Just spend a few moments talking with Steve Ely, Director of Clergy Development, and there will be no doubt that God is moving and working within the IPHC! After taking the position of Director in June of 2023, Ely was tasked to “revamp” the Ministerial Credentialing Program (MCP) for the whole IPHC. While he has accomplished much in his short tenure, this is by far his biggest task to date.
Until just this year, the individual conferences within the International Pentecostal Holiness Church were responsible for educating, training, and credentialing candidates at their own discretion. While this system has served our churches well for many years, some inevitable problems arose: the inability to relocate from one conference to another and continue in the same track of study, inconsistency in materials or subjects, or simply just not having enough ministers to justify creating or maintaining a School of Ministry within a conference.
When Steve Ely came on as Director of Clergy Development, he worked hard to design a track of study that would exceed expectations for those who would be looking to the IPHC headquarters for leadership in the Ministerial Credentialing Program. Presiding Bishop Beacham praised his efforts: “I worked with Steve for four years when he was the National Youth Director, and I always hoped I would have the opportunity to work with him again. I’m thankful for his vision and effective hard work.”
The MCP is a three-year educational track, with a total of 31 classes, that allows an individual to seek ordination within the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. Each class, depending on subject matter, can be completed within four to six weeks. The program is designed in such a way that allows for the growth and continued education of the candidate. After the completion of the first year, the individual is eligible for the Local Church Minister’s License. Following the second year, the IPHC Minister’s License. Finally, with the completion of the third year, the candidate is eligible for IPHC ordination. Ely stated that the “system was built with flexibility in mind, allowing for the moderator to facilitate meetings online.” With excellence, many of the courses were videoed at Jagged Rock in Franklin Springs.
Six conferences have already been working with the new system, operating as a “pilot” program. The Heartland, Cornerstone, New Horizons, Great Plains, South Carolina, and Ephesians 4 conferences have admitted candidates to participate in the first five classes of the MCP to be completed in May. The other conferences will have the opportunity to admit candidates for the new classes that begin in the fall.
When asked what he’s most excited for with the launching of this new system, Steve Ely said “the potential to all be on the same path, that the quality of the classes will be what it needs to be, and that some of our smaller conferences can take part in the MCP (online).”
If you or someone you know is interested in pursuing a license and ordination, or if you just have questions about the IPHC MCP, please visit phpastor.org and click on “Credentials.”