Exploring the call of pastoral leadership with Baptist Churches SA & NT.

We are eager to identify and encourage women and men who are being called to be pastoral leaders in the life, ministry, and mission of our church communities. 

If you’re exploring such a calling, the following information will provide some guidelines for discerning a path forward to enter into that calling. While every person who engages with us is evaluated on an individual basis, there is a ‘base-line’ pathway that forms the framework for our discernment.

Completion of a Bachelor of Ministry, Master of Divinity, or equivalent is the usual, necessary foundation for ministry leadership in a Baptist church.

Within this, the following units of study are recommended: 

Biblical studies 

Including Old Testament and New Testament overviews, hermeneutics, and two exegesis subjects. 


Including an introductory subject, church history, and two further subjects. 


Including preaching, leadership, a cultural awareness subject, a local mission subject, two pastoral care subjects and at least two semesters of Supervised Field Education. 

In South Australia, many of our candidates complete their degrees at either Tabor or Bible College SA.

We encourage those who are considering future accreditation with BCSANT to connect with our Ministry Accreditation Facilitator or Leadership Development Facilitator while they are studying. 

Accredited Ministry Formation  

This process gives attention to: 

Head: A body of knowledge 

Learning via formal courses (four post-graduate intensives taken for credit or audit), peer group, coaching, and ministry experience. 

Hands: Competencies 

Ministry skills are developed, working with an experienced AMF Coach, with attention paid to 4 particular areas: 

  • Pastoral care 
  • Leadership 
  • Communication/Self-leadership 
  • Mission 

Heart: Character and Spiritual Formation 

Attention is given to the whole person in ministry: who you are, and who you are becoming. This is about intentional formation via a range of means, including Spiritual Direction, attention to spiritual disciplines, prayer retreats, theological reflection, exploration of character growth and emotional intelligence. 

Normally a candidate takes a minimum of 2-3 years to engage all the elements of this process in a satisfactory manner. 

The Application process for Accredited Ministry Formation involves: 

  1. Ministry Context in a local BCSANT church 
  2. Written responses from the applicant
  3. References from key leaders
  4. Interview with BCSANT’s Accreditation and Ordination Committee
  5. Psychological Assessment 

Contact our Ministry Accreditation Facilitator to find out more or request an application pack.

Accreditation Currency is about ongoing formation and transformation for our pastors and the communities they serve. The purpose of whatever is done under the banner of Accreditation Currency is that it would have the effect of deepening: 

  • Character: growing maturity in character and spiritual formation 
  • Knowledge: increasing abilities to think biblically, clearly, creatively, and compassionately 
  • Competence: developing best practice ministry skills 
  • Leadership: growing capacity to lead people, teams, and communities 

It is the desire of BCSANT’s Accreditation and Ordination Committee to see:

  • A level of measurability and accountability in the interest of Pastoral health, and a duty of care for our church communities 
  • Greater clarity in terms of a generalised standard concerning Professional Development requirements 
  • An embodiment of the desire for holistic development according to vocation (as opposed to a box-ticking exercise) 

With this in mind, we have moved away from our previous three-yearly accreditation renewal process to ongoing Accreditation Currency.   

Every 12 months the following are required: 

  • Acceptance of BCSANT Declarations 
  • Personal Reflection and Planning 
  • Eight sessions of Professional Supervision 
  • 22 Hours of Professional Development 
  • Maintenance of ethics, compliance, and legislation commitments 

Here are some of the Professional Development ideas we recommend

Further reading

This policy outlines the categories, criteria and process for becoming accredited with BCSANT. The Accreditation & Ordination committee are in the process of updating this BCSA document to reflect both South Australia and the Northern Territory.

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Read BCSANT’s statement on Accreditation and Divorce here.

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Read our statement on the accreditation and ordination of women here.

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Read our statement on Sexuality and Accreditation here.

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