What is Commissioning?
Policies and Guidelines for Commissioned Members of FCM
The Federation of Christian Ministries responds to the Divine Call by empowering and nurturing those inspired for inclusive ministries.
The Federation of Christian Ministries (FCM) provides its members with opportunities for public ministry through its process of Commissioning. Only FCM members may apply for FCM Commissioning. In FCM all members are equal and without distinction. Commissioned or not commissioned, all have equal dignity and value.
Candidates deadlines for Commissioning applications and Background checks January 5, 2024
Commissioning is the recognition of a call to public ministry by a community of believers. This ministry may include witnessing marriages, providing pastoral care as a chaplain, administering sacraments/ordinances, leading worship, or other forms of public ministry. FCM understands commissioning to constitute an ordination. This ordination is signified by the “laying on of hands” for those who have not been previously ordained in another tradition. The authorization to minister on behalf of FCM is valid as long as the individual remains in good standing and the annual requirements for faculties are maintained. This initial authorization may be signified by a ceremony that includes an anointing.
What is the process?
INSTRUCTIONS FOR COMPLETING THE COMMISSIONING APPLICATION PROCESS:
Before completing the online application in Realm, please read the FCM Constitution and By-Laws section on commissioning as well as the Commissioning Policy Standards, FCM Ethics Statement and the Professional Practices Statement. These documents can be found on the FCM website in the section “About FCM”.
If you have not already done so, reach out to your Regional VP to express your intent to apply for Commissioning. Contact information for the Regional VP’s can be found here:
1. COMMISSIONING APPLICATION AND PAYMENT
Log into your Realm account to complete the Commissioning application. You can find the 2023 Commissioning Application under “Events”
(Application fee of $100.00 plus a background search fee of $ 60.00.)
Don’t forget to click the “Background Check Fee” under “Additional Items”.
After you complete the online application, you will need to complete the other steps of the Commissioning process which are listed below. A document with these steps will be emailed to you by Bill Appleton, the FCM Administrator from the email account. Once you have all of the Commissioning materials you will send one email with the completed document along with the attachments noted in the document.
2. BACKGROUND CHECK
After submitting payment with your Commissioning Application through Realm you will receive an email from Verified First. This email will provide additional instructions on how to initiate the background check.
3. LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION
(Please submit each letter of recommendation as a separate attachment when emailing your materials.)
Provide three (3) letters of recommendation, at least one from an active FCM member.
4. MINISTERIAL COLLEAGUE
The name of an active FCM member to serve as your ministerial colleague. It is strongly recommended that the ministerial colleague be a FCM member with whom you can exchange ministry concerns and mutually assist in professional/spiritual growth. You should reflect seriously on the selection of a ministerial colleague. Your colleague should serve as a mentor in the early stages of your commissioning.
5. STATEMENT OF MINISTERIAL SELF-UNDERSTANDING (1 page)
Provide a statement of your understanding of ministry which includes a description of your reason for seeking FCM commissioning, and how you plan to maintain your community relationship with FCM.
6. STATEMENT OF PROFESSIONAL SKILLS AND EDUCATION/TRAINING
Provide an additional statement of your professional skills and education/ training already attained or a plan to acquire them. Your regional vice president will determine the suitability of your academic, pastoral, and personal qualifications. This determination may be made in consultation with the Commissioning Chair. A lack of education or ministerial preparedness may require further study, course work, or obtaining a certificate of ministry preparation from an approved college, university, or seminary. Any program of study must be approved by your regional vice president in consultation with the Circle of Directors.
7. UPDATED RESUME
8. PHOTO (Please submit as a separate attachment.)
Provide a headshot photo of yourself in jpeg format.
9. COMMISSIONING CEREMONY
At some convenient time, there should be a Commissioning Ceremony as a visible expression of the Commission of the newly commissioned member. Ideally, this ceremony could take place at the FCM Assembly, but it may also be an informal celebration with one’s ministerial colleagues. Documentation of, or plans for, this ceremony must be made in consultation with the regional vice president.
**Commissioning materials must be received one month before the next semi-annual Circle of Director’s meeting. Applications received after the stipulated time will be processed at the following Circle meeting. For Circle meeting dates consult the Vice-President in your region.
Who may apply for commissioning?
Commissioning is open to all FCM members. However, the presentation of the materials does not in itself assure that the member will be commissioned.
The decision to Commission rests with the Circle of Directors at one of its semiannual meetings.
How long does the process take?
Once the applicant's requirements for commissioning have been met, the applicant's name will be submitted for approval at the next meeting of the Circle of Directors. There is no minimum waiting period either to begin the process or to be Commissioned beyond awaiting the next meeting of the Circle of Directors.
What is required to maintain FCM authorization to function as an FCM Minister?
To maintain one's authorization to function as a minister in the name of FCM, a Commissioned member must submit his or her dues and an annual report in a timely manner.
A person's Commission can be revoked at any time. However, this is quite rare, usually involving a violation of FCM's code of ethics, the professional standards of the agency served, or the laws of conduct of legal entities of the locality of the minister.
Reasonable accommodations for family leave and other temporary absences will be made by the regional vice president.
What else do I need to know?
Commissioning is the official authorization by FCM that the commissioned member is in good standing with FCM.
A commissioned member who witnesses a marriage acts as a civil official as well as a minister of FCM and is responsible to conform to all the legal requirements for witnessing a marriage in that locality.
Baptisms performed by a Commissioned member must be recorded on the FCM site [www.fcmregistry.org]
Commissioned members are responsible for their own liability insurance.
Does FCM recognize the ordinations of other Christian denominations?
FCM will recognize the ordination of a candidate for commissioning when acceptable documentation of the ordination is presented to the regional vice president. In this case the FCM commissioning procedure is followed, and concludes with the grant of faculties/authorization-to-minister. The entire commissioning process is followed in order to provide the confidence of granting faculties based on a process with all due diligence.
To apply for Commissioning login to area.