The Board of Ministry is a group of men and women appointed from Baptist churches across Scotland whose primary task is to discern if God is calling people to serve as accredited ministers.
It is our belief that a call to ministry is a call to servant leadership in the life and mission of God’s people. Such a call usually begins with a sense of God’s leading by the individual concerned – but that is not all there is to it. Disciples of Jesus belong in community and it is important that a person’s local congregation recognises that call also. Typically they will do this through their knowledge of the character, gifts and potential they see in him or her.
When a person is commended by their local church for ministry, the Board of Ministry acts on behalf of our family of Baptist churches to explore with them whether they are called and equipped to become accredited ministers.
The Board meets three times a year, in January, May and August. Candidates for accredited ministry complete a detailed application process and are then invited to meet members of the Board for a whole day. During this time, in an atmosphere of prayer and openness, the Board members will seek to get to know the candidate through questioning, presentation, Bible study and group exercises. In this way, the Board seeks to discern if a person is called to accredited ministry. If the response is positive, a person may be required to undertake further training in particular areas, depending on the experience and qualifications they already possess.
Once a person has been accepted by the Board and has been called to ministry in a local church, or another recognised ministry such as chaplaincy or pioneering ministry, they begin the three-year period of pre-accredited ministry. During this time they receive a high level of support from a mentor and from the National Team, through the provision of conferences, retreats and annual supervision.
On successful completion of the pre-accredited period, the Board commend ministers to the Baptist churches as fully-accredited and this is celebrated at our annual Baptist Assembly in an act of recognition and the awarding of a certificate of accreditation.