FCM Commissioning

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 June 12, 2021

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?

The applicant, who is a member of FCM, will provide the following to the regional vice president(s), an officer of the Circle of Directors elected by members in the geographical region of the applicant. This submission of materials is completed through the FCM Realm site: REALM

1. The completed and signed Commissioning Application.

2. Three letters of recommendation, at least one of which is from an active FCM member. If the applicant does not know an active member, it is incumbent upon the regional vice president(s) to facilitate an introduction to a member from the applicant's geographical area. The regional vice president will verify the authenticity of the letters.

3. Criminal background clearances from any state in which the applicant lived must be obtained before being commissioned. This will require an additional fee on the part of the candidate.

4. The name of someone to serve as the candidate's ministerial colleague. It is strongly recommended that the ministerial colleague be an FCM member with whom the commissioned member can exchange ministry concerns and mutually assist in professional/spiritual growth. The candidate should reflect seriously on the selection of a ministerial colleague. This colleague should serve as a mentor in the early stages of one's commissioning.

5. A one-page statement of candidate's ministerial self-understanding, which includes a description of the candidate's reason(s) for seeking FCM commissioning, and how the candidate plans to maintain her/his community relationship with FCM.

6. An additional statement of the candidate's professional skills and education/ training already attained or a plan to acquire them. The regional vice president will determine the suitability of the candidate's 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 such as Global Ministries University. Any program of study must be approved by the regional vice president in consultation with the Circle of Directors.

7. An updated resume.

8. The necessary Commissioning application fee, including the fee for the background check, which can be paid when you complete your application for commissioning.

9. 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 sent to the regional vice president.

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.

Who decides?

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 FCM Members Realm area.