When members of the Church of the Nazarene acknowledge a call to a lifetime of ministry, they may be licensed as ministers by the district assembly provided they:

  1. have held a local minister’s license for one full year;
  2. have completed one-fourth of a validated course of study for ministers, or have passed the Nazarene history and polity courses and five additional courses in a validated course of study for ministers;
  3. have been recommended for such work by the church board of the local church of which they are members, to which recommendation shall be attached the Application for Minister’s License carefully filled in;
  4. have given evidence of grace, gifts, and usefulness;
  5. have been carefully examined, under the direction of the district assembly of the district within the bounds of which they hold their church membership, regarding their spiritual, intellectual, and other fitness for such work, including appropriate background checks as determined by the District Advisory Board;
  6. have promised to pursue immediately a validated course of study prescribed for licensed ministers and candidates for ordination;
  7. have had any disqualification, which may have been imposed by a district assembly, removed by an explanation in writing by the district superintendent and the District Advisory Board of the district where the disqualification was imposed; and provided further that their marriage relationship does not render them ineligible for a district license; and
  8. in case of a previous divorce, the recommendation of the District Ministerial Credentials Board along with supporting documents will be given to the Board of General Superintendents, which may remove this as a barrier to pursuing a license. (30.1–30.3, 129.14, 205.6, 529.5)

If enrolled in a Nazarene college/university or seminary, the minister must have completed one-fourth of a validated college/university or college/university-seminary course of study for ministry, or have completed one-fourth of a validated district or regional training center curriculum. Exceptions to this requirement may be made by the District Ministerial Credentials Board provided the candidate is pastoring an organized church and is registered in a system of approved studies, and provided the candidate annually fulfills the minimum amount of studies required by the Manual for the renewal of a license, and provided the district superintendent approves the exception.

In the case where a background check reveals criminal misconduct prior to one’s salvation, this fact should not be interpreted by the District Ministerial Credentials Board as automatically excluding the applicant from credentialed ministry, except under the provisions of paragraph 538.9.