top of page

Resources for Pastors


Before issuing a local license, please consider the following:


What is the difference between a lay minister and a locally licensed minister?

According to the manual, (see section 503), a lay minister is “any member of the Church of the Nazarene who feels called to serve as a church planter, bi-vocational pastor, teacher, lay evangelist, lay song evangelist, stewardship minister, church staff minister, and/or other specialized ministry on behalf of the church, but who does not at the present time feel a special call to become an ordained minister.” That person “may pursue a validated course of study leading to a certificate of lay ministry.” The process of becoming a lay minister is that “the local church board, upon the recommendation of the pastor, shall initially examine and approve the lay minister as to personal experience of salvation, effective involvement in church ministries, and knowledge of the work of the church,” and “issue to each lay minister candidate a certificate signed by the pastor and the secretary of the church board.” The lay minister certificate “may be renewed annually by the church board upon the recommendation of the pastor, if the lay minister has completed at least two subjects in the lay ministry educational program as outlined by the Continuing Lay Training. The lay minister shall report annually to the church board.” has more information on lay ministry.


Local Licensed Ministers


The locally licensed minister, however, is “any member of the Church of the Nazarene who feels called of God to preach or to pursue lifetime ministry through the church.” This person does sense a call to ordained ministry, and the local license is the first step.


Pastors issuing a local license should follow the steps provided in the Procedures for Issuing a Local Minister’s License, including having the candidate submit a copy of the Application for a Local Minister’s License.  Pastors should submit a completed Candidate Quick Reference Sheet or completed Application for a Local Minister's License to the Board of Ministry Chairperson at that time.

When the verification form has been received by the District Office, the Board of Ministry will be notified and the candidate will be enrolled in the Course of Study. Someone from the board may contact the licensing pastor for additional information on the candidate.


Candidates should download the Guide to Ministerial Preparation and Ordination. All new enrollees to the Course of Study must send transcripts of any relevant educational studies to the PBI education secretary. Student status and placement in the Course of Study levels will be determined based on the transcript.


The local license is renewed annually. For more information on locally licensed ministers, see the manual (section 531).


Course of Study


The candidate can meet the educational requirements by taking class at any Nazarene liberal arts college or university, Nazarene Theological Seminary, and/or Nazarene Bible College. In addition to an online degree program, NBC has a non-degree seeking online program that fulfills the requirements. The district also offers a limited selection of classes through the Paul Basham Institute (PBI). Locally licensed ministers are expected to complete an average of one course a year from the Course of Study in order to be eligible to renew the local license, and all students must submit an annual transcript to the PBI education secretary.


Receiving a District License


Qualified locally licensed candidates may be invited to participate in Ministerial Development Weekend (MDW) as a step toward receiving a first district license. Qualifications include: completion of 6 courses (Level 1) from the Course of Study; demonstration of an apprecia­tion, comprehension, and application of the Manual and the history of the Church of the Nazarene, and of the doc­trine of holiness, by successfully completing the related portions of a validated course of study (that is, complete the History & Polity course); having held a local license for at least 1 year; and recommendation by the local pastor and church board. Candidates must submit a District License Application to the Board of Ministry chairperson and will be interviewed by the District Board of Ministry.


The district license is renewed annually. Candidates are required to complete 2 courses from the Course of Study each year. For more information on the district licensed minister, see the manual (section 532).




Candidates will be considered for ordination after a minimum of three years with a district license, the completion of the Course of Study, completion of the Church Revitalization course, and attendance at a second MDW. District licensed ministers must complete a minimum of two and preferably three courses per year as a minimum to maintain eligibility to hold their licenses, which must be renewed annually by the Board of Ministry and District Assembly.



The Board of Ministry is here to serve and assist with this process. Please contact us with any questions regarding this process.



bottom of page