As Protestants, Baptists have historically selected lay ministers, without any specific educational requirements beyond the minister’s gravity of Baptist polity, distinctives, articles of faith, systematic theology, and the candidate’s saving faith. While ordination requirements vary, each denomination tends to have a two-tier process that begins with licensure for Gospel ministry, then ordination.
Ordaining for ministry in Buddhism is somewhat distinct from the ordination track of various other religions and their denominations. For one thing, because Buddhism includes many different traditions, lineages and cultures from around the world, and there is no one standard ordination process for Buddhist “clergy.”
In the Jewish tradition, one becomes a rabbi after receiving “smicha,” or ordination, from the rabbinical seminaries of the different movements of American Judaism (Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, Orthodox), from an independent rabbinical school, or privately from an individual rabbi.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America needs needs thoughtful, imaginative, wellprepared and practical leaders to guide the church as it makes its way, as the morning prayer says, “on paths untrodden.” It needs leaders who have diverse backgrounds and connections. It needs leaders who are equally well-versed in scripture, theology, politics, and service to the community and the world.
Although, there are many requirements for ordination in the Pentecostal Denomination, each student must have a clear understanding of the history, doctrine, principals and practice of Pentecostal believers.
In the Presbyterian Church (USA), those interested in exploring a call to ordained ministry enter a discernment relationship with their presbytery’s CPM (Committee for the Preparation of Ministry). The person needs first to be endorsed by the session of the Presbyterian Church (USA) church where he or she is a member, and then received by the CPM. (S/he needs to have been active in that congregation for at least six months before being endorsed.)
Ordained Unitarian Universalist (UU) ministers serve in many capacities as ministers, educators, chaplains, advocates and activists in congregational settings and in the community at large. All who wish to be ordained must complete these requirements.
Imagine yourself preparing to tell the “old, old story” and in the same moment, being welcomed into an interfaith story. Imagine listening for the Still Speaking God, befriending folks from around the world, and learning in an academically rigorous setting. Imagine having full access to the full resources of a prominent university and nine other nearby graduate theological schools. Imagine an abundance of congregational and non-profit field education settings. All of these opportunities are available to United Church of Christ students at Harvard Divinity School.