2016 Wesleyan Discipline: 6516

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6516. Criteria for Advancement to Established National/Regional Conference Status. In addition to the recommendation of the supervising General Conference to the International Board, the following is a checklist of documentation that must accompany any application for advancement of a mission unit or other body to Established National/Regional Conference status. It is to be understood that these criteria will be used for a comprehensive review and composite evaluation of each application. Therefore, it is the overall strength that is being assessed rather than a rigid focus on each criterion. An applicant may request an exception on a specific requirement for cause.

(1) Effective church organization on local, district and/or national/ regional levels demonstrated by:
(a) An organized district or national structure
(b) A minimum of 40 fully organized or established local churches (not counting preaching points or missions)
(c) A minimum of 2,000 full members
(d) Sufficient number of ordained ministers to support district and/or national/regional levels of administration
(e) A process for collection of local church statistical data
(2) Effective program of discipleship and membership training demonstrated by:
(a) Curricula for discipleship, lay leadership, and membership training systems that reflect commitment to Wesleyan-Arminian theology
(b) Active delivery systems for discipleship, lay leadership, and membership training
(3) Effective program of ministerial education demonstrated by:
(a) An approved curriculum or standards for ministerial education leading to ordination and reflecting commitment to Wesleyan-Arminian theology
(b) A delivery system for ministerial education, such as a Bible school, theological institute, college, university or seminary; a program of ministerial education conducted in cooperation with another denomination or consortium; a non-residential ministerial training program; a properly supervised correspondence or Internet-based training program
(4) Evidence of responsible stewardship demonstrated by:
(a) A self-supporting system for financing the district and/or national/regional administration
(b) Properly approved annual budgets for district and/or national/regional administration
(c) Annually audited financial reports for district and/or national/regional conferences
(5) Defined and operational programs of evangelism, church planting, and cross-cultural mission outreach demonstrated by:
(a) An operational cross-cultural outreach strategy (if feasible)
(b) A process for annual reporting of conversions and baptisms
(c) An on-going strategy and track record of church planting
(6) Functioning property-holding body(ies) per local laws demonstrated by:
(a) Directory information providing the legal name(s) of each such body
(b) A copy of by-laws or official registration(s) identifying each such body
(7) Adherence to The Essentials of The Wesleyan Church, demonstrated by a covenant of adherence to The Essentials signed by all the members of the highest governing board of the national/regional entity
(8) A Discipline approved by the supervising General Conference