BUV Pastoral Accreditation

BUV accreditation has two key objectives:

  • To provide a positive support framework for Pastoral Leaders in order for them to thrive through their commitment to the call of God on their lives. Accreditation supports the establishment of rhythms and disciplines that would make a positive contribution to the health and sustainability of our Pastoral Leaders.
  • To give substance to the various contexts where the BUV commends a Pastoral Leader to church and society, and to ensure that the Pastoral Leader is in good standing and committed to ethical and professional practice.

Please note: The description ‘Pastoral Leader’ is used throughout this page is referring to a person recognised as a Pastor by others within a particular community for advancing the Kingdom of God and the building up of the church (Eph 4: 11-13)

  • All BUV accredited Pastoral Leaders are conditionally eligible to hold a BUV Marriage License.
  • Accredited BUV Leaders have access to Advisory Group process for pastoral appointments.
  • Community and peer groups can have confidence knowing that their accredited Pastoral Leader is engaged in practices that are ethical and professional, and they are employing healthy and sustainable behaviours.
  • Accredited BUV Pastoral Leaders can access specialist BUV Pastoral Leader services including entry to BUV Long Service Leave Saving Scheme, structured opportunities for training and development, assistance with accountability, performance reviews and professional development.
  • When appropriate, some funding support for counselling and the pastoral recovery process may be available.

Please note that if a BUV accreditation lapses, there is a risk of losing the benefits that are available as a BUV Accredited Leader, including the revocation of their Marriage License.

Any locally appointed or ordained pastoral leader currently ministering in a Victorian Baptist ministry setting is required to be accredited through the Baptist Union of Victoria.

Any person who holds a Baptist Union of Victoria Marriage Celebrants Licence must be accredited in order to retain that License.

Any Pastor who has retired and is not involved in interim pastoral leadership is not eligible for accreditation and must relinquish their marriage license upon retirement from an active pastoral role.

Please note that where a Pastoral Leader is not eligible, the local church or BUV Agency still carries a duty of care for the pastoral leader’s practice of ministry. The church/BUV Agency 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.

There are 4 different types of accreditation. If you have any doubt as to which type to apply for, please contact accreditation@buv.com.au for assistance.

1. BUV Ordained Pastoral Leader Accreditation

Available for Ordained Baptist Ministers of Religion within Victoria and across Australia. If you have this level of accreditation, you are automatically a member of the BUV Assembly with full voting rights. BUV Ordained Accreditation must be renewed every 3 years.

2. BUV Pastoral Leader Accreditation

Any person in a pastoral leadership role in a Victorian Baptist ministry setting is accredited by the BUV on behalf of their local church and as being in good standing with the BUV. BUV Pastoral Leader Accreditation must be renewed every 3 years.

3. BUV Probationary Pastoral Leader Accreditation

Available for all new locally appointed Pastors, Pastors transferring from outside the BUV and Pastors ordained outside the BUV with less than 12 months service. BUV Probationary Accreditation is available for 12 months and is not renewable. It is expected that at the end of the 12 months the Pastoral Leader will apply for either BUV Ordained Pastoral Leader Accreditation or BUV Pastoral Leader Accreditation.

4. BUV Provisional Pastoral Leader Accreditation

Available for Pastors who are performing Interim Pastoral Leadership roles or are between positions and/or looking for a new pastoral opportunities. BUV Provisional Pastoral Leader Accreditation must be renewed every 12 months as necessary.

Please note that any ordination candidates who hold BUV Pastoral Leadership Accreditation will have their accreditation transferred to BUV Ordained Pastoral Leader Accreditation upon ordination. The expiry date will not change.

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 supporting the application 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.

The 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 Baptist 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.

Please note that all Church Leaders/Managers must be affiliated with a Baptist Church or Agency.


  • Annual Review of ongoing Pastoral Health and Growth Covenant 
  • Signed BUV Code of Ethics 
  • A recommended annual Pastoral Review undertaken by your current church/agency and at a minimum within the past 3 years
  • A current Police Check attached to your current church/agency
  • A current Working with Children’s check
  • Attendance at a Professional Standards Workshop (PSW) and a commitment to attend at least one PSW per year over the next 3 years.
  • 10 hours per year of personal support and accountability 
  • 10 hours per year of collegial support and accountability 
  • 40 hours per year of pastoral development (i.e. Nourish, conferences, courses, books etc.) for Ordained & Pastoral Leaders, and 20 hours per year of pastoral development for Probationary and Provisional Pastoral Leaders.
  • Marriage Celebrant Training within the past 5 years (if holding a Marriage License)
  • Undertake Professional Pastoral Supervision with a commitment of a minimum of three meetings per year and a recommended maximum of ten.

Once the above criteria has been met, the following can occur.

  • Complete and submit your Pastoral Accreditation Form (Blue tab at bottom of page)
  • Ask your designated Church Leader to complete and submit the Church Leaders Form (Green tab at bottom of page)
  • Email or upload a passport photo (white background) to accreditation@buv.com.au
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

A reminder email will be sent at least 4 weeks prior to your accreditation expiry date.

The process to renew BUV accreditation is the same as the initial accreditation process. If you allow your BUV accreditation to lapse, there is a risk of losing numerous benefits that are available to you as a BUV Accredited Leader.

A new passport photo can be sent to accreditation@buv.com.au, otherwise your original photo will be used on your new card.

Once an application has been approved, an Accreditation card will be posted to the applicant.

A BUV Accreditation card has no commercial value but it is a form of ID, demonstrating that you are a Pastoral Leader Accredited and supported by the BUV. It is a tool to demonstrate your credibility in settings such as entry to hospitals, prisons, schools, police stations or similar. For some pastors this form of ID is needed and valued, for others, a card may have little practical value.

One of the criteria for accreditation with the BUV includes compliance with our Code of Ethics for Pastoral Leaders. When applying for BUV Accreditation, you are asked to confirm that you have read and agree to abide by our BUV Code of Ethics.

It is important to note that in the event of a finding of misconduct, as outlined in our BUV Code of Ethics, one possible consequence is the removal of BUV Accreditation, and the benefits associated with accreditation.

Download BUV Code of Ethics



Should you have any questions or need clarification on any of this information, please feel free to contact accreditation@buv.com.au or your Regional Pastor who is here to help.

WEST Regional Pastor Graeme Semple 0490 036 112 graeme.semple@buv.com.au

METRO Regional Pastor Brett Mitchell 0412 771 125 brett.mitchell@buv.com.au

EAST Regional Pastor Robert Hayman 0409 414 450 robert.hayman@buv.com.au

Pastoral Health and Growth Covenant

A BUV Pastoral Health & Growth Covenant is a tool for all BUV pastoral/missional leaders who want to invest in ongoing health and growth. As such, it is encouraged for all pastors, but it is not compulsory.

A BUV Pastoral Health & Growth Covenant is seen as a reaffirmation of pastoral call through attention to godly and healthy ministry practice in all its dimensions including maintaining spiritual vitality, leisure and fitness, healthy relationships (family and with others outside the church), support and accountability, ongoing learning, broad ministry horizons and ethical practice.

A BUV Pastoral Health & Growth Covenant is for the benefit of pastoral leaders and does not need to be lodged with our BUV office. Those applying for BUV Pastoral Leadership Accreditation will need to retain а copy of their BUV Pastoral Health & Growth Covenant.

Ongoing support and accountability is important whenever we work toward achieving long-term plans. A ‘Covenant Companion‘ can serve as a sounding board as you set your goals and can meet with you regularly (at least 4 times a year) to help you keep on track.

There are two ways you can achieve this:

  • Asking someone you trust to work with you in the achievement of the covenant plans you set yourself. This could be your mentor. supervisor coach or spiritual director or a pastoral colleague you trust to encourage, support and challenge you in the fulfilment of your goals; OR
  • Inviting your pastoral cluster or peer group to work with you in the achievement of your covenant plans. This would provide a more collegial process of ongoing input, support and accountability in your desires for healthy and growing ministry.

To enhance the ownership of the church or ministry context in the pastoral leader’s health and development, a pastoral leader may choose to ask a church leader to sign off or hold them accountable to the BUV Pastoral Health & Growth Covenant.

Please click on the link below to complete your own covenant commitments, once completed save the document as a pdf in your files.

BUV Pastoral Health and Growth Covenant

Professional Standards Training

The Baptist Union of Victoria desires that all its churches – and its pastors – live in ways that are consistent with the loving, healing and reconciling work of God. Therefore we ask all our pastoral leaders to know and practise the BUV Code of Ethics for Pastoral Leaders.

Living and leading ethically in church and society with their complex of relationships and expectations is not always simple. In order to support our pastoral leaders, we offer a variety of Professional Standards Workshops whereby we can learn together and support one another in ethical pastoral practice.

In order to maintain BUV accreditation, pastoral leaders in the BUV need to complete at least 1 Professional Standards Workshop each year. This is a minimum requirement; as a commitment to healthy and ethical practice, pastoral leaders may choose to participate in two or more each year.

Click here for an available list of workshops. Professional Standards Workshops


Locate your own PSW

At times pastors in the BUV may locate other courses, conferences and workshops they would like to complete as a recognised PSW. The Professional Standards Group determines if events can be recognised as PSWs. The key criterion here is that the course, conference or workshop must have some clear correspondence to some aspect of the BUV Code of Ethics for Pastoral Leaders.

If you would like to apply for such recognition, contact Brenda Williams, BUV Professional Standards Worker on Brenda.williams@buv.com.au.