The credentialing of Church of God ministers is a ministry formation process. In this process, the church partners with the individual to help the individual develop the abilities to fulfill his/her divine call and place of ministry. This developmental journey occurs through personal discovery, education, training, and becoming a credentialed minister in the Church of God.
Following are the programs which are the primary means for completing this ministry formation process:
1. Calling and Ministry Studies (CAMS). CAMS consists of two sections: seminars and individual study. The purposes of the seminars are (a) to identify how an individual knows he/she has a divine call, (b) to explain what the meaning and practices of ministry are, and (c) to help the applicant determine what his/her divine call is and understand what ministry is. The seminars are attended by both applicant and spouse.
The CAMS applicant completes three Certificate in Ministerial Studies (CIMS) courses through individual study. In addition, the applicant writes three papers on the following: His/her calling into the ministry, his/her view of ministry, and his/her ministry identity. The spouse writes a paper on his/her calling into ministry and a paper on his/her view of ministry.
An individual who desires to enroll in CAMS must first enter the licensure process by completing aNew Minister/Calling and Ministry Studies (CAMS)/Exhorter Application and submitting to a background check. After successful completion of CAMS and recommendation by the Ministerial Development Board, one is ready to purchase an Exhorter Study Guide and is eligible to test for Exhorter credentials.
2. Ministerial Internship Program (MIP). MIP provides intensive training under the direction of a supervising pastor for a period of eight months. During the training period, the candidate and spouse follow a daily schedule of spiritual, academic, and physical assignments. This involves completion of four independent study courses. The training also includes eight seminars, periodic evaluations, examinations for the independent study courses, personal counseling, and supervised ministry experience under a mentor.
At the conclusion of the training period, MIP candidates are commissioned and awarded a certificate of completion from Ministerial Development/School of Ministry. All students who successfully complete MIP will also receive 16 hours of credit from the School of Ministry. These CIMS credits may be transferred upon enrollment in any Church of God undergraduate college or university.
An Exhorter desiring to advance to the rank of Ordained Minister must complete an Ordained Minister/Ministerial Internship Program (MIP) Application. After successful completion of MIP, one is ready to purchase an Ordained Minister Study Guide and is eligible to test for Ordained Minister credentials.