SBC Licensing - Baptists Only Please! :)

Discussion in 'Church Office' started by panta dokimazete, Feb 23, 2008.

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  1. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    Hi, brethren - I have been responding to the Lord's call to preach His word for about 18 months. I have no formal seminary training, but have been given the opportunity to become licensed within the SBC.

    2 (well 3, kinda) questions:

    1. Are any of you licensed in the SBC with no formal seminary? What process did you follow to receive your license?

    2. Would you be willing to review my response to the terms my pastor has placed on recommending me for licensing?

  2. Herald

    Herald Moderator Staff Member

    JD, I am not SBC (independent Baptist) but I would be happy to review your terms if you wish.
  3. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    Excellent !- I will PM you the link...
  4. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    I am not SBC, but rub elbows with a few. I would love to review anything that you need us to review and would be honored to help.
  5. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    I hope you don't mind if I as a non Baptist respond since I'm assuming with the thread title you were trying to avoid a throw down over whether ministers should be required to have a M.Div.

    Although the SBC does place a high value on formal education, there is certainly no requirement in the SBC for it unless it is a requirement of that particular church. There are a good number of pastors without it, especially without a Masters. The SBC has seminary extension courses that are through the 6 seminaries that are designed for those already in the pastorate and who live too far from one of the campuses. These are often available through the association. I know of a couple of pastors, one of whom is now on the foreign mission field, that took advantage of this opportunity, although I don't know that either of them earned the degree. One of them is listed on the Founders site. They both had Bachelors degrees. I think one majored in Bible or something similar but I'm not sure about the other one.

    As far as I know due to their congregational polity the licensing and ordination is done through a local church although one would be listed with the state convention and the SBC as a minister, evangelist, etc. The SBC as an entity doesn't baptize anybody and I wouldn't think they would ordain anyone directly either but I could be wrong. I have heard of associations being involved in the process as well on what I suppose would be termed an advisory basis. I would imagine that the process may tend to vary somewhat as well.

    Steve Clevenger (refbaptdude) can probably be of some help with this question since he has been SBC in the past and I think probably still is. Ivan is SBC too and has been for a long time.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2008
  6. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    Thanks for the offer, guys - I will PM you the link later - going to bed now.
  7. Sydnorphyn

    Sydnorphyn Puritan Board Freshman

    will review

    Send them my way, I would be delighted to read them; I am teaching it Wisconsin this week and have roughly 50 hours of reading time. Can you send it to [email protected].

  8. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    FYI to all and to set expectations - it is a work in process and I am just getting started. :)
  9. Ivan

    Ivan Pastor

    I was licensed to preach the gospel when I was in undergraduate school, hence without formal seminary training at the time. My local church, Calvary Baptist Church, Edwardsville, Illinois recognized the gift of preaching in me and licensed me. That basically meant that I became a supply preacher in the Southern Baptist churches in the area by virtue of my pastor, Roger Ellsworth, who probably taught me more about theology and the ministry then I ever learned in seminary, promoting me among other pastors as a supply preacher. I preached a lot! When I graduated from seminary I received a call to be the co-pastor of Highland Southern Baptist Church, Highland, Illinois, where I was ordained.

    I'd be honored. I'd love to have another believer of the doctrines of grace preaching in Southern Baptist churches!!
  10. Semper Fidelis

    Semper Fidelis 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Staff Member


    Can you tell me if this is a process the local Church goes through to request the license for a man through the Convention? Does the SBC issue preaching licences in addition to Pastoral ordination? Where would I go to see where these licences are issued and what process the Church needs to go through to apply for them?
  11. Ivan

    Ivan Pastor

    Nothing is done through the Convention in regard to licensure and ordination. That is done only by the local church. When an ordination takes place it normally involves the ordained of a local association. The local association and/or the Convention issues no papers nor do either of them have any authority. The authority is in the local church.

    If a church reports a licensure or an ordination it could possibly be listed in the Convention Annual Book of Reports (or named something like that). That book is about the size of a telephone book of a large city. There is no guarantee that the information is accurate.

    I hope that helps, but it probably doesn't.
  12. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    That's how I thought it would be and what I was getting at with my post, although I didn't have any firsthand experience.

    Even though the SBC is often thought of as a "denomination", things like ordination originate from local churches. The Southern Baptist Convention, the state conventions and the associations are considered autonomous entities that exist only for the purpose of cooperating in missions, evangelism, education, mercy ministries, etc. This may be hard to fathom for those who know only connectional churches or completely independent churches.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2008
  13. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Is "licensing" similar to being ordained except that you are not installed in a given charge? I would be interested to know more about the process as well, if you can PM the link. I don't know that I'll have any useful feedback, but I'd like to learn more about it.
  14. Ivan

    Ivan Pastor

    I'm not sure there is a link concerning licensure in Southern Baptist churches. I'll poke around and see if I can find something. I think generally that being licensed these days is a step toward being ordained. One is ordained when one gets a church, but that isn't always true in the SBC. Some churches ordained individuals who are entering a variety of ministries, other than the pastorate.

    I was licensed to preach when I became to preach in various church in the area where I lived. I preached on a fairly regular basis where I was a member, once a month at a local nursing home and at a great number of churches, some as far as fifty miles away from where I lived. I think I preached at over thirty churches in southwestern Illinois, many of them far multiple times.

    It is interesting to note that John Bunyan and Charles Spurgeon were never licensed or ordained, but as a brother on the PB told me once, "these are exceptions that prove the rule".

    BTW, JD, I read the work you have done thus far. You have a wise pastor. You'll be prepare for ordination much less licensure! My pastor didn't have me write things now, but we spent many hours in conversation. I believe that is the best environment to prepare for the pastoral ministry.
  15. bened

    bened Puritan Board Freshman

    I'd be glad to review your response if you'd still care to send it, and I'm SBC, btw (see below).

    I was licensed while pursing my mdiv (Southwestern), so I'm kinda close to what you're looking for.

    My home church - also SBC - licensed me. That's the way they way one usually goes about it.

    And remember - for the board's info, contrary to popular opinion, the SBC is not a denomination. It is a convention of cooperating Baptist churches.

    "Cooperating" means each church contributes $$$ to the Cooperative program (the massive vehicle by which all SBC endeavors are funded; don't mean that negatively at all - but just to say it's indeed huge). No specific percentage of giving is required. It's totally up to each cooperating church.

    Apart from cooperating via the cooperative program, a church must be approved by the local association of SBC churches in its geographic area become an SBC church. And, sad as it is strange, an sbc church is not required to overtly affirm any of the three Baptist Faith and Message editions (1925, 1963, or 2000). Though all I know of do, it's not a written in stone requirement. Hence, the reason why we have so much doctrinal "diversity" in our convention.

    Just thought to "contribute" that little thumbnail for any who may be wondering re: some of the basic whats and hows of SBC life.

    But PM me your response if you'd still like for someone to check it out.
  16. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Is your response complete? The last words I see are the 21.3 TULIP line.

    Do you need to answer specifically for all the items, such as:

    the TrinityGodJesus ChristHoly SpiritRegenerationSalvationBaptismSanctificationthe ChurchThe Ordinances of the ChurchThe Role of Elders/ Deacons?
  17. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete


    Perg, this is just the beginning of the document - I imagine it will take several months to complete.

    Also, folks - for the sake of privacy, please use PM to make recommendations, etc, thanks!

  18. panta dokimazete

    panta dokimazete Panting Donkey Machete

    Thanks, Ben - check your PM, please.
  19. 2 Tim 4:2

    2 Tim 4:2 Puritan Board Freshman

    AS an SBC Pastor Licensed and Ordained by an SBC church I can say that it is important to know that there is a distinct difference between licensing and Ordination.

    Licensing is actually a type of mentoring status. Licensed men cannot perform all responsibilities that an ordained Pastor can. They cannot officiate weddings. They should be Ordained upon a call of a church to pastor.

    There are no biblical qualifications for education. Insisting on a particular degree to be Ordained or to be a Pastor is outside of scripture and should be avoided.

    I was both licensed and Ordained prior to any degree. May God bles you into the ministry He has called you into.
  20. servantofmosthigh

    servantofmosthigh Puritan Board Freshman

    I too was licensed in an SBC church prior to ordination. The license allowed me the privilege to preach the Gospel behind the church pulpit, and administer water baptism and Lord's Supper.
  21. danmpem

    danmpem Puritan Board Junior

    Oh, man. Give me a small group to lead, but this I could never do...
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