Frequently Asked Questions
Listed below are answers to some of the most frequent questions asked about the ECA:
How many credentialed ministers are in the ECA?
There are approximately 1800 members worldwide; including Military Chaplains, Missionaries, Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers, Para-church workers, Hospital, Prison, Police, and Fire Chaplains, etc.
What denominations and ministries recognize your credentials?
The ECA is a member of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), the Evangelical Council of Financial Accountability (ECFA), and the International Conference of Evangelical Chaplain Endorsers (ICECE). The ECA also has members in many major denominations.
What do I need to do to be endorsed by the ECA?
You must first become a member of the Evangelical Church Alliance in order to receive an endorsement. Please see our Military Chaplain Endorsement Page for more details.
What are the educational requirements for the ECA credentials?
Most members of the ECA are graduates of Bible Colleges and Seminaries. The ECA offers Bible College level credit through our Bible Extension Institute in conjunction with Global University. Classes in the BEI meet the minimum educational requirements for licensure and ordination through the ECA
The ECA has set for all applicants to have finished at least 10 classes (3 hours ECH) in Bible, Theology and practical ministry at an approved Bible College or Seminary for licensure. Moreover, the ECA requires 16 classes (3 hours ECH) from an approved Bible College or Seminary for Ordination. (ECH=equated credit hour)
How much are your annual dues?
Annual Membership Dues are $250.00 (US) and to be paid in US funds.
Why do we have an annual report?
All bonafide ministries ask their members for some accountability. Therefore the ECA asks each member to share their highlights and difficulties through each year of ministry.
Moreover, it is necessary to keep our database, phone listing, and mailing addresses up to date. The ECA has set as a requirement that each member submits an annual report and that if a member moves they notify the office within 45 days.
When are Credentials mailed?
Ministerial Credentials are mailed to members in good standing annually in the month of December. Click here to find out more information on how to keep your Credential current.
What is the ECA’s Policy on the use of alcohol?
From the very beginning, the Evangelical Church Alliance has required that members abstain from alcohol, tobacco, immoral practices and illegal drugs. This policy has been enforced throughout the entire history of the ECA for the following reasons:
- A pastor is called to be an example to believers in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, and in purity. (1 Tim. 4:12) He must also have a good testimony among those who are outside (the Church) lest he fall into reproach. (1 Tim. 3:7)
- If a pastor cannot discipline his body and bring it into subjection he may become disqualified when he preaches to others. (1 Cor. 9:27)
- A pastor (bishop) must be blameless, not given to wine. (1 Tim. 3:1-3)
- A teacher will receive a stricter judgment. (James 3:1)
- A pastor who causes a little one to stumble will face the wrath of God. (Mark 9:42)
- We are told to remain sober because the devil is seeking to devour us. (1 Pet. 5:8)
What is the ECA’s policy concerning divorce?
According to Paul in 1 Tim. 4:12 the minister is called to be an example to believers in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, and in purity. The minister is also to have a good testimony among those who are outside, (the Church) lest he fall into reproach. 1 Tim. 3:7. Accordingly, the Evangelical Church Alliance has adopted the following policy on “Divorce in the Ministry.”
DIVORCE FOR BIBLICAL REASONS
There are two reasons which permit divorce, according to scriptures as interpreted by the Board of Directors of the Evangelical Church Alliance.
1. Sexual immorality on the part of a spouse. (Matthew 19:9)
2. An unbelieving spouse leaves the marriage. (1 Cor. 7: 10-13)
If a spouse commits sexual immorality or departs the marriage as an unbeliever, the minister is free to divorce and remarry. However, the minister should submit to godly counsel before making that decision.
When such a divorce/separation takes place it is the responsibility of the ECA Member to notify headquarters and supply a detailed report of the circumstances and cause of the divorce/separation. Each occurrence will be judged on its own merit.
DIVORCE FOR NON-BIBLICAL REASONS
When the minister is divorced for reasons other than the two reasons listed above the following policies will apply:
If the divorce/separation took place before the person, applying for membership, accepted Christ the divorce will not be considered in the application process.
If the minister is involved in a marriage that has become impossible, according to godly counsel, the minister may separate from the spouse (under 1 Cor. 7:10-11). The minister must submit to counsel (approved by ECA Headquarters) and make a genuine attempt to reconcile the marriage. To retain Credentials this minister must remain single and not date. There are many circumstances in marriage that become almost intolerable. However, the minister must always bear in mind the teaching of Scripture and the vows and commitments made during the marriage ceremony. There are times when a minister must remain in a difficult situation and experience the “fellowship of His suffering.”
If a believing spouse initiates the divorce/separation, through no fault of the minister, the minister should submit to godly counsel and carefully follow the advice of the counselor. The minister must notify the ECA Headquarters of the situation as soon as possible and supply a detailed explanation of the circumstance. Unless and until the spouse who departed commits adultery or remarries the minister should remain single and not date.
If a member divorces or separates from their spouse for non-Biblical reasons the following process will be followed:
The President/CEO will request a detailed explanation of the circumstances of the divorce/separation to be submitted in a typewritten form.
The President/CEO will review the submitted information and forward recommendations to the Chairman of the Board.
The Chairman of the Board will review the information along with the ECA Staff’s recommendations and determine the proper course of action. The Chairman will correspond with the Member informing him/her of his decision offering an opportunity for further input. If the Chairman decides to remove the minister from membership the member will have the opportunity (under ECA Constitution) to appear at a regular ECA Board meeting to appeal the Chairman’s decision.
A member who violates this policy and refuses to submit to correction will be subject to Discipline, as outlined in the Evangelical Church Alliance Constitution. Any applicant or candidate for membership must also meet the above criteria.