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How to Become an Ordained Independent Baptist Pastor

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Becoming an ordained independent Baptist pastor means embarking on a career that comes with the responsibility to serve others. The decision to be a pastor is one you should weigh carefully because such a vocation does not come with the promise of wealth or a large congregation. The ordination of Baptist pastors occurs on a local church level, and you can begin the process of becoming a pastor by seeking volunteer leadership roles in your church, such as leading a ministry project or a church event.

Be sure you feel called to become an ordained independent Baptist pastor. According to the Southern Baptist Convention, before becoming a pastor, you should feel called by God to serve others. Do not solely rely on the joy you feel when you help others or outside pressures when considering becoming a pastor.

Pray about becoming an ordained independent Baptist pastor. Prayer is an important part of a pastor’s life and this act can help you discern if the calling to lead a church is God’s will or not. For example, prayer can help you determine if you are ready to serve a congregation of any size and economic status even if you only receive a humble stipend, as a Baptist pastor must serve rich and poor individuals.

Go to college and receive a Christian ministry degree. While you do not always need a post-secondary degree to become an ordained independent Baptist pastor, earning one can help prove you are qualified to become a pastor. When you earn a degree, you will learn how to preach to large and small audiences, counsel others, write sermons and apply the teachings from the Bible to the current culture and leadership skills. In addition, you will learn about biblical history, discipleship, theology and helping different groups of individuals. When you receive a ministry degree, you will prove to others that you have the expertise required to become ordained, you are doing the work God called you to perform and that you base your actions and decisions on biblical principles.

Work with your current church to become an ordained independent Baptist pastor. Have a discussion with the senior pastor of your current church about your desire to become ordained. Your pastor should guide you through the ordination and licensing steps of your independent Baptist denomination, like acting as a junior pastor. The process to become an ordained independent Baptist pastor varies by church.


Flora Richards-Gustafson has been writing professionally since 2003. She creates copy for websites, marketing materials and printed publications. Richards-Gustafson specializes in SEO and writing about small-business strategies, health and beauty, interior design, emergency preparedness and education. Richards-Gustafson received a Bachelor of Arts from George Fox University in 2003 and was recognized by Cambridge's "Who's Who" in 2009 as a leading woman entrepreneur.