MINISTER'S STRUCTURE & FUNCTION
(Minister/Presbyter Course)

 This course requires an enrolment key

Minister (Christianity)

In Christianity, a minister is someone who is authorized by a church to perform functions such as teaching of beliefs; leading services such as weddings, baptisms or funerals; or otherwise providing spiritual guidance to the community. The term is taken from Latin minister "servant, attendant", which itself was derived from minus "less".

Presbyter (Greek πρεσβύτερος, : "elder" or "priest" in Christian usage) in the New Testament refers to a leader in local Christian congregations, with presbyter being from the Greek "presbyteros" and meaning elder/senior and episkopos meaning overseer, referring exclusively to the office of bishop, but with presbyteros being understood as referring to an appointed person functioning as overseer under the Bishop. In Orthodox usage, presbyter is distinct from bishop and not synonymous with priest. Also, in predominant Protestant usage, the term is not seen as referring to a member of a distinctive priesthood called priests, but instead terms such as minister, pastor and elder are used.

The purpose of this Course is to define the viewpoints of the Church of Hope of the differentiation between:
a) Deacon (Deaconess);
b) Minister of the Church;
c) Office of the Bishop; and
d) Priest of the College of Monastic Medicine.

These words and offices are not interchangeable. In Orthodox usage, presbyter is distinct from bishop and a minister is not synonymous with priest. The distinctive Greek word for "priest" is never used for presbyteros/episkopos in the New Testament, except as being part of the general priesthood of all believers, with the first Christians making a distinction between sacerdotal Jewish and pagan priests and New Testament pastors. This usage is seen by mostChristians as stripping the laity of its priestly status, while those who use the term defend its usage by saying that, while they do believe in the priesthood (Greek ἱερεύς hiereus – a different word altogether, used in Rev 1:6, 1 Pet 2:9) of all believers, they do not believe in the eldership of all believers.

This course requires an enrolment key