Commissioned Pastors in the Reformed Church in America are individuals who have demonstrated spiritual giftedness and church leadership. Their calling and competencies have been confirmed so that they are credentialed as pastoral leaders in churches and church-related ministries.
Commissioned Pastors are appointed to their positions after being ordained as Elders and demonstrating competency in the areas of
  • Maturity of faith and personal integrity,
  • Understanding of Old and New Testaments, biblical interpretation, Reformed theology, church history
  • Knowledge of and adherence to the Constitution of the Reformed Church in America (the Government, the Standards, and the Liturgy),
  • Ability to preach, teach, and administer the sacraments
  • Capability to provide organizational leadership that includes adherence to pastoral ethics and practices.

Commissioned Pastors are Elders who are trained, commissioned, and supervised by a classis (regional group of churches) for a specific ministry within that classis that includes the preaching of the Word and the celebration of the sacraments. For information about communication and accountability during admission and training, click here.

Commissioned Pastors serve in positions such as worship leaders, youth pastors, church planters, ministers of congregational care, lead pastors, directors of discipleship, bi-vocational pastors who lead smaller churches, outreach coordinators and others.

Commissioned Pastors complete a course of study that acknowledges existing competencies and enhances competencies that need strengthening. The following links connect with Steps for Becoming a Commissioned Pastor and Educational Issues, Values, and Design.

For more information about Commissioned Pastors from the RCA denominational web site, click here. Commissioned Pastors are accountable to a regional group know as a “classis.” For more information about the church government in the Reformed Church in America, click here. Commissioned Pastor Handbook of the Synod of the Great Lakes which includes application forms is attached and may be downloaded.

Participant profiles and portfolios are located at (before September, 2012) or at (after September, 2012).

For additional resources, click here.