The mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church can only find its fulfillment through the ministries practiced by local congregations. It is in these congregations that people hear and then proclaim the everlasting gospel of redemption found in Jesus Christ. It is here that members who are nurtured as disciples, look forward to our Savior’s soon return. This is God’s church and its members are God’s people--gifted for the purpose of doing ministry.
Among God’s people are those called specifically to pastoral ministry. Their response and commitment to ministry are encouraged and guided by the church. Included with their calling is an education process providing basic training necessary to meet the professional expectations for ministry. The church shall help them affirm their call as well as provide resources for the development of professional skills needed to perform ministry.
Preparing for serving as a professional pastor in the North American Division takes about ten years. Candidates should plan on taking an undergraduate bachelor of arts in religion or theology, a Master of Divinity Degree, followed by an internship in a church setting leading up to ordination/commissioning. A lifetime of learning follows through continuing education.