Credentialing and accountability in ministry is a covenant partnership between Congregations and the Region. The Commission on Ministry is established to serve in that covenant relationship for the Region. It is comprised of representatives, lay and clergy, from diverse ministry settings throughout Indiana. Nurture and Certification Teams likewise are made up of representatives of these diverse settings.
Credentialing criteria for candidates preparing for Ordained Ministry are established and overseen in a process of Nurture and Certification that accompanies studies and contextual ministry education. Candidates for ordination are most often students in an accredited Master of Divinity program.
Credentialing criteria and ongoing education, training, and support for those engaging ministry as Commissioned Ministers happens through a Nurture and Certification process designed to equip and sustain those whose ministry training occurs outside of the seminary environment. This process is ongoing and accompanies whatever education the minister engages and the setting of that person’s ministry. Commissions can only be extended to a particular setting.
The overall accountability in ministry is nurtured by the Commission on Ministry through offerings of support, training, and renewal throughout each year. Healthy Boundaries events are examples of this. The Commission on Ministry prays for each of the region’s ministers and provides certification each year. Prior to retirement, ministers are credentialed according to guidelines for continuing education and training.
The Commission on Ministry works in partnership with Congregations and the Regional Staff to respond to circumstances requiring special consideration and circumstances requiring oversight, guidance, reconciliation, or healing.
Commission on Ministry Manual (Indiana Region)
Policies and Criteria
Each year the Commission on Ministry of the Indiana Region has the privilege of affirming the ministry of Disciples pastors in the state of Indiana through the certification of their ministerial standing. This process is authorized and governed by the “Policies and Criteria for the Order of Ministry” of our church.
In Indiana, the Ministry Team on Standing, under the auspices of the Commission on Ministry, conducts this annual review. Those who were certified are given:
- voting privileges at General and Regional Assemblies,
- access to the Search and Call Process,
- access to scholarships and emergency assistance funds,
- recognition by civil authorities such as the IRS, County Clerks, and jail visitation officers.
Standing in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) recognizes that as an ordained minister, you have membership in a Disciples congregation and you are currently engaged in the practice of ministry and are accountable to a congregation or other church institution, or are engaged in Search and Call, or that you are retired.
- 2017 Standing Form (.pdf)
- Code of Ethics Landscape 2016 (.pdf)
- Code of Ethics
- Provisional Principles of Procedure Regarding Sexual Misconduct
Healthy Boundaries Training
Healthy Boundaries is the Indiana Region’s clergy misconduct prevention and ethics workshops. The goal of Healthy Boundaries Workshops is to equip, raise awareness, and deepen clergy understanding of the importance of healthy boundaries in ministry. These workshops seek to provide a clear understanding of the nature of boundary and boundary violations that may occur professionally, sexually, and personally. These offerings are to enrich ministry and to reduce the incidences of such misconduct. These training sessions also foster relationships through conversations with clergy colleagues.
By action of the 2014 Regional Assembly, these seminars are required of all ordained and commissioned ministers as well as for all students seeking ordination in the Indiana region.
- The workshop is based on the Marie Fortune “Faith Trust Institute” curriculum.
- Healthy Boundaries are held multiple times each year in various parts of the state.
- Ministers must take the seminar once every 5 years.
- Registration information available.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…” Ecclesiastes 3:1
The Healthy Boundaries seminar now has a new format. All registrants will meet together in the morning session for conversation and learning about healthy ministerial boundaries in relation to clergy ethics. Participants will choose a module of interest to them (such as social media, healthy transitions or self-care) for the afternoon session, with the exception of first time attendees who will continue with basic boundary training.
NURTURE AND CERTIFICATION: AN OVERVIEW
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) directs the Regions to provide nurture, guidance and certification for ministerial candidates. The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Indiana provides this ministry through its Commission on Ministry and, in particular, Nurture and Certification Teams.
Nurture and Certification Teams are small groups (5-6 persons) of lay persons and clergy who interview and review written information. The purpose of the interviews and review is:
- To become acquainted with the candidates and their qualifications for ministry;
- To provide a relationship of nurture and guidance for the candidates during their preparation for ministry;
- To assess the candidate’s readiness and fitness for ministry.
Nurture & Certification Ordination Track
- Personal Information Schedule
- Current Class Information
- Field Report Form (for site supervisors)
- Pre-ordination Intro Form
- Ordination Council Report Form
- Ordination Service Guidelines
- Ordination Council Guidelines
- Ordination Application
Nurture & Certification Commissioned Track
- Commissioned Ministers Manual
- Application for Commissioned Minister
- Reference Form
- Field Report Form
- Self Evaluation Form
- Commissioned/Licensed Ministers Training Events (CLMTE)
Counseling Ministry to Clergy and Their Families in the Indiana Region
The Christian Church in Indiana values the mental and emotional health of our clergy and to that end, is supportive when clergy desire to seek the services of a pastoral counselor. Click the link below to read more about the counseling ministry of the region.