Please be aware that this is a multistep process. We have done our best to make the steps clear; but if at any time you have questions, please contact us by phone or email. If you have not already completed a registration form and received a password, you will need to apply after reading the instructions below. The registration form should be filled out completely and accurately. A short time after you register, you will be given a password to access a contact personal profile (found under “Account”) which must be completed and submitted for review by the Office of Outreach Ministries. Usually within two to three business days, you will receive an email regarding the status of your application. If it has been approved, you will receive rights to post ministry positions and view resume books which will enable you to view the profiles of our graduates who are seeking the type of position your church is trying to fill. Each of these men will also have the opportunity to view your church’s ministry position posting. If you choose to enter information into the church profile (a standard form provided by our server), this information will also be visible to the candidates in our system. This is an optional form. The Church Profile gives our office and prospective candidates a basic introduction to your church. By allowing both parties (the church and the prospective candidate) to see each other’s forms, an initial evaluation can be made to see if there is good reason to pursue obtaining more information directly from each other.
Viewing the Resumes of Prospective Candidates
Once the Contact Profile has been approved and you have received an email containing your church’s unique login and password, you will need to post the ministry position you are seeking to fill. Click on the “Ministry Positions” tab and then “Add New.” Once your ministry position posting has been submitted and approved, you may log in at any time to view the profiles of potential candidates. After logging in, simply click on the “Resume Books” tab. You will see the resume book which fits the ministry position you have posted. Within the resume book are all the candidates who are looking for that type of position on our system. To view and/or print each resume, click on the resume icon of the individual that you would like to view. You may also click the magnifying glass under “Portfolio” if the individual has filled out a portfolio. This lists more detailed information about the candidate. The list of men that you see will be continually updated as we receive new profiles and as men find places of service and are no longer available. To our best knowledge, the list of men available to you will be as current as possible.
Only those men who have been approved through our office will be able to apply to your ministry position posting. We do attach the information in your contact profile to your ministry position posting so that the men have access to a general overview of your church. Only general information you have entered into the church profile will be shown. If you have a particular need to have this information withheld, please contact Church Staffing Services for assistance. We ask you to use the men’s personal portfolios and other information with care and confidentiality. It will likely be necessary for you to print out various resumes for use by the search committee seeking to fill a position. However, this information should not be shared with the church in general or with others outside your search committee and certainly not with others outside your church. Most men retain their current ministry position while seeking another ministry position. It is important that their availability for a change in ministry be known only to the search committee and that this knowledge be held in strict confidence by each committee member. If a committee member needs to check a reference with a man’s present ministry, he should obtain permission from the prospective candidate first. Of course, if the candidate has provided a list of references, then it can be assumed that it is fine to contact those individuals without additional personal permission.
Keeping Your Profile Active
The ministry position posting will automatically become inactive after 180 days unless you choose for it to remain active. You will receive an email one week in advance to let you know that you must choose to either extend your posting or indicate that someone has taken the position. Specific instructions will be included in the email. Important note: If you change your email address, please update your profile so that you will continue to receive these email notifications. You may update your church profile or ministry position posting at any time by logging in and editing the appropriate field. Be sure to click “Submit” or “Save Changes” or your changes will be lost.
We suggest that you contact candidates as soon as possible if you would like additional material from them. You may want to request a brief doctrinal statement and perhaps a sermon recording. Please communicate with them in some way, even if by means of a form letter or a brief email. Often the men get discouraged by endless waiting for churches to contact them. Some of the men may contact you if they are genuinely interested in pursuing your opportunity. We encourage them to do so. You may want to send a questionnaire to a prospective candidate who is under serious consideration. It can be very time-consuming for every man to complete a lengthy questionnaire as a routine matter, however, so we advise churches to send them only to a very few serious prospects.
Each church will carry out its candidating procedure according to its own judgment, and the University does not wish to interfere in this process. However, some churches ask our advice; and to them we offer a few suggestions for consideration. The following suggestions are especially for those seeking a senior pastor.
The church should get recommendations from the individual’s past ministries or places of employment and should run a credit check on him. The church may wish to have a prospective candidate visit the church prior to official candidating to serve as a pulpit supply preacher for a Sunday. This helps to take pressure off both parties until they can get better acquainted.
Should the church pursue the man as an official candidate, the church should carry out the process according to its constitution. The candidate should visit the church for several days and get to know the church leaders, the people, and the operation. The candidate should preach several times. The church leadership and/or congregation should interview the candidate and most likely will want to ask him about the following areas: his salvation and call to the ministry; his theological position on a variety of key doctrinal issues; his stand on ecclesiastical and personal separation, translations, divorce, baptism, and lifestyle standards; church government and his leadership style; his attitude toward evangelism and missions; and his attitude about Christian education.
The church should be forthright about its financial standing. Provide financial statements for the candidate, and be certain there are no financial surprises awaiting him should he become the pastor. It is only fair that the church be very clear to him about his personal financial arrangements in advance of his accepting the pastorate. Discuss salary and what it includes (moving expenses, housing, Social Security, utilities, car expenses, insurance, vacation time, time away to preach, retirement, etc.). Some of the above items can be excluded from the pastor’s taxable income if the church follows proper procedures, which can be to the advantage of both the pastor and the church.
These are only suggestions. Your situation may require a more thorough discussion of the above-mentioned areas or of other areas not mentioned. We trust that the Lord will give you much wisdom as you seek God’s man for your ministry. There are several resources that provide detailed assistance to the candidating process.
Special Note on Musical Style
Bob Jones University is well known for its conservative, traditional, dynamic approach to church music. To our best knowledge, the graduates we are recommending to churches are generally in sympathy with our standards and practice. We believe that they would not be compatible with a church that uses rock-style contemporary Christian music in its services. We want churches to be aware of this reality prior to submitting the Church Profile requesting the names of prospective candidates for any position.
Putting Your Church Profile “On Hold”
If there is a period of time that you would like for your ministry position posting to become unavailable to men, you have the option to deactivate your posting simply by going to the “Ministry Positions” tab and selecting “Deactivate” next to the position you wish to remove. For instance, you may wish to place your profile on hold if you are trying to work through the personal profiles you have already selected or if you are seriously considering a particular candidate for the position. Remember that the profile will still become inactive 180 days after the original submission date. We will send you a notification one week in advance that your profile is about to become inactive in order to give you the opportunity to keep it active. To take the profile “off hold,” simply log in and choose the option to reactivate the ministry position.
Terminating the Procedure
There may be a variety of reasons for terminating the procedure. The church may have found someone to fill the position (either someone we recommended or another contact) or perhaps the church is no longer interested in filling the position. Whatever the case, please let our office know right away. To do so, please email Church Staffing Services.