Explanation of Ministerial Credentials and Clergy
Are you “called” by God to counsel and want to be licensed?
Many individuals who inquire about the N.C.C.A.’s training program are already accountably ordained ministers under the authority of their local church or denomination. These individuals can complete the requirements and be licensed at the corresponding pastoral license for their level of attained education. In many states, they can counsel and accept remuneration for this service (in accordance with state and local guidelines) without being affiliated with any state agency or without being state licensed. Some states do require the clergy counselor to carry out their counseling under the sponsor- ship of a church or denomination to which they remain accountable. This is because the laws governing counseling in most states exempt “Clergy” from submitting to its (the state’s) authority. You will need to make sure that your ministerial credentials and relationship to your church or denomination meet the requirements of licensing exemption in your state.
What about the others – those individuals who are not credentialed ministers or pastors? The call to counsel is just as real for them. They may not want o be state licensed and most certainly do not want to relinquish their right to represent Jesus Christ in their counseling ministry. They just want to answer and fulfill God’s call on their lives.
Indeed, some are called to the high office of the pastorate. These persons should be credentialed (set aside) by a church or a denomination and approved to perform all the duties of the pastorate, including the dispensation of the sacraments (giving Holy Communion and Baptizing).
However, there are many other types of Ministers or Clergy, for example, Ministers of Music, Chaplains, Ministers of Administration, Missionaries, Youth Ministers, Evangelists, Pastoral Counselors or Bishops. All of these offices are understood by the state and federal government to be “Clergy.”
The Ministry of Counseling is a valid ministry which is instituted by God and is manifest in Jesus Christ, our “Wonderful Counselor.” The call into this ministry is an awesome call which cannot be easily ignored.
Perhaps you are not called to pastor a church or to give holy communion or to baptize. However, if you are called by God into the ministry of counseling, we can help you. You do not specifically have to be ordained; you may seek to qualify to be commissioned as a Commissioned Minister of Counseling through your church or denomination. This will help to open the doors for you to accept God’s call on your life.
Your local church/denomination may be authorized to commission you as a Commissioned Minister of Pastoral Counseling and we recommend that you speak with your local pastor or church leadership about this possibility.
Please do not reject God’s call and His anointing on your life because you are fearful of the words “Clergy,” “Ordained,” “Commissioned” or “Minister.” These precious words refer to those “set aside” for the specific ministry for which God has called you.
Our mission is to help you fulfill your call.