A Brief History

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Baptist Registration – A Brief History

The Baptist Registration system has a rich history and the information covered on this page, presents a small part of this history as taken from Assembly Council of the Baptist Union of New Zealand minutes and reports, Baptist Assembly documentation, Andrew Gamman’s “Ministerial Credentialling in the Baptist Churches of New Zealand”, and data collected by Mike Crudge in his time as the Carey Centre for Lifelong Learning Director.

The 1994 Assembly Council asked for a review of the existing Ministerial Accreditation system (which had begun in the 1890s). To facilitate this review, Assembly Council established an Accreditation Review Committee in early 1995. The review, initially thought to take one year, ended up as a three year process. The table below shows (in brief) the changes that occurred during that time.

The June 1995 and February 1996 proposals (shown below) came from the Review Committee to Assembly Council. The changes made between the June 1995 report and the August 1996 report were in part due to feedback from pastors’ clusters and forums. There may also have been changes suggested by Assembly Council. The November proposal, which was accepted by the 1998 Assembly, may have been written by Andrew Gamman who had been appointed as the Ministry Development Co-ordinator, but would also have been based on feedback. No one seems quite sure when the current changes were made or why/when they were put into place.

Over the course of the years ‘95 – ‘98, many changes were made to the original recommendations. These changes lowered the expectations, and hence the value of the system that was finally set in place. There have also been changes made in the intervening years by those who have managed the system.

In 2017 Carey Centre for Lifelong Learning was granted oversight of Baptist Registration on behalf of the Baptist Union and continues to administer registration.  In July 2022, following a detailed review by a selected review committee, and analysis of feedback sought, Assembly Council approved the changes to be implemented in November 2022.

Below, is a brief walk through timeline, showing how key areas of the registration system have changed and evolved over the period between June 1995 and November 2022