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  • Accreditation Process

    To apply for BUV Pastoral Leadership Accreditation, please ensure you meet the following criteria.
    • All Pastoral Leaders completing a BUV Accreditation application are required to hold original documentation as evidence of their meeting the requirements of the criteria necessary for accreditation. Documentation is not required to be submitted to our BUV office. However, a sample of random audits will be undertaken each year to ensure the integrity of the system.
    • Our BUV believes that Pastoral Leadership is a supportive partnership between a church/BUV Agency/employer and the Pastoral Leader. Each Pastoral Leader applying for BUV Accreditation must have a Church Leader (an elder, deacon or member of the church’s leadership team) or manager confirm and complete the relevant sections. This is both to provide accountability of the local church for supporting the accreditation, health and development of their Pastoral Leaders, and to provide rigour to the system of accreditation.
    • Where a Pastoral Leader does not seek, or is not eligible for BUV Accreditation, the local church/BUV Agency/employer, still carries a duty of care for the pastoral leader’s practice of ministry. The church/BUV Agency/employer should set its own requirements with a Police Check, Working With Children Check and assent to the BUV Code of Ethics regarded as foundational requirements.
    • Pastoral Leaders who have retired or are over 65 should seek ongoing accreditation if active in roles of pastoral or missional leadership.
    • Ordination candidates are encouraged to seek accreditation, but are not required to do so, as they are already involved in a rigorous process of support and accountability. If they choose not to be accredited, their churches/employers will still require a current Police Check, Working with Children Check and assent to the BUV Code of Ethics. Once ordained, Pastors should consider applying for accreditation.

    *BUV Accreditation documents and checklist use the term ‘Pastoral Leader’. This term can be interchanged with the terms ‘Pastor’, ‘Missional Leader’, or ‘Minister’ in referring to a person recognised as a leader of others in a particular community to advance the Kingdom of God and building up the church (Ephesians 4:11-13)

    • Documentation requirements for BUV Pastoral Leadership Accreditation.

      Police Check which does not preclude the holder from church leadership

      Accredited Pastoral Leaders are required to have a police check renewed every 2 years which indicates no past record which would preclude them from leadership in a church. This will be documented in the details on the individual police check letter.
      More information on Police Checks can be accessed here

      Working With Children Check

      All applicants for BUV Pastoral Leader Accreditation are required to hold a current Working With Children Check. A sample WWCC card with Date and card number can be found here

      Passport Photo

      All applicants for BUV Pastoral Leadership Accreditation are required to email a passport photo (head and shoulders on a white background) for your accreditation card to;

      Confirmation of Leadership Role in a BUV:–

      • Church
      • Agency
      • Ministry Setting

      All applicants for BUV Pastoral Leadership Accreditation are required to be either:

      • an Ordained Pastoral Leader with the BUV currently working in a Pastoral or Missional Leadership role (which includes pastoral, chaplaincy, church planting, theological teaching, missionary and community development roles) at least 1 day a week, or
      • a non-Ordained Pastoral or Missional Leader (e.g. Pastor or Church Planter) working in a BUV church/faith community for at least 1 day per week with at least 12 months experience

      Therefore, you are not eligible for Accreditation if:

      • your employment in a pastoral or missional leadership position is less than 1 day per week, or
      • you have not been ordained and you have less than 12 months experience in a pastoral or missional leadership role

      Signed BUV Code of Ethics

      All Accredited Pastoral Leaders of our BUV are required to agree to our Code of Ethics. By ticking this box on the accreditation checklist you are indicating that you have read and agree to abide by our BUV Code of Ethics. BUV Code of Ethics can be accessed here

      Marriage Celebrant Training (or update training) in the last 5 years

      If you hold a Marriage Licence, ticking this box on the accreditation checklist affirms you have completed Marriage Celebrant Training in the last 5 years. The process for BUV Pastoral Leaders to gain a BUV Marriage Licence is outlined here

      Annual Review Process with appointing church/BUV Agency/Employer

      Sound governance, clarity of expectations and healthy partnership in ministry between church and pastor are enhanced through regular review processes. Accredited BUV Pastoral Leaders and their appointing churches/BUV Agencies/employers are expected to undertake regular review of the leadership and ministry of the Pastoral Leader applying for accreditation, in their agreed role. Many churches facilitate a comprehensive process of pastoral review every 2 or 3 years. The current BUV Statement of Understanding template specifies an annual appraisal process. Applicants meet this criteria if there is a documented process of review and commitment to ongoing review.

      Professional Standards Workshops completion annually at an appropriate level

      BUV Professional Standards Workshops provide necessary and current training for anyone involved in Pastoral Leadership. As a bare minimum, it ensures Accredited BUV Pastoral Leaders are aware of current legal, ethical and best practice provisions affecting governance and leadership in BUV Churches/BUV Agencies/ministry settings. Accredited BUV Pastoral Leaders are required to undertake at least 1 Professional Standards Workshop of appropriate standard per year. A list of Professional Standards Workshops available can be found here

      Personal & Collegial

      Support & Accountability

      Personal support and peer collegiality are essential for healthy and effective ministry. Healthy Pastoral Leadership can rarely be undertaken in isolation. To be eligible for BUV Pastoral Leader Accreditation, a pastoral leader needs to have in place - at least 10 hours a year with a ministry supervisor, spiritual director, mentor or coach AND - At least 10 hours a year with a pastoral peer group or cluster, or active participation in a ministry retreat group.

      40 Hours of Pastoral Development

      Ongoing growth in the understanding and practice of pastoral/missional leadership is essential for effective ministry in the contemporary church. Accredited pastoral leaders are required to have completed at least 40 hours of Pastoral Development training every year.

      Pastoral development can include any activity intentionally undertaken by a pastoral leader to develop their capacity, learning and skills in developing as a pastoral leader. It could include:

      • Relevant conferences and training events on developing as a pastor
      • Courses of study undertaken at Whitley or other theological colleges (eg ACOM, MST, Tabor)
      • Computer skills relevant for ministry
      • Training events in church mission, community development, church planting…
      • Courses on personal development, e.g. emotional intelligence, Christian meditation
      • Books read on themes directly related to your growth as a pastoral leader

      It does not include:

      • Courses done for other purposes (e.g. photography, social work)
      • Personal reading or internet research on topics not directly focused on your growth as a pastor
      • Professional Standards Workshops or personal or peer supervision which are already acknowledged elsewhere in the accreditation check list.

      Note: the BUV template Statement of Understanding for pastors already provides for 40 hours of study leave for pastors every year.

      Ongoing Pastoral Health & Growth Covenant

      All Accredited BUV Pastoral Leaders are required to have in place an ongoing Pastoral Health & Growth Covenant. Requirements and a template for a BUV Pastoral Health & Growth Covenant can be accessed here.

    Click here to apply for BUV Pastoral Leadership Application
    Complete the accreditation application as either a Pastor or supporting Church Leader

    Other resources to help you:

    Tracking Guide for Pastors Undergoing Accreditation with BUV

    Pastoral Health and Growth Covenant Annual Review Form

    Pastoral Accreditation and Covenant FAQ

    Baptists On Mission Blog