This may seem a bit radical for my fellowship (Assemblies of God), but I would like to go on the record as saying that ordination ought to be the aim of every pastor and not because of education, credentials, or prestige, but because it offers a testimony of faithfulness (at some level). To be ordained (in my tradition) requires one to be in ministry for a minimum of 2 years and a few extra courses (if one didn’t go through one of our official schools). https://
MANDATORY COLLEGE DEGREE for all PENTECOSTAL MINISTERS
The recent exposure of Rick Joyner’s fake doctoral degree has sparked the old discussion about accrediting all ordained ministers.
Pentecostal denominations in the US are gradually moving to require a mandatory degree prior to ordaining all active ministers. C Peter Wagner describes this as the first sign of a movement going nominal and powerless. Many in the Assemblies of God agree that ordination ought to be testimony of faithfulness and not because of education, credentials, or prestige. What are the feelings in your church organization?
Ricky Grimsley [02/13/2016 6:59 AM]
I wish i had taken the time to get a degree but most seminaries would kick me out these days. Lol
John Kissinger [02/13/2016 7:15 AM]
Jimmy Humphrey [02/13/2016 7:55 AM]
C. Peter Wagner is a hypocrite anyway. His “movement” with John Wimber was conducted through their signs and wonders class at Fuller Theological Seminary.
I don’t believe pastors have to have a bachelors degree in theology to pastor. But they should definitely have the equivalent in knowledge. After all, by appointing somebody as a pastor you are saying they are an older and matured Christian, and with that comes a body of knowledge that includes “the faith” once and all handed down to the saints, and that such a person in capable of communicating that faith to the next generation.
If they don’t have a bachelors degree, one should definitely make sure they have a well lined bookshelf that includes that knowledge. They should have read books on hermeneutics, systematic and biblical theology (and know the differences), and academic level commentaries.
At the end of the day, they should be scholarly in their disposition. If they aren’t, they don’t have what it takes to pastor.
John Kissinger [02/13/2016 8:09 AM]
I think the mention from C. Peter Wagner was from a discussion couple of weeks ago on a paper in the 1980s he did while still in Fuller with AG. Paper was pretty accurate on the outcome of the denomination. Unfortunately, Peter is not doing very well with his health. And as a given NAR rejects theologians and theological education as well as most ultra Charismatics out there like #iHOP and many of the Kansas/Tulsa following
Tim Renneberg [02/13/2016 8:15 AM]
I agree with the AG’s position… my own fellowship (PAOC) has a similar, if not identical stance with ordination. One can apply for initial credentials in their last year of one of our Bible Colleges… (only activated when in a recognized ministry). After 2 years, and a rather rigorous interview process complete with references will one become ordained. If one’s schooling was from outside the PAOC, additional courses are required (Pentecostal Distinctives, Pentecostal History and 1 or 2 more)
John Kissinger [02/13/2016 8:22 AM]
I’ve been wondering if other denominations have moved toward mandatory degreeing. Tim Renneberg do you have a link to an official PAOC document amending a mandatory degree in ministry prior to ordination?
Tim Renneberg [02/13/2016 8:29 AM]
There is no mandatory degree requirement. I think, however, a three year diploma (or equivalent) is the minimum requirement for ministerial credentials. There is another credential one can apply for if they don’t have the educational requirements, but that credential does not lead to ordination.
John Kissinger [02/13/2016 8:31 AM]
Tim Renneberg you lost me there 🙂 Is there an actual document that we can consult. AG rejected degreeing in 2015, right?
Tim Renneberg [02/13/2016 8:34 AM]
There is an actual document… whether it is available online or not is the question. I’m on my phone, not my laptop.
John Kissinger [02/13/2016 8:36 AM]
Would this be close enough to you position? A list of courses and other educational requirements necessary to obtain Assemblies of God credentials. http://www.agncn.org/education-requirements-for-credentials/
Tim Renneberg [02/13/2016 8:41 AM]
Follow the link to educational requirements for credentials http://eod.paoc.org/downloads-docs-media/downloads-documents/ Yes… that is similar
Willie Jones [02/13/2016 10:12 AM]
it should be that way
John Kissinger [02/13/2016 10:29 AM]
But why now? It hasnt been required for 100 years of global Pentecostalism? Jimmy Humphrey this also has been there for 100 years and never required a degree BUT why here and now?
Terry Wiles [02/13/2016 11:04 AM]
AoG Ordination recognition, for many decades, was based on evidence of “divine calling” and they heavily relied on a term “congregational proclamational” which declared their intention that ordination was primarily a recognition for those with a recognized pulpit ministry involving preaching the Word.
This excluded non pulpit ministries from ordination. But that has changed.
There is a booklet called “Ordination” that was commissioned by former General Supt. Thomas Zimmerman that is a classic dealing with the process and purpose of Ordination from their perspective which makes a clear contrast between liturgical and non liturgical ordinations.
From a distance it does seem that today Ordination is more about Degree than calling and about Position than gifting. But that may not
Be a fair observation.
I thank God for their pursuit of Excellence in Education while at the same time cling strongly to the affirmation of “calling” as being an equal criteria for the certificate of Ordination.
Troy Day [02/13/2016 11:28 AM]
I agree with Terry Wiles Prof. Wadholm has done a great job exposing this. Ordination should be based on calling, not on merits lest we become Catholic again!
Ilya Okhotnikov [02/13/2016 11:35 AM]
Education is a shortcut to experience. www.PTSeminary.edu equals 10 years of pastoral experience to 4-year undergraduate degree.
Troy Day [02/13/2016 11:47 AM]
IMO experience can replace education, but education can never replace experience
Jimmy Humphrey [02/13/2016 11:48 AM]
There are a lot of people out there who have experience… but its’ bad experience. We need people who have both, education and experience. One must be a “practitioner”
Troy Day [02/13/2016 11:59 AM]
Bad experience is not necessarily a bad education 🙂
Ilya Okhotnikov [02/13/2016 1:34 PM]
An individual capacity to make sense of a bad experience and turn it into a good lesson is a skill acquired–humans are born with abilities, but skills come as we put ourselves into self-reflective process. There is much to say about education. in general: edu is good, if it serves the purpose.
Glen Gattenby [02/13/2016 4:07 PM]
Dedrres are not for everyone . It is important to be Theologically, Biblically stable as well as a Christian world view but degrees should not be a status symbol . When out look at the Bible some of God’s servants were educated and some came from other kinds of backgrounds. That being said we should not say the who hold degrees do not follow the Spirit. God calls all kinds of people.
Dennis [02/15/2016 4:55 PM]
Praise God sir/Madam
My name is Dennis N. Orina am from Kenya but working in Qatar .kindly do you have online genuine theology course because i want to upgrade my bible studies under Bible school..kindly assist and God bless us all.Shalom