In this post I am sharing from the 2017 United Pentecostal Church Manual, Article VII, Section 2. It is the same as it appeared going back to at least the 2005 Manual, with the exception of #7, where the part about preterism was added in the 2006 edition. The second sentence in #4 was added in 2016. In addition, for #11, it used to say the “Foreign Missionary” Board or District instead of “Global”. In 2011 they changed the name of the division and this was reflected in the 2012 Manual.

This section of the UPCI Manual covers the requirements for ministerial license or ordination and is shared in its entirety. Besides these set by the organization, each District is at liberty to add their own additional requirements. The organization has three levels of licensing: local, general and ordination. Each have their own requirements, but those listed below are for any of the three. The reading requirements have changed over the years and were last revised as of January 2017 and added required video viewing at an additional cost. As a side note, the only Bible colleges endorsed by the UPCI are their own.

1. Anyone desiring to be affiliated with the United Pentecostal Church International must believe in the Oneness of God as taught in Mark 12:29, John 14:6-11, and I Timothy 3:16; must have the baptism of the Holy Ghost with the initial sign of speaking with other tongues as in Acts 2:4, 10:46, and 19:1-6; must have been baptized by immersion in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, as in Acts 2:38; must be living a holy and godly life according to the Scriptures as described in the Articles of Faith of the United Pentecostal Church International; and must believe in, teach, and preach the same.

2. The acceptance, deferral, or rejection of any application shall be the prerogative of the District Board.

3. An application must be properly completed, all questions being carefully answered. The same must be endorsed by a majority of the District Board including the District Superintendent.

(a) All applicants who reside and/or labor in unorganized districts shall be examined by the District Superintendent and District Secretary who in turn shall refer their decision to the Executive Board for final decision.

4. All applicants shall be required to appear before their District Board for examination, having made application at least sixty (60) days prior to meeting the Board and must have met any training or seminar requirements set forth by their District Board. The sixty (60) day time frame may be adjusted by a district at its discretion. [Added in 2016 Manual.] The applicants must have the recommendation of their local pastor, having proven themselves faithful to their home church. In the event that they have no local pastor, the matter shall be left to the discretion of the District Board.

5. All applicants shall be willing to submit to questioning and, if necessary, investigation by the District Board relative to their financial stewardship.

6. No minister shall be permitted to hold license or ordination with any other religious organization or association. Exceptions to this rule shall be made in the case of ministers residing where they cannot receive proper governmental recognition without belonging to an organization in that country. In such a case, special permission shall be obtained from the Executive or General Board, in writing, for said ministers to belong to an organization in that country for this purpose only.

7. License or Certificate of Ordination shall not be issued to anyone who teaches the doctrine of unconditional eternal security, and/or annihilation of the wicked dead, and/or the divine (or heavenly) flesh of Christ, (defined as that the flesh of Jesus Christ had no biological or genetic relationship to other human beings), and/or all forms of preterism. (Please see the pertinent position paper for a more detailed definition.) [Preterism was added in the 2006 edition.]

8. All applications and all information submitted with the applications, together with the action of the District Board, shall become the property of the organization.

9. All applicants must have completed at least one (1) year in a Bible college endorsed by the United Pentecostal Church International (see paragraph 10) or have completed the required reading schedule established by the General Board. The required reading schedule may be obtained from the District Board or from the office of the General Secretary. All applicants, including Bible college students, must read the Bible through at each level of ministry and must read the Manual of the United Pentecostal Church International.

10. If the applicant has attended a Bible college endorsed by the United Pentecostal Church International, the applicant must request the respective college to send the Bible College Report by certified mail, return receipt requested, from the college to the District Superintendent. This report must be received and reviewed by the District Board before a license can be granted. The Bible college shall comply with this request within sixty (60) days. If no report is received within this time period, it is assumed the applicant is in good standing with the Bible college.

11. Any US or Canadian citizen residing in a foreign field and desiring ministerial license or credentials shall be examined by the Regional Director and the Missionary Superintendent of the particular field in which he or she is residing and laboring. The names of all applicants endorsed by the Regional Director and the Missionary Superintendent shall be forwarded to the Global Missions Board [This used to be called the Foreign Missionary Board] for its decision. Notification shall be given to the District Superintendent where the applicant previously resided.

(a) All applicants in a Global Missions District shall meet the requirements of Article VII, Sections 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.

(b) All national ministers residing and laboring outside North America shall be examined and granted license or credentials by their respective national church only.

To read the position paper on preterism, adopted in 2005, go here. To read the position paper on the humanity of Jesus, adopted in 2004, go here.

To be continued…

United Pentecostal Church Manual Part 2
United Pentecostal Church Manual Part 1