Accreditation is the recognition that a Minister has met an appropriate level of personal, spiritual and leadership formation and is committed to regular external supervision and professional development. This facilitates ongoing development and accountability for Ministers who are recognised as ‘belonging’ within CCVT.
CCVT believes that we will be doing better at developing Leaders when each Minister, supported by their Community (church or agency), is accredited by CCVT for the role they fulfil.
Accreditation includes a commitment by Ministers, again supported by their Community, to lifelong learning. This is expressed through a range of personal and professional development options, including ongoing external supervision and accountability. This is part of CCVT’s commitment to being a safe place for all people who engage with us, as outlined in the CCVT Safe Places Policy . Once a person is in a relevant ministry position, their affiliated church or agency will assist them in applying for accreditation.
How to apply for Accreditation
You enter the accreditation process by completing ONE of these two application forms and following the below:
Frequently Asked Questions About Accreditation
Accreditation is a process that ensures all Ministers in CCVT meet an appropriate level of personal, spiritual, and leadership formation and are supported by participation in regular external supervision and professional development. This will facilitate ongoing development and accountability for Ministers who are recognised as ‘belonging’ within CCVT.
The new accreditation policy is an expression of CCVT both honouring and respecting leadership by inviting churches to provide support and effective professional development including supervision for the Ministers they appoint. At the same time, it is another way of ‘lifting the bar’ on CCVT’s Safe Places culture of safety. In Affinity:2, affiliates commit to “seek CCVT accreditation for all people appointed to formal ministry roles, and the generous provision of support and accountability for them through intentional supervision, professional development, and an active encouragement towards ministry endorsement”.
- Ministers who are appointed to formal ministry roles, paid or unpaid, need to be accredited. For example, Senior Pastors, Ministers, Associate Pastors, Families/Children’s Pastors, Youth Ministers, Chaplains, Church Planters, and Student Ministers. Ministers will be listed in the “People in Ministry” section in the CCVT directory.
- Retired Ministers who wish to retain their marriage licence and endorsement status. They will need to have active membership in an affiliate and be available for casual, interim or itinerant ministry.
- Ministers in an agreed secondment position. For example, ministering in a church in another denomination or an agency/organisation not affiliated with CCVT.
- Any staff who receive a minister’s remuneration package.
You need to complete an accreditation application form. Your referees will be contacted for a written reference. You will then be invited to attend an interview with two people nominated by CCVT. The interview team will identify any issues and required actions. Once it has been agreed that you meet the minimum requirements for Accreditation, as set out in the policy on page 17, you will be accredited by the CCVT Board or their delegate and issued with an accreditation card.
There is no cost to apply for accreditation. However, there are some costs associated with meeting the minimum requirements for accreditation. The list below is indicative of costs in 2018 payable for the required checks or workshops.
- National Police Check (around $50)
- Working With Children Check (Vic employee $121.40, Tas employee $108.50)
- NCCA Safe Church Awareness Workshop ($35)
- Staying Healthy in Ministry Workshop Part A ($50)
- Staying Healthy in Ministry Workshop Part B ($35)
- Introduction to Churches of Christ Identity Workshop ($60)
- Introduction to Theological and Spiritual Formation Workshop ($60)
(All amounts correct at time of writing, but are subject to change without notice)
In 2017 the Recommended Minimum Remuneration for People in Ministry in CCVT included a recommended provision by churches for Professional Development, including supervision, of 1% of the total annual remuneration (non-exempt and exempt components excluding long service leave and superannuation) in 2017/18, moving to 2% in 2018/19. The church or agency needs to clearly communicate with the Minister about who will pay for the costs associated with accreditation.
Yes, if a Minister has completed a theological qualification, such as a Certificate IV in Christian Ministry or higher (eg Diploma, Bachelor Degree, Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Masters) then they do not need to complete the Introduction to Theological and Spiritual Formation workshop. CCVT recognises all previous theological study in any denomination.
Many of the requirements of accreditation were part of the endorsement process that you have already completed, such as learning about Churches of Christ Identity, theological training and demonstrating desired ministry characteristics. Therefore, you need to complete the accreditation application form for endorsed Ministers, which is a shorter form. You will not need to provide referees or take part in an interview. Once you have met the minimum requirements for accreditation as set out in the policy on page 17, you will be accredited by the CCVT Board or their delegate and issued with an accreditation card.
If you have completed an Endorsement application form in the past 3 years, then you can complete the shorter accreditation application form for endorsed Ministers. If you have provided a National Police Check to CCVT in the past 3 years you do not need to complete this again. If you have not completed an Endorsement application form in the past 3 years then you will need to complete the accreditation application form. As you are currently in the Endorsement process your referees will be contacted if they have not yet been contacted in relation to Endorsement. You may need to attend an accreditation interview.
Under the new accreditation policy, Affiliated Churches and agencies are responsible for ensuring that all existing and new Ministers complete an accreditation application form. You need to complete the first page of the Accreditation application form. You may wish to appoint an Elder or equivalent leader from your Church or Agency to attend the accreditation interview with each Minister. You need to ensure that Ministers are fulfilling their ongoing requirements of Accreditation for professional development and regular external supervision. Lastly you need to report on whether your Ministers have fulfilled their ongoing requirements of accreditation each year in the annual CCVT census.
If an affiliated church or agency maintains the appointment of a Minister who is not accredited after October 2019 there may be insurance implications (such as different premiums or modified assessment of ministry-related claims). Any existing Minister who has a marriage licence and is not accredited by October 2019 will have that marriage licence cancelled. Any existing Minister who is Endorsed and is not accredited by October 2019 will have their Endorsement cancelled.
You need to participate in 40 hours of professional development each year (pro rata with a minimum of one day for people who work part time) and maintain a record of the professional development and supervision that you complete each year. You also need to let your church/agency know whether you have met your requirements so they can include that information in the annual CCVT census.
Yes, if you are appointed to a formal ministry role, you need to complete the accreditation application form and meet the minimum requirements for accreditation. Once you are accredited you will need to participate in professional development and supervision but the number of hours you need to complete is less (pro rata of 40 hours with a minimum of one day). For example, if you are working 0.5 of a full-time role, you would only need to complete 20 hours of professional development (including supervision).
If you are a retired Minister who is Endorsed, you need to complete the accreditation application form for endorsed Ministers, which is a shorter form. If you are not Endorsed, you need to complete the accreditation application form. Retired Ministers need to be an active member of a local Church of Christ and available for casual, interim or itinerant ministry.
Casual ministry is where a retired Minister is active in their local church and preaches a few times a year, supervises or mentors other Ministers and does some weddings. Interim ministry is where a retired Minister fills a key ministry role in a church in a time of transition. Itinerant ministry is where a retired Minister is invited to preach sermons in many different churches, sometimes in other denominations.
The purpose of the interview is to understand your strengths and areas for growth in relation to your ministry and understanding of CCVT and the minimum requirements for accreditation. You may wish to bring an elder or equivalent leader from your Church or Agency to the interview.
Accreditation expires in three years. Towards the end of three years, the accredited Minister will receive a review form and if they continue to meet the minimum requirements, the accreditation card will be re-issued for another 3 years.
Professional Development includes attendance at the CCVT Summit, formal tertiary studies, seminars and workshops, supervision, spiritual direction, mentoring, conferences and retreats. Ministers who wish to be accredited are asked to commit to participate in 40 hours of professional development each year (pro rata with a minimum of one day for people who work part time).
Regular external supervision is where a Minister meets with a supervisor who is outside their place of work on a regular basis, usually once a month. Supervision needs to include: discerning God’s calling on your life, reviewing your personal spiritual life, self-evaluation of ministry practice and family life, theological reflection and accountability to the CCVT Code of ethics. Supervision is different in focus to mentoring and spiritual direction. If you want help finding a suitable supervisor please contact CCVT on 03 9488 8800.
An agreed secondment position is where the church, agency or organization that is not affiliated with CCVT is employing the Minister because they are a Minister with CCVT. There is an understanding by the employing organization that the Minister will retain their links to CCVT and the Minister is still accountable to the CCVT Code of Ethics for Ministers . It is an agreed secondment position because the church, agency or organization has corresponded with CCVT and it has been agreed in writing that the Minister is on secondment and the length of time the secondment will last before the Minister return to CCVT.
In the CCVT Safe Places Policy the minimum training requirement is for the Chair of the governing body, the Senior Minister/Leader, the Safety Contact Person, and the person responsible for children’s ministry at each Affiliate must attend a National Council of Churches of Australia (NCCA) Safe Church Awareness Workshop. In the Accreditation and Endorsement of People in Ministry Policy we decided to extend this requirement to apply to all accredited Ministers to demonstrate our commitment to creating a culture of safety.
The CCVT Staying Healthy in Ministry Seminar is a one day seminar that equips Ministers to grow healthy congregational ministry and maintain their own health. Topics covered include issues of power and boundaries, healthy ministry practices and Ministerial Code of Ethics. As Churches of Christ in Victoria and Tasmania, we are committed to ensuring that our churches are safe places for all people, where each person can truly and safely experience a community of hope and compassion. We hope Ministers attending this training will gain useful insights into the dynamics of power and boundaries be better equipped to Minister wisely and safely. If you have already done this seminar, you do not need to do it again.
It is important for all Ministers in CCVT to understand the history of Churches of Christ and how the identity of Churches of Christ has evolved over time. CCVT has developed a short workshop on this topic for Ministers who want to be accredited. Alternatively, Ministers can choose to do the “Churches of Christ Identity” unit through Stirling Theological College or the “Restoration History” Unit through the Australian College of Ministries (ACOM). Doing one of the in-depth units is a good idea if the Minister is also planning to become endorsed, as it is a requirement of endorsement.
It is important for all Ministers to have a framework for theological reflection and an understanding of spiritual formation as a basis for their ministry. Accreditation does not require a Minister to undertake theological study, so the Introduction to Theological and Spiritual Formation workshop provides an overview of these topics for people who have not completed any theological study. If a Minister has completed a theological qualification, such as a Certificate IV in Christian Ministry or higher they do not need to complete the Introduction to Theological and Spiritual Formation workshop.
Yes, anyone who has done some leadership training with CCVT, such as Propel or The Few do not need to do an Introduction to Churches of Christ Identity Workshop or an Introduction to Theological and Spiritual Formation workshop as these topics were covered in the training.
In Victoria, all Ministers who have some contact with children (eg child present in their congregation) are required by law to have a Working With Children Check. If they are paid as a Minister it needs to be an Employee check.
In Tasmania, anyone who works with children in a religious service or activity needs a Working with Vulnerable People (Children) check. If they are paid as a Minister it needs to be an Employee check.
To get a Victorian Working With Children Check go to: workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au/home
To get a Tasmanian Working with Vulnerable People (Children) check go to: justice.tas.gov.au/working_with_children
The Working with Children Check and a Police Check are different checks.
The Working with Children Check determines if a person poses a risk to the safety of children. The Check screens a person’s criminal records and some other sources and focuses on serious sexual, violent and drug offences.
The National Police Check is a list of offences, at a given point in time. The offences include all types of offences that the Minister has been convicted or found guilty of, as well as any pending charges. This includes offences, such as fraud, which would not be considered in the Working with Children Check.
There are a number of different providers that you can use to get a National Police Check. Examples are Victoria Police, Australia Post, CV Check, National Crime Check. Most of these have online forms that can be completed. If you have a National Police Check that was issued for another purpose within the last 3 years, that can also be used for accreditation.
CCVT accepts a VIT card instead of a Working With Children Check. A Minister with a VIT card will still need to provide a National Police Check.
- CCVT processes your application and identifies any outstanding requirements.
- Your referees will be contacted, unless you are already Endorsed.
- You will be invited to come to an accreditation interview, unless you are already Endorsed. You are encouraged to bring an elder or equivalent leader from your church/agency for support.
- The accreditation interview may identify some outstanding requirements.
- Once any outstanding requirements have been addressed, you will be Accredited by the CCVT Board or their delegate and issued with an Accreditation card.
After you have your accreditation card you can apply for a marriage licence. Please note CCVT’s Recognition of Ministers as Marriage Celebrants policy is currently being revised to align with the Accreditation and Endorsement of People in Ministry Policy.
Currently, to get a marriage licence Ministers need to:
- be accredited;
- provide a letter from your church or agency supporting your application for a marriage licence;
- complete a Marriage Celebrant Training Seminar; and
- complete a nomination form, which can be requested from CCVT by contacting the Leadership Team or calling 03 9488 8800.
When you finish in your ministry position you will retain your accreditation, endorsement and marriage licence (if relevant) for a year. If you start a new ministry position within the year, you need to inform CCVT of the change and your accreditation will continue. If you are actively seeking placement within CCVT your accreditation will continue. If at the end of the year you are not in a new ministry position and are not actively seeking placement within CCVT, then your accreditation, endorsement and marriage licence will lapse.
When you retire you will retain your accreditation, endorsement and marriage licence (if relevant) for six months. At the end of six months you will be asked if you are an active member of a local Church of Christ and available for casual, interim or itinerant ministry. If you are, then you can retain your accreditation, endorsement and marriage licence. If you do not meet these requirements, then your accreditation, Endorsement and marriage licence will lapse.