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The Manual of the Church of the Nazarene Manual provides direction for the hiring of ministry associates in the church.  Any church/pastor desiring to hire an associate (whether paid or unpaid, lay or pastoral) should familiarize themselves with Manual paragraphs 159-159.8. (download the Manual).

  1. What or who is an associate?
  • Not necessarily a pastor
  • Someone who is involved in vocational ministry within the church
  • Includes most everyone you hire/place on staff for ministry leadership…
  • …as well as directors of childcare/schools

160.1. All local paid or unpaid associates who provide specialized ministry within the context of the local church and enter into a relationship of vocational ministry within the church, including directors of childcare/schools (birth through secondary)…

  1. What needs to be done?
  • Before final church board approval, you must have…
  • Approval in writing from the district superintendent
  • All associates must be elected by the church board, having been nominated by the pastor

… shall be elected by the church board, having been nominated by the pastor. All nominations must have prior approval in writing by the district superintendent, who shall respond within 15 days after receipt of the request. (159.4, 211.13)

Please follow the instructions in the Steps in Hiring/Having an Associate document.

You will also need to complete the Request to Hire Associate/Staff form at the proper time.

If you have any questions, please contact


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Each candidate for a pastoral assignment on the District is required to complete a background check before being approved for service as a senior/lead pastor or as an associate/staff member, paid or unpaid.   It is understood that information gleaned from the background check is to be shared on a need-to-know basis or with whomever the District is legally obligated to disclose such information. The District will bear the cost for this background check for all candidates for senior/lead pastor roles. The local church bears this expense for all paid and unpaid associates it wishes to have on its ministry staff.


No District Superintendent approval to have or to hire an associate/staff member will be given until after the background check has been found clear. (see Steps in Hiring/Having an Associate). The background check must be completed prior to taking the candidate before the church board for final approval.  A Request to Hire Associate/Staff form must also be completed and returned to the District Superintendent for approval before taking the candidate to the church board for final approval.


The District will contract with a professional vendor to conduct background checks including a Nationwide Criminal Records Search and a criminal history search at the county level jurisdiction(s) for each county in which the applicant has lived for the previous seven years. The District will prepare any documents/weblinks required for acquiring the appropriate information to do background checks, will own the background information and assume responsibility of maintaining it securely.


There are a number of individuals required by district policy to have a confidential background check completed before being approved for hiring (see policy below).  In order to process these background checks the district has secured the services of National Screening Bureau.


From the National Screening Bureau log-in page:

“National Screening Bureau is conducting background checks for volunteers and staff on behalf of Oregon Pacific District Church of the Nazarene. In order to complete the background screening request, we first need to collect some basic information from you, including your Social Security Number. Rest assured that we utilize a secure server and cutting-edge screening technology in order to protect your privacy.

Upon receiving your request, we will then conduct the background investigation. This will include an ID verification, Address History Search, a County Criminal Records Search, a Nationwide Criminal Records Search, and a search of the 50 State Sex & Violent Offender Registry. It may also include other searches (example- driving record) depending upon the position you are applying for.
If you wish to receive a copy of the completed report, be sure to include your e-mail address.”

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