.
The chaplain is an elder or deacon who feels divinely led to specialized ministry in military, institutional, or industrial chaplaincy. All chaplains must be approved by their district superintendent. Persons applying for career assignment in the U.S.A. military chaplaincy must appear before the Chaplaincy Advisory Council and the Board of General Superintendents. The chaplain who serves in this ministry as his or her primary assignment and who does not sustain a retired relationship with the church or any of its departments or institutions, shall be an assigned minister, and shall report annually to the district assembly and give due regard to the advice and counsel of the district superintendent and the District Advisory Board. The chaplain may receive associate members into the Church of the Nazarene in consultation with an officially organized Church of the Nazarene, administer the sacraments in harmony with the Manual, give pastoral care, comfort the sorrowing, reprove and encourage and seek by all means the conversion of sinners, sanctification of believers, and the upbuilding of the people of God in the most holy faith. (518, 536.9, 536.11)
A woman who is a member of the Church of the Nazarene and believes that she is divinely led to engage in ministering to the sick and the needy, comforting the sorrowing, and doing other works of Christian benevolence, and who has given evidence in her life of ability, grace, and usefulness, and who was in the years preceding 1985 licensed or consecrated as a deaconess shall continue in such standing. However, those women called to active and assigned ministry but not called to preach shall complete the requirements for ordination to the order of deacon. Women desiring a credential for compassionate ministries may pursue the requirements for lay minister. (113.9, 503–503.8)
The educator is an elder, deacon, or licensed minister employed to serve on the administrative staff or faculty of one of the educational institutions of the Church of the Nazarene. The district shall designate such a person as an educator for their ministry assignment.
The elder or licensed minister who is an evangelist is one devoted to traveling and preaching the gospel, and who is authorized by the church to promote revivals and to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ abroad in the land. The Church of the Nazarene recognizes three levels of itinerant evangelism to which a district assembly may assign ministers: registered evangelist, commissioned evangelist, and tenured evangelist. An evangelist who dedicates time to evangelism, outside his or her local church as his or her primary assignment and who does not sustain a retired relationship with the church or any of its departments or institutions, shall be an assigned minister.
A registered evangelist is an elder, or a district licensed minister, who has indicated a desire to pursue evangelism as his or her primary ministry. Such registration shall be for one year. Renewal by subsequent district assemblies shall be granted on both the quality and quantity of work in evangelism in the year prior to the assembly.