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How to Become an Ordained Evangelical Minister
If you have an interest in serving as a minister for a particular evangelical church or denomination, ask about formal requirements for ordination, and set your training accordingly. Generally, becoming an ordained evangelical minister or pastor involves several years of seminary training, performing an internship, and then finding a position with a church or Christian organization whose beliefs and purpose suit yours. For the individual with a passion for this work, these do not constitute obstacles, but rather experiences that will enrich your lifelong ministry.
Ensure that you can call yourself a Christian before you begin a career of leading others to follow Christ. If you are not a Christian, you cannot become an evangelical minister no matter what other qualifications you may possess. To become a Christian, you must believe that God allowed his son Jesus to die on the cross to save you from your sins. Ask God for forgiveness for the sins you have committed in the past. Accept the Bible as God's word and final authority for how to live your life. Commit to follow Jesus as your example of how to serve God and other people.
Study the Bible as much as you can, both alone and in groups of other Christians. Read commentaries and Bible studies written by other Christians to help you understand it in depth, and how it applies to your faith.
Evaluate your people skills: ask yourself if you excel at working with others. Pray to God for discernment about whether pastoring others constitutes a spiritual gift. Decide if you possess discipline about studying God's word and can discern the ways that God leads you to teach others. Make sure you can commit to such issues before you proceed.
Seek guidance from a mentor, perhaps a pastor or other longtime Christian believer with a heart for serving others in ministry. Ask your mentor for encouragement as you pursue your dream of becoming a minister.
Choose an evangelical church or denomination where you want to serve as a minister. Research any requirements for ordination, such a seminary degree and internship. Ask for your church to sponsor you. Apply to the seminary or seminaries recommended by the denomination, get accepted, take the required classes, and complete your internship.
Apply for an open position as an evangelical minister upon graduation from seminary. Once you are accepted, ask the leadership of that church to formally ordain you if this is their tradition. You may also wish to start your own church or ministry outreach to further the word of God, in which case the ordination may be more informal.
Seek volunteer opportunities for ministering to others to gain valuable experience and find encouragement for your career direction.
Lea Webb is a CPA and internal auditor with the State of California. She holds degrees in politics and public administration. She has written professionally as communications coordinator for a member association and as a government performance auditor.