Step 1 – Sponsorship
Commissioned Pastor candidates need to have a “sponsoring” consistory/church. The Candidate also needs to be ordained an Elder, by the time of Commissioning.
Step 2 – Paperwork
The Sponsoring Church will need to fill out a Consistory Sponsorship Form.
The Candidate will need to fill out an Application to be taken under care of Classis as a Commissioned Pastor Candidate – along with the application would be two mentoring covenants, one between the candidate and a pastor, and one between the candidate and an elder. All candidates are required to have a pastor and an elder mentor. The final document/s will be a Specific Release Form(s); this will give the discipleship team access to you psychological assessments, and any course work. In addition to these documents the candidate will need to write a report on the BCO process and requirements for a commissioned pastor (this is done to ensure the candidate knows exactly what the process entails). All documents need to be turned in before a potential candidate can be interviewed by the Discipleship Team: Consistory Sponsorship Form, Application, Elder Mentor Covenant, Pastor Mentor Covenant, Specific Releases, BCO Report.
Step 3 – Interview
The Discipleship Team (or a designated sub-committee), after receiving all paperwork, will have an interview with the candidate and vote as to take the candidate under care.
Step 4 – Learning Plan
After a candidate is taken under care the Discipleship Committee will appoint a Classis Representative to the candidate, and a Learning/Training Plan will be put together. The Learning/Training Plan will include, but is not limited to, any requirements stated in the BCO; and any requirements the Discipleship Team (or sub-committee) deem necessary for each candidate. BCO Requirements: 1)maturity of faith, 2)personal integrity, 3)understanding of the Old and New Testaments and biblical interpretation, 4)Reformed theology, 5)church history, 6)knowledge of and adherence to the Constitution of the Reformed Church in America (the Government, the Standards, and the Liturgy), 7) nature and administration of the sacraments, 8)ability to preach, 9)capability to minister within the church, and 10)understanding of and adherence to pastoral ethics and practices. (These are only the BCO requirements and the Classis is in no way limited to these.)
Step 5 – Progress Review
The candidate will begin the Learning/Training Plan, which the Discipleship Team (or sub-committee) will review and examine the candidate on their progress. The candidate will also attend the retreats and examinations for students under care of Classis. Part of the Learning/Training Plan will include of a psychological assessment (to be done at the students expense).
Step 6 -Commissioning
Upon completion of all requirements, in the candidates Learning/Training Plan, the candidate may be commissioned to a specific ministry (domain and duration), under the authority of the Classis, to be supervised by the Discipleship Team (or sub-committee).
Step 7 – Follow-Up Reviews
The Discipleship Team (or sub-committee) will conduct annual reviews of the Commissioned Pastor to determine whether to extend, change, or terminate the commissioning.