Credentialing Process & Policy

ACC’s Ministerial Leadership Committee (MLC) is responsible for maintaining and granting credentials. The MLC maintains credentials on behalf of local congregations who may request a credential of a member for ministry purposes.

New Credential Process

When an individual and their congregation together decide to pursue a credential, the candidate for credentialing should first complete a Ministry Inquiry Form through Mennonite Church USA. A staff member from the denomination will guide the candidate through the process of completing the Ministry Leadership Information (MLI) form and listing references.

Concurrently, the local congregation should send a letter of request & affirmation to the MLC through the congregation’s conference minister.

Once the letter of recommendation and MLI are complete, an interview will be scheduled with the MLC and the candidate to determine whether a credential will be granted. If granted, the credential is immediately valid for ministry.

Credentialing in ACC’s History

ACC history provides examples where our congregations have had different practices on controversial questions of biblical interpretation. John Rudy’s 2003 history book for the conference titled, Unity and Diversity, illustrates a working relationship of congregations based on unity of belief in the essentials of anabaptist faith along with an accepted diversity in other areas. Through these situations, ACC and its discernment processes have navigated biblical authority, denominational policy, Holy Spirit guidance, and practical considerations.

  1. The devotional covering and plain dress 
  2. Divorce and re-marriage: “Many of our congregations opened their membership to persons who had been divorced and remarried, even though we acknowledged that this position was contrary to our historic practice…. The ACC overseer council put it this way: ‘The Bible is not silent on this issue, but neither do we feel that it speaks clearly what should be done in every situation.” (Page 31 of Unity & Diverstiy, John H. Rudy)
  3. The role of women in church leadership: “In 1987 the ACC Ministerial Commission issued this statement: The commission will respect the position of each congregation or overseer district to call, or not to call for the credentialing of women.”  (Page 31 of Unity & Diverstiy, John H. Rudy)
  4. Whether to discipline a pastor conducting a same sex marriage and whether to grant credentials to those in the LGBTQ+ community: “The Ministerial Leadership Committee will respect the position of each congregation to request, or not to request, the credentialing of an LGBTQ+ person (including someone in a same-gender marriage) and will process the request.” (Statement issued by the MLC in March, 2023).