What Is a Commissioned Pastor and How Do I Become One?


The CRCNA has two types of pastoral ordination. The oldest and most traditional ordination is called “Minister of the Word” and involves a standardized theological education including the Master of Divinity Degree.  

The other type of ordination is a local ordination, being used more and more widely in the CRCNA, called Commissioned Pastor. This office has also been called “Evangelist” and “Ministry Associate” in past years.

Commissioned Pastors are appointed at the local level with permission of the regional body, the classis. They serve in a variety of positions as approved by the classis. These positions include church planting, various associate church staff positions, chaplaincy positions in various settings, and missionary positions.  

Information about the use and process of this office is provided in the Commissioned Pastor Handbook, located in section 5 of the Candidacy Google Drive site, which is also accessible from the Commissioned Pastors page on the Candidacy website (see below).

If you’d like more information, please feel free to contact the Candidacy Committee office ([email protected]) or your local classis leadership. You may also leave a comment below. 

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