Resources for Pastors Ordained in Other Denominations Who Are Looking to Become Ordained in the CRCNA

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“How can I, a pastor ordained in another denomination, transfer my ordination into the CRCNA?”

This question is asked by many pastors who are trying to find a new denominational family, and also by pastors who are seeking to begin a new chapter in their ministry.

The Christian Reformed Church in North America has a ministry called the Candidacy Committee that is here to help you find your way through the various options that exist. Basic information and resources are offered on our website and also in the Candidacy Google Drive Site (specifically section 4).

Director of Candidacy, Rev. David Koll, would be happy to set up a phone meeting with you to describe and discuss the process in detail.

In the meantime, the following comments are a start:

  1. The process for transferring ordination of a pastor from another denomination into the CRCNA is dependent upon an “eligible ministry” wanting to call such a pastor.
  2. Sometimes the  "eligible ministry" is a non CRC congregation that also wants to affiliate; sometimes it is an assignment as a chaplaincy in a hospital, hospice, prison, etc.; and sometimes it is a new church plant (usually initiated by the pastor him or herself).
  3. There is a "fence" around our existing churches in that they are expected to do a "sustained and realistic search" within the cadre of current CRC/RCA pastors and candidates before they look outside the CRC and RCA. This puts persons currently ordained in other denominations at the “back of the line” as they apply for open CRC congregational positions.
  4. Some people in this situation choose to complete the program that is expected of MDiv graduates who complete their seminary training outside of our denominational seminary. The program is 10 credits and can be completed in one semester of resident study or also via a non-resident distance learning option. Completion of this program enables a person to be approved as a CRC candidate eligible for call in any ministry in the CRCNA.

This basic information gives us a start in a response to your inquiry. Please leave a comment below or email [email protected] if you want to keep talking.  

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