Affirm your leaders with a network ordination that propels your process and qualifies your leaders forward.


Ordination is appropriate for those who have a substantial preaching/teaching ministry in a church, parachurch or mission agency, or educational institution, including military chaplains.

The Aspire Network will examine for ordination and recommend to the local church those who have a proven knowledge of Biblical truth and an aptitude for the communication of Biblical truth in their ministries.

The local church may license or ordain persons with specialized ministries not requiring preaching and teaching (e.g., counseling, hospital chaplaincy, worship ministry).

Aspire has outlined recommended standards and procedures for local church licensing or ordination. However, these standards are to be measured by the local church, and the accountability of licensed or locally-ordained individuals is to that local church.

As a partnership of many ethnically- and culturally-diverse churches, the Aspire Network affirms the fact that different cultural groups utilize various processes or steps in credentialing pastoral leaders. The guidelines anticipate that local churches will utilize processes that are appropriate to their cultures for licensing and local examination before sending a candidate to the Aspire Ordination Standards Council.

When a church is interested in recommending an individual proceed with the Aspire Network ordination process, the church pastor or designated official should contact the Aspire team.


Ordination Recognition

We strongly encourage all pastors who lead a covenanting Aspire Network Church to have their ordination recognized by the Aspire Network.

What Does Recognition Mean?

The Aspire Network believes every pastor is accountable to the Lord and, by ordination, is set apart by a congregation for ministry.

  • Recognition of ordination by another Christian body by Aspire is appropriate whenever an Aspire covenanting church calls, as pastor, an individual credentialed by another
    Christian body.
  • Recognition addresses the validity and transferrable standing of a pastor’s ordination outside of the local congregation.
  • Recognition comes from a Council representing the larger Body of Christ, the covenanting churches of the Aspire Network, acting in concert through the Ordination Standards Council to commend the pastor to all the congregations as fully qualified for pastoral leadership by approving a Candidate’s preparation, and examining his/her conversion, call, character,
    convictions and competence.

When an individual is interested in having their ordination recognized by Aspire, they should contact the Aspire team.


The Difference Between Licensing & Ordination

Licensing is a way for the local church to give recognition, authorization and affirmation of a person’s gifts and skills for ministry. Licensing is looked on favorably by other churches, which adds further evidence of the person’s gifts and abilities throughout the covenanting Aspire Network churches.

Licensing is usually granted through the recommendation of a church board to the membership of the church. Licensing is recognition of a number of different ministry specialties and does not need to be limited just to preaching pastors. Like ordination, it is the local church that grants the license, not the Aspire Network.

A license is typically provided to lay persons who have the gift and ability to preach, teach or minister as defined by the church granting the license. The license may either be a step toward ordination or an endorsement of a gifted lay person for ministry within the church.

Generally, a license is called the “Certificate of License for the Gospel Ministry”, and has also been known as a “License to Preach”. Though preaching is a primary focus of pastoral ministry, other gifts may also be recognized by licensing.