The Church of the Nazarene has a representative form of government.


We are agreed that there are three legislative entities in the structure of the Church of the Nazarene: local, district, general. The regions serve as administrative entities for mission strategy and implementation.


We are agreed on the necessity of a superintendency that shall complement and assist the local church in the fulfilling of its mission and objectives. The superintendency shall build morale, provide motivation, supply management and method assistance, and organize and encourage organization of new churches and missions everywhere.


We are agreed that authority given to superintendents shall not interfere with the independent action of a fully organized church. Each church shall enjoy the right to select its own pastor, subject to such approval as the General Assembly shall find wise to institute. Each church shall also elect delegates to the various assemblies, manage its own finances, and have charge of all other matters pertaining to its local life and work.


The membership of a local church shall consist of all who have been organized as a church by those authorized so to do and who have been publicly received by those having proper authority, after having declared their experience of salvation, their belief in our doctrines, and their willingness to submit to our government. (100-107)


The General Assembly shall organize the membership of the church into district assemblies, giving such lay and ministerial representation therein as the General Assembly may deem fair and just, and shall determine qualifications of such representatives, provided, however, that all assigned ordained ministers shall be members thereof. The General [Assembly] Boundaries Committee shall [also] fix the boundaries of assembly districts[, and]. The General Assembly shall also define the powers and duties of district assemblies. (200–205.6)


How Composed. The General Assembly shall be composed of ministerial and lay delegates in equal numbers, elected thereto by district assemblies of the Church of the Nazarene; such ex-officio members as the General Assembly shall from time to time direct; and such delegates of districts under the administration of the Global Mission Committee of the Church of the Nazarene as may be provided for by the General Assembly.


Election of Delegates. At a district assembly within 16 months of the meeting of the General Assembly or within 24 months in areas where travel visas or other unusual preparations are necessary, an equal number of ministerial and lay delegates to the General Assembly shall be elected by plurality vote, provided that the ministerial delegates shall be assigned ordained ministers of the Church of the Nazarene. Each Phase 3 assembly district shall be entitled to at least one ministerial and one lay delegate, and such additional delegates as its membership may warrant on the basis of representation fixed by the General Assembly. Each assembly district shall elect alternate delegates not exceeding twice the number of its delegates. In situations where travel visas are problematic, a district assembly may authorize the District Advisory Board to select additional alternates. (203.23, 301–301.1)


Credentials. The secretary of each district assembly shall furnish certificates of election to the delegates and alternates severally elected to the General Assembly, and shall also send certificates of such elections to the general secretary of the Church of the Nazarene immediately following the adjournment of the district assembly.