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Ordination within the Baptist Union of Victoria is a process of discernment of God’s call and affirmation of that call. It begins within a local church and continues through the collective body of the Baptist Union.

As the Baptist College of Victoria, Whitley College provides the studies necessary for ordination, but ordination involves much more than simply completing the studies at Whitley. The basic requirements for ordination centre on a process of formation, which includes academic, spiritual and practical formation. This process will take a number of years, depending on the individual’s background, previous study, potential and gifting. In addition, ordination is not the end of this process. All pastoral leaders within the Baptist Union of Victoria are expected to be engaged in continuous learning and ongoing formation.

The pathway to ordination is set out in a document called ‘Are you thinking about ordination?’ available from the BUV website here.

This pathway is summarized in the following flow-chart, which can also be downloaded as a PDF.

As the chart indicates, this process begins with BUV Pastoral Support and Development Department. Appointments for these interviews are made through the BUV office, by contacting the Pastoral Support and Development Department (T: 9880 6150).

(Click on the chart for a larger version)


If you wish to discuss the academic requirements for ordination, contact the Principal of Whitley College, Dr René Erwich. These academic requirements vary according to the situation of each candidate, but the general pattern involves completing a degree in theology, either a BTheol or an MDiv, with major studies in Bible, Pastoral subjects and Christian Thought and History. There are also other specific units required of ordinands, and the overall requirement may amount to slightly more than the actual degree.

Applicants who have studied or are studying at other institutions will receive recognition for those studies, where they amount to equivalent subjects. Applicants who are graduates in theology or ministry may also be given the opportunity to study at a Masters level, to complete an ordination pathway.

All pathways to ordination require engagement with practical ministry placements and reflection upon that ministry practice. These placements are arranged by the College in conjunction with the Advisory Board of the BUV. Where a candidate is already in a ministry situation, experience in a different setting may be recommended.