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Hi I am starting school at Liberty University this Dec. in religious studies. My goal is to become a preacher. I am not a spring chicken I am 38 years old. I guess I got the call kind of late in life but nevertheless I feel call of god to spread the word of God. I found your website and I hope to use it for gathering information on my journey. Well to get to the point my question is after my 4 years in college how do I become ordained to preach the word. Thank you - Raymond

I know a little about Liberty University, but not a lot. I would not recommend it if you are enrolling in the correspondence program. I do not believe that ministry preparation can effectively take place through a distance program. However, the interaction, fellowship, wisdom, and other things that you would get in an on-campus program will be non-existent. I would highly recommend Harding University's Bible program, particularly the School of Biblical Studies, which is an adult ministry training track for people in your life situation. I would also have reservations about enrolling at Liberty for doctrinal reasons if you are not already grounded in the word. Not everything that is taught in Universities, Ministry Training Schools, or Seminaries are always correct and should always be taken with Biblical discernment.

As for ordination, that is a denominational question. Biblically, there is no warrant for ordination or licensing as is practiced in most denominations. There are off the wall organizations that will charge a fee and "ordain" you as a Christian minister, which I believe is a travesty. There are those with these ordination certificates they purchased passing themselves off as ministers with no training a very little Biblical knowledge. But their ordination certificate gives them that air of crediblity. This is not unlike those places that will give you a college diploma for a fee.

If you strip away all of the denominational baggage from the concept of ordination, you are actually left with an idea that is very Biblical and simple. The "Biblical" idea of ordination stands in stark contrast to the ordination practices of many denominations.

The Bible speaks in terms of "setting apart" or "appointing" people to a specific ministry. For instance, in Acts 13:1-3, Paul and Barnabas were set apart for missionary work. In Titus 1:5, Titus was to "appoint" elders for the church in Crete. The process of appointment usually include one or more of the following: prayer, fasting, and laying of of hands (Acts 6:6; 13:3; 1 Tim 5:22).

What this means is that when a person accepts an invitation to a ministry, whether it be a minister for a church, or a missionary, or to be installed as an elder or deacon, that constitutes ordination. The congregation ordains or "appoints" (to use the Biblical word) a minister, elder, or deacon for their ministry. When they conclude that ministry, their appointment ends until they are appointed to another ministry either at the same congregation or another.

John Telgren
P.O. Box 452
Leavenworth, KS 66048
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