Organisational Membership

The association of churches known as the Baptist Union of Victoria (BUV), includes over 250 diverse and autonomous churches and faith communities linked together through the BUV Support Hub, guided by Union Council, and connected to other Baptist agencies and affiliates.

There are different types of Organisational Membership available, reflecting the variety of church models and needs of faith communities.

Constituent Member Church

A Constituent Member Church is a full member of the BUV with all rights and responsibilities of a ‘constituent’ of the BUV.

A church becomes a constituent member church of the BUV when:

  •  the church members have approved the application
  •  the church members have approved a church constitution
  •  the BUV Union Council has approved the application
  •  the BUV Union Council has approved the church constitution

For information on becoming a Constituent Member Church please contact our office at or phone 9880 6100.

Faith Community

A Faith Community is an ‘associate’ member of the BUV. Faith Communities are usually existing non-BUV churches who want to explore BUV membership. The Faith Community category is a temporary membership category.

A church becomes a Faith Community of the BUV when:

  • the church Leadership Team has approved the standard BUV Memorandum of Understanding; and
  • the BUV Union Council has approved the application

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) creates the space for the BUV and the Faith Community to explore whether a more formal relationship between the two bodies is possible and/or desirable.

The BUV and Faith Community will work together during the MOU period to develop their relationship and discern its future focus. This will include:

  • Conversations on Baptist values and convictions (including matters of governance, community decision-making and leadership)
  • Clarification as to whether the faith community wishes to become a constituted BUV church or a church in association with the BUV through a covenant

For more information on this membership type, please contact the BUV Church Health & Capacity Building team on 9880 6170.

Missional Community

Missional Communities are approved for membership on a case by case basis by the Mission Catalyst Team of the BUV.

The broad parameter is that they are a legitimate group seeking to follow Jesus.  Membership as a Missional Community gives scope to explore the relationship with BUV.

For more information on this membership type, please contact the BUV Church Health & Capacity Building team on 9880 6170.

BUV Agency

Agencies perform specialist ministry/mission activities on behalf of the BUV member churches.

BUV Agencies include:

  • Baptcare Ltd
  • Baptist Camping Victoria
  • Carey Baptist Grammar School Ltd
  • Kilvington Grammar School Ltd
  • Strathcona Baptist Girls Grammar School Ltd
  • Whitley College

The BUV (together with other State Baptist Unions) is affiliated with the Baptist Union of Australia [BUA] – also known as Australian Baptist Ministries [ABM]. BUA has a number of national agencies.

National Agencies/Ministries include:

  • Baptist Financial Services Australia Ltd
  • Baptist Insurance Services
  • Baptist World Aid Australia Ltd
  • Baptist Mission Australia

All Constituent Member Churches of the BUV are entitled to appoint and send a certain number of Church Assembly Delegates (see below) to BUV Members Dinner (previously known as Assembly) to represent their church. Members Dinner is the place where members of the Baptist Union join together to pray and discern, discuss and share, vote and decide on business, governance and other matters integral to the life of the union of Baptist Churches in Victoria. Delegates elect members of the Union Council, which is the governing body of the Baptist Union of Victoria. The Union Council appoints a Director of Mission and Ministries who is responsible for the development and leadership of the vision and mission of the Baptist Denomination in Victoria. Union Council determines those matters of policy and operation on which the DoMM and Leadership Team are empowered to lead and decide on behalf of Victorian Baptists, and those matters requiring wider discernment and discussion by all churches and delegates.

Individual Membership

Individual Membership is available to Members of Assembly, Pastors and Leaders at all BUV Constituent Member Churches, Faith Communities, Missional Communities, Recognised Fellowships and some specified positions at BUV Agencies.

Specific categories of Individual Membership are available depending on your church membership category, your local church role, and your accreditation status (pastors only).

Members of Assembly

There are a number of positions within the BUV and its Agencies which automatically hold Member of Assembly status and who vote at Assemblies/Gatherings. 

Constituent Member Churches can also nominate Church Assembly Delegates to vote on its behalf.

Ex Officio Members of Assembly

There are a number of positions within the BUV and its Agencies which automatically hold Member of Assembly status and who vote at Assemblies/Gatherings.  These people should NOT be nominated by your church as Delegates:

  • Ministers of the BUV whose names are on the Official List (Ordained Reverends)

  • The Officers of the Union (Director of Ministries, Secretary, Honorary Legal Advisor and Past Presidents)

  • Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer of each Committee, Department, Agency, Affiliated Organisation, or constituent body, other than a Church

  • Members of the BUV Pastoral Search Advisory Group

  • The Principal and Professors for the time being of Whitley College

  • The Principal for the time being of Carey, Strathcona and Kilvington Grammar Schools

  • Members of BUV Executive Council

Please note that Pastors who are not Ordained (Revs) are not Members of Assembly.

Church Assembly Delegates

Church Assembly Delegates are people who have been elected at church members meeting to vote on behalf of the church at BUV Gatherings and Assemblies.  They should vote as instructed by the church, not just on their own opinion.

The number of delegates each constituent member church may nominate is x2.  For each 50 members above the first 150 (based on the annual statistical return to the BUV) the church may elect a further x1 Church Assembly Delegate.

The Union Administrator will seek confirmation of each church’s official delegates each year.  Where no confirmation is received, the last appointed delegates advised to the BUV will be assumed to continue.

For your guidance – the following table gives the number of delegates that can be nominated according to the church membership listing:

  • 001 to 149 = 2
  • 150 to 199 = 3
  • 200 to 249 = 4
  • 250 to 299 = 5
  • 300 to 349 = 6
  • 350 to 399 = 7
  • 400 to 449 = 8
  • 450 to 499 = 9
  • 500 to 549 = 10 and so on

Alternate Delegates

A church may nominate Alternate Delegates who can vote on behalf of the church (as instructed by the church) if the Church Assembly Delegate is not present.  Electing Alternate Delegates allows a church to still have a voice and vote if their elected Church Assembly Delegate is unable to attend.

Churches can update their Church Assembly Delegates and Alternate Delegates via email 

For more information please contact or call 03 9880 6111.


Pastors are typically appointed by Baptist Churches to provide pastoral leadership within a community of faith. Roles vary enormously, but often include pastoral care, mission, worship, preaching and equipping people to serve God individually and together.

There are two broad pathways into pastoral leadership within the BUV:

1. Ordained Pastors have been recognised as called and gifted for pastoral leadership by the BUV. While most minister within the local church, some serve as chaplains, teachers and missionaries.

2. Locally appointed Pastors have been appointed for ministry within their own local churches.

Both ordained and locally appointed Baptist pastors are encouraged to be accredited with the BUV.

For more information on accreditation click here

Lay Leaders

Lay Leaders are appointed by local churches to various roles including Church Secretary, Administrator, Treasurer, Elder, Deacon, Board Member, Leadership Teams member, Children/Youth Leader, Seniors Ministry Leaders, Pastoral Care and so on.

The Baptist Union of Victoria supports these leaders through provision of guidance, resources and training opportunities.