Those desiring membership and chaplaincy with the ECA may begin by following the steps below. As you review the information, take time to pray about the process you will be entering into with the Evangelical Church Alliance. The ECA does ordain women and endorses women for the chaplaincy.
Step 1: Information
When applying with the ECA:
- ECA policy does not allow for the use of alcohol (except for the partaking of fermented wine in Holy Communion as practiced by some denominations), illegal or mind-altering drugs, or tobacco, or permit immoral practices. Note: The ECA considers immoral practices to include, but not be limited to homosexuality and the use of pornography and/or obscenities. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21; Romans 14:21)
- The applicants must understand that the application process does take approximately two months or more to complete. In addition, understand that all applications are processed in the order in which we receive them.
- All applicants must possess a written and spoken proficiency in the English language in order to interact with headquarters and the greater ECA membership. This would apply to handling items such as, but not limited to, the application for membership, e-mails, the ordination or licensure oral examination, phone calls, the annual ministerial reports (if membership is granted) and general correspondence among members.
- Applicants must prove a valid need for ministerial credentials. Also, applicants must have a current ministry of at least thirty (20) hours per week.
- Currently enrolled students in college or seminary are requested to complete their program of study. If necessary, they should call the ECA office for further clarification.
- If you are planning on attending any of our upcoming events all paperwork must be in and processed 12 calendar days before the event takes place.
The ECA carefully processes applicants to determine their character, calling, qualifications and abilities to serve. When an applicant meets all the requirements with the ECA, his or her status will be upgraded to candidate and a personal Oral Examination will be scheduled, at one of our Gatherings/Conferences held across the United States. Providing the results of the examination are positive, the candidate will participate in an ordination/licensure service and be received into membership.
Step 2: The Application Process
- Complete the online Application for Individual Membership, which requires the submission of the $100.00 non-refundable application fee. (All foreign applicants must submit fee in a U.S. Money Order.)
- Business Professional Quality, Colored Photo - When an applicant’s file is being reviewed for consideration, the first thing that often catches the Review Board Committee's eye is the applicant’s photograph. We recommend you provide a professional, quality photo.
- *Testimony of Conversion* An explanation of how you received Christ as your Lord and Savior, (separate page, no less than 250 words and not to exceed one page in length)
- *Details of your ministry calling* An explanation of how you felt called to ministry, (separate page, no less than 250 words and not to exceed one page in length)
- *Resume of Ministry career, training and activities, and Biblical education. This document must include tenure, responsibilities, supervisors and names of churches and organizations. We are looking to assess two years of cumulative ministry experience (4,160 hours) for licensure, and four years of cumulative ministry experience (8,320 hours) required for ordination. (A sample resume is available from the link at the bottom of this page.)
- *Statement of Doctrine* (Please limit your statement to two pages.) This statement should include your position on the following areas: The Trinity, salvation, baptism and the inspiration and inerrancy of the Word of God. (A warning regarding plagiarism and a link for a sample of a Statement of Doctrine are available at the bottom of this page.)
- Official Educational Transcripts of all Biblical Studies (These must be sent to us directly from the institution.) Sealed student transcripts will not be accepted. (If the school provides transcripts electronically, have them sent to [email protected].)
- Business/Military, Professional Quality, Colored Photo - When an applicant’s file is being reviewed for consideration, the first thing that often catches the Review Board Committee's eye is the applicant’s photograph. We recommend you provide a professional, quality photo.
- Copy of Ordination Certificate (If you have been previously ordained)
- Copy of Licensure Certificate (If you have been previously licensed)
- 4 References: Two ministerial and two personal, all references can be ministerial, however, only two can be personal. More information on references and links to the forms are below.
- Provide additional information as determined by the ECA staff (For example, ECA staff may request information on a prior divorce.)
*All Support documents must be on separate pages. Also, make sure to include your full name on all correspondence.
Note: Testimony of Conversion, Ministry Calling, Resume, Statement of Doctrine, Certificates, Passport Quality Photo and Certificate of Naturalization (if applicable) may be sent by email to [email protected].
An application for membership will not be considered for approval until all of the above support documents have been received and approved by The Standard and Credentials Committee.
Step 3: Oral Examination
- Once your application has been approved by the Standards and Credentials Committee, you will receive a personal email inviting you for an oral examination at one of our scheduled events held across the United States.
- Following your response, you will be e-mailed information explaining the details of your oral examination and the ordination/licensure service. Do not book flights until you have received this e-mail.
- Oral examinations are held the day before the ceremony. Therefore, candidates need to arrive the day before the oral exam in order to be there first thing in the morning.
- Candidate Membership Dues in the amount of $250, as well as any conference fees, will be owed prior to the oral examination.
- Transportation and lodging are the responsibility of the candidate. We will provide a recommended hotel that includes a negotiated ECA rate. Note: The sooner transportation and lodging arrangements are made, typically the cheaper they are.
- Providing the examination is met with a positive approval, the candidate will be ordained/licensed in a service already scheduled for the following day.
Step 4: Membership
Upon acceptance into membership, the following are required annually:
- The submission of the Civilian Member Annual Ministerial Report.
- Payment of $250.00 Annual Membership Dues
Failure to meet these requirements will ultimately result in removal from ECA membership.
Application for membership requires the submission of four references, two personal and two ministerial (currently ordained or licensed). To qualify, reference must have known the applicant for at least one year. Family members (and fiancés/fiancées) and subordinates(employee/volunteer) are not acceptable as references. All references must be submitted in order to initiate the review of the application.
Applicants: Please send the following corresponding links below to your references.
References: You may access the corresponding links below.
Applicants applying for Licensure Reference Forms: (Note: This form only allows the applicant to be approved for licensure.)
Applicants applying for Ordination Reference Forms: (Note: This form allows the applicant to be approved for ordination.)
Please note: Applicants are not to submit the completed Evangelical Church Alliance Reference Form. All responses will remain confidential.
Once the form is completed, you may click on the "Submit" button and the reference form will be sent directly to our application processor. If you have any questions or require assistance regarding the distribution or completion of these forms, please contact our office at (815) 937-0720.
While most resumes reflect a person’s history, from the perspective of searching for a job, an appropriate resume needed by the ECA for consideration of ministry credentials would include a detailed history of a person's biblical and ministerial education, training, and experience. As shown on the sample, please provide the organization's name and address, your supervisor's name(s), tenure, and job details for each ministry position that you held.
Statement of Doctrine
STATEMENT OF DOCTRINE
Please keep in mind that this statement should be in paragraph form on each of the following to include your position.
- The Trinity (What are the distinct responsibilities of each member?)
- Salvation (How does salvation take place, and what must a person do to be saved?)
- Baptism (What role does baptism play in our salvation, and what formula would you use in baptism?)
- The Inspiration and Inerrancy of the Word of God, (Describe the verbal, plenary inspiration and why inerrancy is so important to the church.)
- Please supply some of the important scripture references you hold to each point in your Statement of Doctrine. You only need to cite a reference and not necessarily quote it.
- In composing your Statement of Doctrine, we want you to know that the ECA is assessing your doctrinal understanding of the Trinity, salvation, baptism and the inspiration and inerrancy of the Word of God from a perspective of biblical, evangelical, and conservative belief. Therefore, you should know that referencing or quoting source material without citing the source amounts to plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious offense in academia, but even more so for a minister of the Gospel. To use someone’s material without crediting the source is tantamount to theft, which contradicts God’s command, “Thou shalt not steal” (Exodus 20:15 KJV). If using sources, do so very sparingly as the ECA wants to know in your words that which best represents what you believe.
All documents from the ECA website are PDF's and require that you have Adobe Reader. If you do not have Adobe Reader Version 8.0 or newer, you may download it here.