Ministers Licensing & Ordination Procedures and Practics
Biblical Precedence and Practics for the Licensing and Ordaintion of Ministers:
Both the Old and New Testaments give us clear evidence for those called to public and/or formal ministries. The fivefold gifts of apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastors and teachers were first defined and foreshadowed in the Old Testament - or more properly called, the First Covenant.
The two degrees of ministry, deacons and bishops, were foreshadowed by the Priests and Levites of Israel.
RFI fully acknowledges the seven-fold New Testament ministry of five gifts and two degrees of ministry – apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastors and teachers, and the two degrees of deacons and bishops.
(See: Titus 1:5-9; 1 Timothy 3:1-12; Ephesians 4:10-16 & Psalm 68:18)
The overarching words in the New Testament to describe ministry on various levels are the terms Deacon and Elder. The word deacon (diakonos) and the word elder (presbuteros) include both male and female in the Greek text. These terms are used in numerous firms in the New Testament to define various services and states of being, regarding those who serve.
The word Deacon can describe someone who serves another in any capacity, secular or sacred, whether citizen, neighbor, layperson, but especially as a minister of the Gospel. In ministry, it describes the true heart of the clergy in their service to others as Christ’s emissaries and ambassadors.
The word Elder is first defined as an older man or woman of linear years who deserves respect as elders by virtue of their age, experience and wisdom. (Leviticus 19:32 & 1 Timothy 5:1-2). Regarding ministry, it describes men and women who are appointed and ordained elders by virtue of their spiritual calling to preach and teach the Word of God faithfully, as well as to spiritually lead the body of Christ, giving account for men’s souls as priests of the Lord after the Order of Melchizedec (Titus 1:5; Hebrews 4, 5, 6 & 7).
License & Ordination Credentials Issuance and Renewal System:
1. RFI issues license and ordination credentials on a Concurrent Biennial Renewal System. The current biennial period is April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2018. Ministers who seek licenses with RFI during any biennial period will pay the full licensing amount of $100.00, plus a one-time $25.00 application and processing fee.
2. The biennial fee for congregations and/or ministries serving under RFI for a spiritual or legal covering or for 501(c)(3), purposes is 400.00 for the new biennial period.
3. RFI acknowledges the ordination credentials of seasoned clergy transferring their licenses/ordination credentials to the RFI association, who are experienced ministers from credible organizations and/or ministries. Because of lifetime experience and service some of the rules that apply to developing new minister’s applications are waived by RFI.
4. New ministers who are being educated and trained toward either license credentials or ordination credentials, should apply as follows …
Those with at least an Associates’ Degree in a ministry discipline are issued a regular license certificate with the RFI association, upon proper application and approval.
Those who have completed a four-year Bachelors’ Degree program in a ministry discipline, may apply for either a license or ordination certificate with the RFI association.
Ordination services are available through the RFI association. The cost of such services are based on the location, the travel costs of the RFI Presbytery members involved, plus the expense of the necessary items involved with the ordination service, upon proper application and approval.