How To Join CMA

There is a simple three step process for how to join the CMA which is outlined below. It begins with relationship and ends with you joining a national organization which is committed to helping you hoist your sail in ministry. If you think the CMA is for you, this page walks you through the details of these steps.

Quick Links to Sections on This Page:

Step 1 - Your Recommender

Step 2 - Your Application (or go straight to the Forms)

Step 3 - Your Acceptance

What Is Membership?

One of our values is that we are here to help you hoist your sail. Often ordination is used as a distinction to set apart people who are authorized to minister on behalf of a denomination. This can require years of study and much scrutiny. We do not do that, primarily because it is God who calls you to ministry, not us. To remove the traditional barrier of ordination we credential all our members.

There are three possible aspects to your involvement in the CMA:

  • Membership – all members are credentialed by us
  • Licencing – for those members that want to marry people
  • Ordination – for those members who need or want this

We make no distinction between these three aspects among our members. We only refer to you as a CMA Member, whether we also licence and ordain you or not. Many of our members are licenced by the government through us for weddings and a few of our members are ordained by us.

Membership provides you with a certificate and credential card that refers to you as a Reverend. These CMA credentials carry the same weight as ordination papers. You can use them for purposes such as chaplaincy and hospital visitation access. Remember, in the eyes of the government we are a denomination even if we may not function as a traditional one in public.

We are relational rather than transactional. Because of this we believe that ordination should be done by people that know you and walk with you in ministry. This is a paradigm shift but one that we believe in. For this reason, we will work with you to organize an ordination ceremony with and by those who you walk closely with. If you do not have people who are able to do this for you, then we will, if it is possible logistically.

1. Your Recommender

One thing that may be new to you is that every CMA Member has a Recommender. This is someone who not only helps you become a member but also they are someone who walks relationally with you throughout your membership in the CMA.

Why do you need a Recommender?

It is the touchstone of who we are... we are relational.

This is because:

  • We are not a denomination in how we function.
  • We are not a founding leader/vision focused network.
  • We are not a benefit-oriented association.

Here is why we are not those things:

  • Many denominations are primarily concerned with creating a centralized organization. While recognized by the government as a denomination, we do not function in the typical manner of traditional denominations as our early foundational leaders held the conviction that churches need to be led by local leaders. This cultural emphasis makes the CMA a home for people who either serve in a self-governed context or who serve within their own denominational or network affiliations.
  • Often a ministry network is built on the charisma or vision of a single founding leader. We started back in 1927, so we are no longer a young organization. With this longevity in mind we plan in our next 100 years to lead from our values instead of leading through a personality or one central vision.
  • A benefit-oriented association is transactional. You join them by paying a membership fee. You receive benefits. When those benefits cease to serve your needs, you cancel your membership. No personal relationship exists at the centre of this equation. If we operated like this, we would feel like a business to our members. The secret sauce that makes us different is that we replace the transaction with a relationship and that allows us to walk together differently. Often members stay with us for the fellowship even when their original need for membership no longer exists. We also have an Alumni status for those who just want to stay connected with us beyond ministry because of the friendships they formed as members.

This is the reason you have a Recommender. Your Recommender is the glue who makes the CMA work. But:

  • They are not your boss because we are not hierarchical, nor do we function as a traditional denomination.
  • They are not your spiritual father or mother which means that if your relationships change, you simply change your Recommender and let us know who they are.
  • They are not our sales rep since we are more interested in your future than our growth.

Instead, your Recommender is someone who walks with you in friendship through the seasons of your ministry. If you aren't already, we hope that you become friends and become involved in one another’s lives.

The CMA is:

"A fellowship of independently connected ministers releasing the Kingdom of God on earth"

This means that the CMA is a network of networks and individuals who collaborate relationally for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Inside this network your Recommender is the glue who connects you.

We hope they will demonstrate our values where:

  • Posture is more important than Position
  • Presence is more important than Papers
  • Leaders are more important than Laws
  • Hoisting your sails is more important than hoisting a flag

This is a big shift in thinking for a lot of people, but we believe that aiming for something noble like this is what sets us apart.

As we are a relational fellowship of members, we first ask new applicants to establish an ongoing relationship with a current CMA member. This member will be your recommender to the CMA. Acceptance to the CMA requires all members to have a current member of the CMA as your recommender for friendship and support. If the person you know is no longer a CMA Member or if you are not aware of a CMA Member in your circle of ministry we may be able to assist you with achieving this.

Start by looking at our CMA Map to identify someone in your area who you already know. If you need us to make an introduction please contact us and we'll connect you.

2. Your Application

At this time we only accept Applicants from Canada and the USA.

We welcome applications between October 1 and August 31. Your application will be processed and reviewed by the President and the Registrar with final ratification* of your membership occurring at our next Annual General Meeting (AGM). Membership applications cannot be submitted during the month of September.

*CMA by-law requirement

Start by Gathering these Documents

(don't start filling out this application until you have these two files ready to attach)

  • A digital head-shot (approx. 1 MB to 5 MB in jpg or png format).
  • A PDF copy of your Police Clearance (or alternate document as outlined below).

Digital Headshots

We use this photo in a number of places including our online directory as well as in other published locations specific to our members. For this reason we encourage you to provide a photo that you will be happy with others seeing and one that is large enough for our use.

Your photo must follow these three parameters:

  1. It needs to be a head-shot. This means a well taken and clear photo. It doesn't need to be professional and can be taken with a smart phone as a selfie or by your friend or spouse. Don't submit a photo of you in a group or with someone else. Also, it needs to be a photo of only your upper shoulders and head. Remember to SMILE in your photo ... we aren't the government.
  2. The file size should be a minimum of 1 MB and no larger than 5MB (the application form will not attach photos larger than this). If your photo is smaller than 1 MB we will request a better photo and place your application on hold until we receive it. A photo from your website has already been reduced in size so you should NOT send us that photo. If that is the photo you want to use, please look for the original file that this photo came from. Very few original files are smaller than 1 MB (1,000 KB)
  3. Your photo needs to be a digital file format of either JPG (JPEG) or PNG. These file names ends with either ".jpg", ".jpeg", or ".png".

Here's an example of what we are looking for in your headshot and how to identify the file size you need to look for before you attach (upload) it in your application:

Headshot Example

Police Clearances

  • If you already have a police clearance obtained for other purposes, we only accept clearances if the issue date was within one year of your application regardless of how long the police say the clearance document is valid until.
  • Your police clearance must be issued by the current police jurisdiction in which you live. Foreign police clearance documents used to obtain immigration or work visas are not accepted.
  • If you do not have a clearance yet, we do NOT need a vulnerable sector check so only request a basic record check from your police detachment.
  • Use this letter to request your Clearance at your police detachment (click on it to save the PDF file to your computer so you can print it).
  • If you request your clearance document from the police after July 1 it may not arrive in time for you to include it in this application. So, between July 1 and August 31 we recommend that you not wait until you receive your document from the police. Instead, fill out this application and in its place please provide a PDF showing that you have submitted your request for this clearance at your police detachment (ie. a receipt from the police or a photo of the filled out application). Your application and acceptance as a member will remain conditional until we receive the clearance document from you (or the police mail it to us) and we review it.
  • Between October 1 and June 30 please wait until you receive your Police Clearance document to begin this application UNLESS the police will only mail the document directly to the CMA. In the rare instance when the police tell you they will mail your clearance to the CMA instead of you, please upload in place of your clearance a PDF or photo that shows you have ordered your Police Clearance (ie. a receipt from the police or a photo of the filled out application). If you do not attach all pages of your official police clearance, your application will be placed on hold until we receive it.

You must convert your police clearance into a PDF file.

Once you receive the Police Clearance you will need to convert it so you can attach to your application a single PDF file containing each page of this document (you can't start your application until you have this document or have proof that you ordered it). If you only submit one page of a multi-page police clearance we will place your application on hold until we receive a single PDF file which contains all of the pages of your clearance.

There are several ways to convert this document into a PDF file.

A. Do it yourself in two easy steps:

  1. Scan or take clear photos of the document. This creates JPG or PNG image files.
  2. Combine those images files into a single PDF by using online tools like this one to convert multiple image files into one PDF file:

B. Get it done for you

Go to your nearest copy shop and have them convert your police clearance into a single PDF file for you.

Application Fee - $75

We will begin when we receive your application fee. This fee is non-refundable and is only used to handle the work related to your application. If we accept your application you will then need to pay your first year of your annual membership dues of $180 which will be invoiced to you on September 1st. These are two separate amounts.

After you complete filling out the application form you will be redirected to the payment page where you can submit your Application Fee. Use this link to get there if you missed that step.

Final Directions Before You Begin

  • Until we receive a Recommendation, Digital Headshot, Police Clearance, and Application Fee we cannot process your application.
  • All applications are ratified for membership at the Annual General Meeting held at our National Conference. You will become a member when this meeting concludes.
  • You are required to attend this Annual General Meeting or an equivalent Regional Gathering as the final step of your application.
  • On your application we ask for Current Ministry Co-Workers and Past Ministry Co-Workers as references, BUT we may not need to contact them or have them fill out a recommendation for you. If we need that from them, we will contact them.
  • If you are new to ministry and do not have current or past ministry co-workers, then put down your pastor and anyone else who would suite as a character reference.
  • The application form is interactive! Your responses on certain fields opens additional fields for you to fill out. For this reason, do not print out the application page as a blank form as doing so will exclude some questions.
  • We are unable to accept applications sent by mail. The application form is connected to our database and once you submit it a record in our database is created and additional processes are triggered. For these reasons only fill out the application form online.

Application Forms

 If you have a:

1) Recommender (a CMA Member)

2) Digital Headshot (.jpg, .jpeg, .png)

3) Police Clearance (.pdf) are ready to begin.




After you submit your Application an automated email is sent to your Recommender (using the email you enter for them in the application), inviting them to submit their Recommendation. However, it is important that you also talk to your Recommender and also ask them to complete this for your acceptance as a CMA Member so that this receives the attention which an automated email may not be able to get. Your application remains on hold until your Recommender completes this for you.


If you need to solemnize a marriage prior to September 1st please read our Marriage & Weddings page and apply for the Provisional Clergy Marriage Licence located there.

3. Your Acceptance

If you have submitted your application and we have accepted it, we call you an Applicant until your membership is ratified at our next AGM in September. After this AGM we call you a Member.

So, what's next after submitting your application?

1. Start or Continue Your Ministry

What we mean by this is that even though you will not become a CMA Member until our next AGM which is held during the National Conference each September we want you to get going right away. Your accepted application means that we begin treating you as one of our members even though this won't become official until our AGM when your membership application is ratified by our members and you are welcomed into the CMA as a member.

Whatever God is calling you to do, go do it. If you need to tell someone who you are with, then let them know you are with the CMA. We don't lead with this and don't expect you to, but if it helps you then feel free to let people know that you are an Applicant with the CMA who's membership will be completed in September.

Applicants may apply for a Provisional Clergy Marriage Licence for any weddings they need to perform prior to September 1st (the month their membership is ratified). There is a fee for this and we will only accept applications for these licences for scheduled weddings. Licence requests must be submitted at least 8 weeks prior to the wedding so plan ahead. Once you become a member in September we convert this licence into a Permanent Clergy Marriage Licence if it was issued for a wedding in your home province. However, membership includes licences for free. For this reason you request your Permanent Clergy Marriage Licence only once you are a member.

2. Schedule the next National Conference and/or Regional Gathering into your Calendar

You are REQUIRED to attend the National Conference in September or an equivalent Regional Gathering in the first year of your membership. It is at this meeting that you will go through your member orientation session, receive the rite of the laying on of hands in prayer to set you apart for the work of the ministry, and where you will receive your ministry credentials. Please go to our Events page which has a schedule of dates of the next meetings.

Attendance at our National Conference and Regional Gatherings is free and included in your annual membership dues. Additionally, if you are married we encourage you to also bring your spouse with you for free. If members of your leadership team or loved ones want to celebrate this occasion with you they may come as your Invited Guests however each of them will need to pay to attend.

Registration is required for all Events. This is done by completing the appropriate form for each event and paying for additional items such as meals if those are offered. One registration form must be completed for each person attending. Your spouse will also need to register if attending with you.

After this first year of membership you are encouraged to attend the National Conference and/or Regional Gatherings each year. However, once you are a member you are only required to attend once every three years. Further information about attendance will be provided at your membership orientation session.

3. Pay Your Membership Dues

Your CMA Membership Dues of $180 for the first year of your membership (Sep. to Aug.) will be invoiced to you by email via our invoice platform and payment system on September 1st. You will pay those dues through that invoice. Those dues will be due upon receipt of that invoice so plan ahead to pay it when it arrives as payment is required prior to your receipt of your ministry credentials.

The next year after this first year of membership, your CMA Membership Dues will be invoiced in the same way at the beginning of July and will be due by September 1st of each year. For your membership to remain in good standing, you must pay your dues each year whether you attend or don't attend the National Conference. Further information about your dues will be provided in your membership orientation session.

4. Obtain Your Clergy Marriage Licence to Solemnize Marriages

Not every CMA Member is licenced to perform weddings as we have a wide variety of ministers who are members. If you wish to solemnize a marriage, any marriage you wish to perform on or after September 1st you will need to apply for a Clergy Marriage Licence no later than 8 weeks prior to the wedding. When you apply you will apply as a CMA Member because the wedding will occur after you become a CMA Member or in the month in which you become a member (September). We use the wedding date not the application date to determine whether you qualify for a free Clergy Marriage Licence. If the wedding is before September 1st, please read point #1 above.

Canadian Provincial law requires all Clergy to be licenced through a denominational governing authority to solemnize marriage under the status as a Religious Representative. This status requires you to perform a religious, christian ceremony which follows the requirements of your denomination. Our ministers must follow our direction for such wedding ceremonies.

The USA does not require similar licencing, so our members in the USA operate differently in these matters but still must follow our direction regarding who they may perform weddings for and how those weddings are to be conducted.

The CMA has strict rules around who you are permitted to perform weddings for. Following these rules are for your protection. Please read our Statement on Marriage. Further direction on solemnizing marriages will be provided in your membership orientation session.