Please attach a current copy of your Liability Insurance along with this application.
We believe the Bible to be inspired of God, the infallible Word of God. “All scripture is given
by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
righteousness” (II Timothy 3:16). The Bible is the only God-given authority which man possesses;
therefore, all doctrine, faith, hope, and all instruction for the church must be based upon, and harmonize
with, the Bible. It is to be read and studied by all men everywhere, and can only be clearly understood by
those who are anointed by the Holy Spirit (I John 2:27). “No prophecy of the scripture is of any private
interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as
they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (II Peter 1:20-21).
The basic and fundamental doctrine of this organization shall be the Bible
standard of full salvation, which is repentance, baptism in water by immersion in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost with the initial sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance. We shall endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit until we all come into the unity of the faith, at the same time admonishing all brethren that they shall not contend for their different views to the disunity of the body.
THE ONE TRUE GOD
We believe in the one ever-living, eternal God: infinite in power, holy in nature, attributes and purpose; and possessing absolute, indivisible deity. This one true God has revealed Himself as Father; through His Son, in redemption; and as the Holy Spirit, by emanation (I Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:6; II Corinthians 5:19; Joel 2:28). The Scripture does more than attempt to prove the existence of God; it asserts, assumes and declares that the knowledge of God is universal (Romans 1:19,
21, 28, 32; 2:15). God is invisible, incorporeal, without parts, without body, and therefore free from all
limitations. He is Spirit (John 4:24), and “a spirit hath not flesh and bones” (Luke 24:39). “The first of all
the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord” (Mark 12:29). (See also
Deuteronomy 6:4.) “One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all”
(Ephesians 4:6). Before the incarnation, this one true God manifested Himself in divers ways. In the
incarnation, He manifests Himself in the Son, who walked among men. As He works in the lives of
believers, He manifests Himself as the Holy Spirit.
THE SON OF GOD
The one true God, the Jehovah of the Old Testament, took upon Himself the form of man, and as the Son of man, was born of the virgin Mary. As Paul says, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (I Timothy 3:16). “He came unto his own, and his own received him not” (John 1:11). This one true God was manifest in the flesh, that is, in His Son Jesus Christ. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them” (II Corinthians 5:19). We believe that, “in him [Jesus] dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9). “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell” (Colossians 1:19). Therefore, Jesus in His humanity was man; in His deity was and is God. His flesh was the lamb, or the sacrifice of God. He is the only mediator between God and man. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (I Timothy 2:5). Jesus on His Father’s side was divine, on His mother’s side, human; thus, He was known as the Son of God and also the Son of man, or the God-man. “For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all” (I Corinthians 15:27-28). “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8).
God used different titles, such as “God Elohim,” “God Almighty,” “El Shaddai,” “Jehovah,” and especially “Jehovah Lord,” the redemptive name in the Old Testament. “Unto us a child is born, unto us a
son is given: . . . and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). This prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled when the Son of God was named. “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
CREATION OF MAN AND HIS FALL
In the beginning, God created man innocent, pure, and holy; but through the sin of disobedience, Adam and Eve, the first of the human race, fell from their holy state, and God banished them from Eden. Hence by one man’s disobedience, sin entered into the world (Genesis 1:27; Romans 3:23, 5:12).
The Lord Jesus came “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). This divine act of atonement is dependent on the blood of the Lamb of God and is the foundation that makes salvation possible. For “without the shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22). “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” (Ephesians 1:7). “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood” (Revelation 1:5). Salvation is by grace through faith based on the atonement provided in Jesus Christ by His death, burial, and resurrection. (See Acts 2:38; 20:28.)
Pardon and forgiveness of sins is obtained by genuine repentance, a confessing and
forsaking of sins. We are justified by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1). John the Baptist
preached repentance, Jesus proclaimed it, and the apostles emphasized it to both Jews and Gentiles
(Acts 2:38, 11:18, 17:30). The word repentance means a change of views and purpose, change of heart,
change of mind, change of life, transformation, etc. Jesus said, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise
perish” (Luke 13:3). Luke 24:47 says, “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
The scriptural mode of baptism is immersion and is only for those who have fully repented, having turned from their sins and a love of the world. It should be administered by a duly authorized minister of the gospel, in obedience to the Word of God, and in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to the Acts of the Apostles 2:38, 8:16, 10:48, 19:5; thus obeying and fulfilling Matthew 28:19.
THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
John the Baptist, in Matthew 3:11, said, “He shall
baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire. Jesus, in Acts 1:5, said, “Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.” Luke tells us in Acts 2:4, “They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues [languages], as the Spirit gave them utterance.” The terms “baptize with the Holy Ghost and fire,” “filled with the Holy Spirit,” and the “gift of the Holy Ghost” are synonymous terms used interchangeably in the Bible. It is scriptural to expect all who receive the gift, filling, or baptism of the Holy Spirit to receive the same physical, initial sign of speaking with other tongues. The speaking with other tongues, as recorded in Acts 2:4, 10:46, and 19:6, and the gift of tongues, as explained in I Corinthians, chapters 12 and 14, are the same in essence, but different in use and purpose. The Lord, through the Prophet Joel, said, “I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh” (Joel 2:28). Peter, in explaining this phenomenal experience, said, “Having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he [Jesus] hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear” (Acts 2:33). Further, “the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:39).
The first covenant that the Lord (Jehovah) made with the children of Israel after they were brought out of Egypt was a covenant of healing. The Lord said, “If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord [Jehovah-Rapha, the Lord that healeth] thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee” (Exodus 15:26). Our Lord Jesus Christ went about Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing all manner of sickness and disease among the people (Matthew 4:23-24). “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). The vicarious suffering of the Lord Jesus Christ paid not only for the salvation of our souls but also for the healing of our bodies. “With his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Matthew 8:17 reads, “Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” (See also I Peter 2:24.) We see from this that divine healing for the body is in the atonement. Jesus said of believers, “They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” Later, James wrote in his epistle to all the churches: “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one
for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much”
Godly living should characterize the life of every child of the Lord, and we should live according to the pattern and example given in the Word of God. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11-12). “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously” (I Peter 2:21-23). “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (I Peter 1:15-19).
THE GRACE OF GOD
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11-12). “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). A Christian must walk with God and keep himself in the love of God (Jude 21) and in the grace of God. When a person transgresses and sins against God and does not repent, he will eventually be lost and cast into the lake of fire. (See John 15:2, 6; II Peter 2:20-21.) Jude speaks of the backsliders of his day, and their reward. (See also Hebrews 6:4-6.)
Mankind is God’s earthly image bearer as stated in Genesis 1:27: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him.” As reflectors of this divine image, human life has been invested with the highest level of intrinsic value. The whole idea of the taking of human life is complicated with a wide variety of complexities. (See Exodus 20:13; Genesis 4:8-10; Numbers 35:6,12.) We recognize the deep and difficult deliberation required in these decisions. We
therefore support our members in prayerfully and scripturally exploring their individual responsibility to
God in these matters. We therefore honor the right of our members to serve as conscientious objectors
and not bear arms. We also encourage those who serve according to their conscience, in any and all
capacities, to express courageous loyalty to country while serving in appropriate roles working “heartily,
as to the Lord” (Colossians 3:23).
MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE
“Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery” (Matthew 19:9). (See also Matthew 5:32.) When this sin has been committed, the innocent party may be free to remarry only in the Lord. Our desire being to raise a higher standard for the ministry, we recommend that ministers do not marry again. Judgment begins at the house of God.
We believe tithing is God’s financial plan to provide for His work, and has been since the days of Abraham. Tithing came with faith under Abraham; Moses’ law enjoined it, and Israel practiced it when she was right with God; Jesus indorsed it (Matthew 23:23); and Paul said to lay by in store as God has
prospered you. Do not rob God of His portion, viz., tithes and offerings. (Read Malachi 3.)
SECOND COMING OF JESUS
That Jesus is coming again the second time in person, just as He went away, is clearly set forth by the Lord Jesus Himself, and was preached and taught in the early Christian church by the apostles; hence, the children of God today are earnestly, hopefully, looking forward to the glorious event (Matthew 24; Acts 1:11, 3:19-21; I Corinthians 11:26; Philippians 3:20-21; I Thessalonians 4:14-17; Titus 2:13-14).
We believe that the distress upon the earth is the “beginning of sorrows” and will become more intense until there “shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time” (Daniel 12:1). (See also Matthew 24:3-8.) and that period of “tribulation” will be followed by the dawn of a better day on earth and that for a thousand years there shall be “peace on earth and good will toward men.” (See Revelation 20:1-5; Isaiah 65:17-25; Matthew 5:5; Daniel 7:27; Micah 4:1-2; Hebrews 2:14; Romans 11:25-27.)
When the thousand years are finished, there shall be a resurrection of all the dead, who will be summoned before the great white throne for their final judgment, and all whose names are not found written in the Book of Life shall be cast into the lake of fire, burning with brimstone, which God hath prepared for the devil and his angels, Satan himself being cast in first (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:7, 15; 21:8).
THE BIBLICAL IDEAL OF MARRIAGE AND FAMILY
Inasmuch as modern society has eroded the biblical ideal of the family and its practical existence, and
Inasmuch as homosexual couples, unmarried heterosexual couples, and even groups of persons simply maintaining a common household are seeking to gain legal and social status as families, with all due
rights and privileges given to families, including but not limited to social benefits or rights such as child
rearing and custody, spousal or dependent insurance, inheritance rights, and tax exemptions, and Inasmuch as a growing number of states, with the support of certain national leaders, have attempted to change the legal definition of marriage to include same sex couples. Be it resolved that the United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI) uphold the biblical ideal of the basic family as one man and one woman (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-9; Ephesians 5:22-25, 28), married by law in accordance with all biblical injunctions; and all offspring of such a couple, biological or adopted (Psalm 127:3; Leviticus 14:29;
James 1:27); with the extended family being comprised of the various relatives of blood and marriage resulting from the lawful union of a man and woman (Leviticus 25:25, 47-49; Numbers 27:6-11; Judges 18:19; Acts 10:2, 11-14; 16:31-32). Be it further resolved that the UPCI and its constituent ministers
uphold the biblical ideal of the family in doctrine and example, publicly defending the family as the most
critical social institution ordained by God, while making all reasonable, practical efforts to resist legal
recognition of persons or groups as families when such persons or groups contradict biblical teaching on morality and the family. And be it further resolved that the UPCI go on record as actively opposing any
attempt to change the definition of marriage that broadens this sacred institution from the union of one man and one woman.
THE BIBLICAL VIEW OF HUMAN SEXUALITY
Human sexuality was given by God both as a means of human reproduction and as a means to help bond
a male and a female in a one-flesh union (Genesis 2:24). Because of its inherent power, God placed
restrictions on human sexuality. As such the Bible presents fornication, adultery, polygamy,
homosexuality, bestiality, incest, and transgenderism as improper expressions of human sexuality. The
United Pentecostal Church International will continue to uphold by teaching, preaching, and practice the
biblical ideal of human sexuality and to stand against all improper expressions of human sexuality,
including, but not limited to the following: fornication is defined as “sexual intercourse between unmarried
people” and often is interpreted as sexual immorality, including all sexual sins. It is a sexual sin classified
by the Bible as a work of the flesh. The Bible records, “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are:
adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness . . . that those who practice such things will not inherit the
kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21). This principle is echoed when the Bible warns, “Do you not know
that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor
idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites . . . will inherit the kingdom of God” (I
Corinthians 6:9-10). Further, the Bible notes, “Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord,
and the Lord for the body” (I Corinthians 6:13). The Bible states plainly that believers should, “because of
sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband” (I
Corinthians 7:2). During times of temptation the Bible teaches believers, “Flee sexual immorality. Every
sin that a man does is outside the body; but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body”
(I Corinthians 6:18). Finally, the Bible instructs, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you
should abstain from sexual immorality” (I Thessalonians 4:3). Adultery is defined as “a married man having sexual relations with anyone other than his wife or a married woman having sexual relations with anyone other than her husband.” God forbade His people to commit adultery (Exodus 20:14). Jesus
taught, “You shall not commit adultery” (Matthew 5:27-28). Jesus gave his approval of the Old Testament commandments against adultery when He quoted the commandment in Luke 18:18-20. Adultery defiles a person (Matthew 15:19-20). God will judge adulterers (Hebrews 13:4). When an individual commits adultery he or she destroys himself or herself (Proverbs 6:32). Unless the adulterer repents and is forgiven by God, he or she shall not inherit the kingdom of God (I Corinthians 6:9). Polygamy is defined as “marriage that includes more than two people.” Even with numerous examples of polygamy in the Old Testament, monogamy was God’s intent (Genesis 2:22-24). Jesus reinforced and emphasized the original plan in citing Genesis 2:24 in Matthew 19:3-6. The practice of polygamy developed first in fallen humanity in the line of the murderer Cain, not the line of Seth, through the murderer Lamech (Genesis 4:23). Wherever instances of polygamy are recorded, we also see sociological disaster that created heartbreak and sowed familial discord, such as in the families of Abraham, Jacob, and David.
Homosexuality is defined as “sexual attraction and behavior between members of the same sex or
gender.” God’s Word is very clear regarding homosexual behavior. In the Old Testament, God
commanded His people, “You shall not lie with a male, as with a woman. It is an abomination” (Leviticus 18:22). In the New Testament, Paul wrote, “For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is
shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due” (Romans 1:26-27). Paul
asked: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? . . . Neither fornicators, . . . nor homosexuals . . .” (I Corinthians 6:9). Bestiality is defined as “cross-species sexual activity between human beings and animals.” The Bible condemns this act for both men and women in four different Old Testament passages: Exodus 22:19; Leviticus 18:23; Leviticus 20:15-16; and Deuteronomy
27:21. This act of perversion was punishable by death to both the human being and the animal. God
designed human beings to mate with other human beings, as shown in the creation account when none of the animals were found suitable for Adam (Genesis 2:20). God created humans in His image (Genesis
1:27), and bestiality diminishes this uniqueness to that of a beast unable to distinguish the difference
between right and wrong, natural from unnatural, and love from lust. Incest is sexual activity between
family members or close relatives; it is prohibited by Scripture. The first occurrence of incest is recorded
in Genesis 19. Lot’s daughters, fearing they would not find husbands, conspired to make their father drink
wine and then lie with him to preserve seed of their father. The result was that both of Lot’s daughters
were with child by their father. The Bible classifies incest as a wicked thing, noting, “If a man takes his
sister, his father’s daughter or his mother’s daughter, and sees her nakedness, and she sees his
nakedness, it is a wicked thing. And they shall be cut off in the sight of their people. He has uncovered his
sister’s nakedness. He shall bear his guilt” (Leviticus 20:17). These sentiments can also be found in
Leviticus 18:6-18. Ultimately, the Bible warns, “Cursed is the one who lies with his sister, the daughter of
his father or the daughter of his mother,” and “Cursed is the one who lies with his mother in law”
(Deuteronomy 27:22-23). Transgenderism is defined as “appearing as, wishing to be considered as, or
having undergone surgery to become a member of the opposite sex.” God’s plan for gender identification (Genesis 1:26-27) clearly defines differences between maleness and femaleness. God has a specific design for everyone at conception (Psalm 139:13-16). Gender identification is a biological issue rather than merely self-perception. The fact that some individuals are born with evidence of mutations in their sex determining genes does not change their value in God’s eyes or His plan any more than someone born with a mutation that causes any other developmental, physical, or emotional problem. The Genesis account shows God’s intent as heterosexuality, with definite boundaries between sexes in both appearance and behavior. Men are to act and appear as men; women are to act and appear as women (Deuteronomy 22:5; I Corinthians 6:9). Attempts to alter gender as in hormonal intervention or sex-reassignment surgery must be seen as a form of bodily mutilation (Leviticus 22:24-25) and an attempt to alter God’s design. The UPCI and its constituent ministers will continue to uphold the biblical ideal of human sexuality in doctrine and example and publicly defend the beauty of human sexuality as ordained by God and presented in His Word. At the same time the UPCI will continue to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, who did not come into the world to condemn the world but in order that the world might be saved through Him (John 3:7). “God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself” (II Corinthians 5:19). Likewise our mission is not condemnation but reconciliation; we implore everyone to be reconciled to God
(II Corinthians 5:18-20).
Swiftly changing cultural expectations have created pressures to compromise many biblical principles, but
it is vital for the church to continue to firmly and faithfully embrace and teach scriptural truths. Regardless of cultural changes or pressures, Bible principles should always be the final authority in governing how we reflect the gender distinction with which God has blessed us as individuals. Gender distinction is of utmost importance to God because it relates to His most precious creation and the object of His love: the people He created. We should celebrate the distinction and differences God made within the genders, which complement and complete us as His unique created beings, made in His image and after His likeness. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them “ (Genesis 1:27). “And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man “ (Genesis 2:22). God first made a man and from that man He made a woman. This foundational truth is important at least three primary reasons: 1. A basic aspect of His beloved creation is their unique gender roles, rights, and responsibilities. The Scriptures outline the important roles that men and women have and how they relate in a harmonious family unit. 2. The procreative power of the human race depends on the union of those of the opposite sex: male and female. Gender identification then becomes central to the definition of the family, which in turn is the core of any healthy society. Jesus reaffirms this truth in Matthew 19:4-6 and furthermore regards it as the motivation to begin a marriage and family. To blend, confuse, or distort proper gender roles is to bring confusion to the heart of human society. 3. A social group or society that begins to blur clear gender representations also tends toward unhealthy sexual practices and follows a downward digression away from God and His fundamental plan for humankind. This degradation leads to the disintegration of the most basic roles of men and women (Romans 1:24-28). In the beginning the enemy of humanity, in the form of a serpent, advanced his agenda of the destruction of God’s people and their paradise. Eve’s deception and Adam’s disobedience led to the complete loss of their innocence and paradise. In response to their shame and nakedness, the first man and woman clothed themselves, albeit improperly. The Lord graciously intervened. He mercifully covered and clothed them, forever answering the question of God’s involvement and interest in the apparel that men and women wear. In their fallen condition, they needed clothes to cover them, and they needed God’s guidance for proper clothing choices. In short, clothing mattered to God then, and it still matters to Him today. The Lord provides parameters and principles concerning our clothing: modesty, costliness, and distinctiveness (I Timothy 2:9; Deuteronomy 22:5).
GENDER DISTINCTIONS: THE MANDATE
Men and women are to maintain a visibility in their gender distinction. God created men and women to
fulfill unique roles and to illustrate those roles in specific ways. The Lord utilizes two primary symbols that provide a clear visible distinction between male and female: hair and clothing. 1. Hair. Paul wrote of
definite distinctions between men and women in I Corinthians 11 as is reflected by their hair: long, uncut
hair for women and short hair for men. Paul affirmed the order of creation in Genesis (vs. 3, 8-9) and
wrote that “even nature” innately teaches us this truth: “Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman
pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a
shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering”
(I Corinthians 11:13-15). 2. Clothing. “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God”
(Deuteronomy 22:5). Attire should be distinctive to one’s own sex. Scripture is clear that God requires a
definite distinction between the sexes. In virtually every ethnic group there is clothing that is perceived to be feminine and clothing that is perceived to be masculine. While the modern age has exerted
tremendous pressures of influence upon basic gender distinctions in dress, God has clearly stated that to
fail to maintain distinction between the genders is an abomination to Him. An abomination is an extreme
term that relates to a variety of evil practices and is something that is detestable and abhorrent to God.
God emphasized the distinction between men and women in the New Testament when Paul wrote that
effeminate men would not inherit the kingdom of God. The obvious deduction is that God expects women to be feminine and men to be masculine, not effeminate. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor
effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor
revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God” (I Corinthians 6:9-10).
GENDER DISTINCTIONS: THE APPLICATION
Since God desires and expects humankind to maintain a distinction between the sexes, how are we to reflect that distinction? First, our hair should reflect our gender. I Corinthians 11:5-6 teaches that it is a
dishonor and a shame for a woman to cut her hair, but it is glory for her to keep her long hair, which is a
gift from God to cover her (I Corinthians 11:15). Men should cut their hair and keep it short (I Corinthians
11:14). Second, our attire should be distinctive to our gender and not reflective of the dress of the
opposite sex. Deuteronomy 22:5 defines in the strictest of terms God’s distaste and abhorrence of
cross-dressing and the blurring of clear male and female distinctions. Men are to strive to be masculine in all they do, including their choices of clothing. Women are to strive to be feminine in their behavior and attire as well. God abhors the confusing of femininity and masculinity between the sexes. It is an
abomination to God, whether it is a man wearing feminine clothing or a woman wearing masculine
clothing. Reason would dictate there must be a clear application of biblical truth or truth ultimately
becomes lost. How does a conscientious child of God apply this strong passage of God’s Word concerning clothing? For centuries the male-only garment has been pants in the majority of culture groups, particularly in Western society. The woman has distinguished herself from the man regardless of
activity by wearing a skirt or dress, which she has accomplished with feminine grace and beauty. For
example, when North American society began to change this norm, it was not out of a desire to further
fulfill God’s commands for distinction, but rather for women’s perceived convenience and equivalence to
men. When women began wearing pants it was seen as a violation of social norms and values that
distinguished men and women. Whatever culture does, our aim is God’s pleasure. We want to please
God and represent our gender clearly and practically. Therefore, in the modern Western culture, our men
wear pants and do not wear skirts or dresses. Our women wear skirts or dresses and do not wear pants.
God’s people are given the redemptive responsibility to reflect the values of God and exemplify to an
unsaved society God’s perfect will. May we, as God’s people, ever be vigilant to fulfill this privileged and
high calling (I Peter 2:9).
The Center for Apostolic Counseling recognizes the importance and necessity of providing telemental
health services. Therefore, the scope of these guidelines covers the provision of mental health services provided by a licensed healthcare professional when using HIPAA secure, real-time videoconferencing services transmitted via the Internet. These guidelines include telemental health services when the initiating, receiving, or both sites are using a personal computer with a webcam or a mobile communications device (e.g., “smart phone”, laptop, or tablet) with two-way camera capability.
Practitioners must note that telemental health must be acceptable by the licensing board where the
practitioner is licensed and the licensing board where the client is located. The practitioner is responsible
for confirming this information prior to scheduling a session. Also, the approval of the licensing board
does not equate to the approval insurance companies. If the practitioner is accepting insurance for services, then that approval must also be received.
The Center for Apostolic Counseling discourages the use of texting, e-mail, chatting, social network sites,
online “coaching” or other non-mental health approaches to service provision. This document contains requirements, recommendations, or actions that are identified by text containing the keywords “shall,” “should,” or “may.” “Shall” indicates a required action whenever feasible and practical under local
conditions. These indications are found in bold throughout the document. “Should” indicates an optimal recommended action that is particularly suitable, without mentioning or excluding others. “May” indicates additional points that may be considered to further optimize the telemental healthcare process.
1. Professional and Patient Identity and Location
At the beginning of a video-based mental health treatment with a patient, the following essential
information shall be verified:
- Provider and Patient Identity Verification: The name and credentials of the professional and the name of the patient shall be verified. Patients shall provide their full name. At the first session, professionals should ask patients to verify their identity more formally by showing a government issued photo ID on the video screen.
- Provider and Patient Location Documentation: The location(s) where the patient will be receiving services by videoconferencing shall be confirmed and documented by the provider. In addition, the location of the provider may need to be documented, especially in cases where such documentation is needed for the appropriate payment of services.
- Contact Information Verification for Professional and Patient: The contact information for both provider and patient shall be verified. This shall include gathering telephone and mail contact information for both the provider and patient and may also include contact information through
electronic sources such as email.
- Verification of Expectations Regarding Contact Between Sessions: Reasonable expectations about contact between sessions shall be discussed and verified with the patient. At the start of the treatment, the patient and provider should discuss whether or not the provider will be available for phone or electronic contact between sessions and the conditions under which such contact is appropriate. The provider should provide a specific time frame for expected response
between session contacts. This should also include a discussion of emergency management between sessions.
2. Patient Appropriateness for Videoconferencing-based Telemental Health
Mental health professionals should consider the patients’ expectations and level of comfort with home-based care to determine the appropriateness of using videoconferencing in this setting. Determining whether a patient can handle such demands may be more dependent on the patient’s organizational and cognitive capacities, than on diagnosis. Determining patient appropriateness for
videoconferencing-based telemental health services should, in addition to considering the patient’s ability to potentially benefit from them, rely on the professional’s assessment of the patient’s ability to arrange an appropriate setting for receiving videoconferencing services and the patient’s continued cooperativeness regarding managing safety issues. Professionals should also consider such things as patient’s cognitive capacity, history regarding cooperativeness with treatment professionals, current and past difficulties with substance abuse, and history of violence or self-injurious behavior. Professionals shall consider geographic distance to the nearest emergency medical facility, efficacy of patient’s support system, current medical status, and patient’s general level of competence around technology when determining patient appropriateness for videoconferencing. Professionals should evaluate the potential for risk factors or problems at the start of providing video-conferencing services in settings where a professional is not immediately available. In addition, evaluation of appropriateness of videoconferencing care should continue throughout the treatment including monitoring of symptoms and patient cooperativeness in assuming the responsibilities inherent in remote care.
3. Informed Consent
A thorough informed consent at the start of services shall be performed. The consent should be conducted with the patient in real–time. Local, regional and national laws regarding verbal or written consent shall be followed. If written consent is required, then electronic signatures, assuming these
are allowed in the relevant jurisdiction, may be used. The provider shall document the provision of consent in the medical record. The consent should include all information contained in the consent process for in-person care including discussion of the structure and timing of services, record keeping, scheduling, privacy, potential risks, confidentiality, mandatory reporting, and billing. In addition, the informed consent process should include information specific to the nature of
videoconferencing as described below. The information shall be provided in language that can be easily understood by the patient. This is particularly important when discussing technical issues like encryption or the potential for technical failure. Key topics that shall be reviewed include: confidentiality and the limits to confidentiality in electronic communication; an agreed upon emergency plan, particularly for patients in settings without clinical staff immediately available; process by which patient information will be documented and stored; the potential for technical failure, procedures for coordination of care with other professionals; a protocol for contact between sessions; and conditions under which telemental health services may be terminated and a referral made to in-person care.
4. Physical Environment
Both the professional and the patient’s room/environment should aim to provide comparable professional specifications of a standard services room. Efforts shall be made to ensure privacy so clinical discussion cannot be overheard by others outside of the room where the service is provided. If other people are in either the patient or the professional’s room, both the professional and patient shall be made aware of the other person and agree to their presence. Seating and lighting should be tailored to allow maximum comfort to the participants. Both professional and patient should maximize clarity and visibility of the person at the other end of the video services. For example, patients receiving care in non-traditional settings should be informed of the importance of reducing light from
windows or light emanating from behind them. Both provider and patient cameras should be on a secure, stable platform to avoid wobbling and shaking during the videoconferencing session. To the extent possible, the patient and provider cameras should be placed at the same elevation as the eyes with the face clearly visible to the other person.
5. Communication and Collaboration with the Patient’s Treatment Team
Professionals shall acknowledge that optimal clinical management of patients depends on
coordination of care between a multidisciplinary treatment team. This shall be discussed with all patients. However, patients may have specific privacy concerns about the release of information about mental health treatment even to other health professionals providing services to them and these concerns shall be respected. For patients who agree to coordination of care, telemental health
professionals should arrange for appropriate and regular private communication with other
professionals involved in care for the patient. Moreover, professionals conducting telemental health to patients in settings without clinical staff immediately available are encouraged to develop collaborative relationships with local community professionals, such as a patient’s local primary care provider, as these professionals may be invaluable in case of emergencies.
6. Emergency Management
Providing mental healthcare to patients using videoconferencing involves particular considerations regarding patient safety. There are also additional considerations when providing care to patients in settings without staff immediately available. Below are issues that should be considered in both types
of practice followed by separate sections for emergency management for supervised and
- Education and Training: Professionals should review their discipline's definitions of
"competence" prior to initiating telemental health patient care to assure that they maintain both technical and clinical competence for the delivery of care in this manner. Professionals should have completed basic education and training in suicide prevention. The depth of training and the definition of “basic” are solely at the professional’s discretion.
- Jurisdictional Mental Health Involuntary Hospitalization Laws: Each jurisdiction has its
own involuntary hospitalization and duty-to-notify laws outlining criteria and detainment
conditions. It is advised that professionals know and abide by the laws concerning involuntary hospitalization in the jurisdiction where the patient is physically located.
- Patient Safety when Providing Services in a Setting with Immediately Available
Professionals: When a professional sees a patient via personal computer and/or mobile
device outside of the patient’s home (e.g., local clinic, community-based outpatient clinic,
school site, library) or other facility where dedicated staff may be present, it may be important that the professional become familiar with the facility’s emergency procedures. In some cases, the facility will not have procedures in place. In such cases, the professional should coordinate with the distant site clinic to establish basic procedures. The basic procedures
a) identifying local emergency resources and phone numbers
b) becoming familiar with the location of the nearest hospital emergency room capable of
managing psychiatric emergencies
c) having patient’s family/support contact information. The professional may also learn
the chosen emergency response system's average response time (30 minutes vs. 5
hours) and the contact information for other local professional associations, such as the
city, county or state, provincial or other regional professional association(s) in case a
local referral is needed to follow-up with a local professional.
- Patient Safety when providing Services in a Setting without Immediately Available
Professional Staff: For treatment occurring where the patient is in a setting without clinical
staff, the professional may request the contact information of a family or community member
who could be called upon for support in the case of an emergency. This person will be called “the Patient Support Person,” an individual selected by the patient. In the case of an emergency, the professional may contact the Patient Support Person to request assistance in evaluating the nature of the emergency and/or initiating 9-1-1 from the patient’s home
- Patient Support Person and Uncooperative Patients: It is possible that a patient will not
cooperate in his or her own emergency management, which underlies the practice of
involuntary hospitalization in mental healthcare. Professionals should be prepared for this as well as the possibility that Patient Support Persons also may not cooperate if the patients themselves are adamant that they do not want to seek emergency care. Therefore, any emergency plan shall include local emergency personnel and knowledge of available resources in case of involuntary hospitalization.
- Transportation: As videoconferencing-based telemental health has developed, in part, to
increase access to patients in geographically remote areas, it is expected that there may be
barriers to transportation to local mental health services. In light of this, the professional shall know any limitations the patient has in terms of self-transporting and/or access to
transportation. Strategies to overcome these limitations in light of an emergency shall be
developed prior to starting treatment for patients in settings without staff immediately
available. In the event of a behavioral and/or medical emergency, the patient’s Patient
Support Person should discuss with emergency personnel whether they should transport the
- Local Emergency Personnel: In providing care to patients in settings without professional
staff immediately available, determining distance between local emergency personnel in the patient’s community and the patient’s location can shape the professional’s decision process in determining appropriate actions. Professionals shall acquire telephone numbers for local resources in the patient’s community. At the beginning of each session, the professional shall have the patient’s local emergency personnel telephone contact information readily available. Prior to each session, the provider shall also determine the patient’s location and whether there have been any changes to the patient’s personal support system or the emergency management protocol.
- Medical Issues: In case of medication side effects, elevation in symptoms, and/or issues
related to medication noncompliance, the professional should be familiar with the patient’s prescription and medication dispensation options. Likewise, when prescribing, the clinician should be aware of the availability of specific medications in the geographic location of the patient and that should inform prescribing choices. Patients receiving treatment through telemental health services should have an active relationship with a prescribing professional in their physical vicinity. If services are provided in a setting where a professional is not immediately available, the patient may be at risk if there is an acute change in his or her medical condition. The professional should be familiar with whom the patient is receiving
- Referral Resources: When the professional is providing telemental health, the professional
should be familiar with local in-person mental health resources, in cases which the
professional needs to make a referral for additional mental health or other appropriate
- Community and Cultural Competency: Professionals shall be culturally competent to deliver services to the populations that they serve. Examples of factors to consider include
awareness of the client’s language, ethnicity, race, age, gender, sexual orientation,
geographical location, and socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. Mental health professionals may use online resources to learn of the community where the patient resides including any recent significant events and cultural mores of that community.
Videoconferencing can be characterized by key features: the videoconferencing application, device characteristics including their mobility, network or connectivity features, and how privacy and security are maintained. The more recent use of desktop and mobile devices requires consideration of each of these.
A. Videoconferencing Applications:
Only HIPPA-secure video conferencing applications may be utilized for this purpose.
B. Device Characteristics:
When using a personal computer, both the professional device for video-transmission and the patient’s site should, when feasible, use high quality cameras and audio equipment now widely available on personal computers and mobile devices. In the event of a technology breakdown, causing a disruption of the session, the professional shall have a backup plan in place. The plan shall be communicated to the patient prior to commencement of treatment and may also be included in the general emergency management protocol. The professional
may review the technology backup plan on a routine basis. The plan may include calling the patient via telephone and attempting to troubleshoot the issue together. The plan may also include providing the patient with access to other mental healthcare. If the technical issue cannot be resolved, the professional may elect to complete the session via a voice-based telecommunication system.
Telemental healthcare services provided through personal computers or mobile devices that useinternet based videoconferencing software programs shall use bandwidth sufficient to achieve at maximum quality audio/video.
D. Privacy: Providers must use HIPPA-secure applications for telemental health services to ensure compliance
with the Privacy Rules.
A. Qualification and Training of Professionals:
In addition to clinical, legal, and ethical training required for licensure for in-person services, professionals should pursue and maintain certification and/or formal training in telemental health
B. Documentation and Record Keeping:
Professionals shall maintain a record for each patient for whom they provide remote services. Such a record should include an assessment, client identification information, contact information, history, treatment plan, informed consent, and information about fees and billing. A treatment plan based upon
an assessment of the patient’s needs should be developed and documented. The plan should meet the professional’s discipline standards and guidelines and include a description of what services are to
be provided and the goals for services. Services should be accurately documented as remote services and include dates, duration and type of service(s) provided. Documentation shall comply with
applicable jurisdictional and federal laws and regulations. Policies for record retention and disposal should be in place. All communications with the patient (e.g., written, audiovisual, or verbal) shall be documented in the patient’s unique record and all such records shall be stored in compliance with
relevant government regulations, such as HIPAA and HI-TECH within the US. Requests for access to such records shall require written authorization from the patient with a clear indication of what types of data and which information is to be released. If professionals are storing the audiovisual data from the
sessions, these cannot be released unless the patient authorization indicates specifically that this is to be released. Upon direction and written approval by the patient, the patient’s record shall be made available to another provider that is caring for the patient. All billing and administrative data related to
the patient shall be secured to protect confidentiality. Specifically, all records are confidential; HIPAA regulations regarding psychotherapy notes are adhered to; and only relevant information is released
for reimbursement purposes as outlined by HIPAA in the US.
As an affiliate of the Center for Apostolic Counseling, I understand that I will be entering
into a network of Apostolic counselors and mental health professionals. As an important
part of this network I acknowledge that I will receive the following benefits:
1) Fellowship with other Apostolic professionals.
2) A resource for sending and receiving referrals.
3) Professional connection for Apostolic consultations.
4) Opportunities for continuing education credits from an Apostolic worldview.
5) Academic opportunities for writing and teaching via the CAC Network.
6) A dedicated page and/or link to my personal practice from the CAC website.
7) Participation in CAC events, promotions, and projects.
8) Use of the CAC logo for appropriate promotions.
These benefits are provided to me with the following commitments:
1) I will honor the ministry by providing a reasonable discount for my services.
2) I will support the CAC through positive promotions.
3) I will financially support the CAC. (A minimum suggested gift of $144/year or $15/month). Gifts may be setup on the CAC website at
4) I will actively engage in CAC events and projects as I am available.
The Center for Apostolic Counseling appreciates the confidence placed in this ministry
and the associated practitioners by the pastors who faithfully support and provide
referrals for services. It is our desire to work closely with the pastor, when possible and
if applicable to the client’s overall well-being. It is recommended that the practitioner
obtain the necessary Release of Information for such engagement with the referring
The Release of Information should contain the contact information for the practitioner,
the client, and the pastor. The Release of Information should clearly state that the client is giving permission for the practitioner to speak to the pastor about the treatment process (follow your state’s guidelines for the necessary wording). The Release of Information should be kept in the client’s record.
I understand that through the CAC Network that I will receive referrals and that those referrals will be served to the best of my ability. I understand that my work with CAC referrals will directly reflect on The Center for Apostolic Counseling.
I authorize any person, organization or company listed on this application to furnish you any and all information concerning my previous employment, education and qualifications for inclusion into the CAC Network.
I also authorize you to request and receive such information. In consideration, I agree to abide by the rules and regulations of the CAC, which rules may be changed, withdrawn, added or interpreted at any time, at the CAC's sole option and without prior notice to me.
I understand that no representative of the CAC has any authority to enter into any agreement for any specified period of time, or to assure or make some other personnel move, either prior to commencement of CAC Network inclusion or after I have become a part of the CAC Network, or to assure any benefits or terms and conditions, or to make any agreement, that is contrary to the foregoing.
I authorize any person, organization or company listed on this application to furnish you any and all information concerning my previous employment, education, and qualifications for inclusion into the CAC Network. In consideration, I agree to abide by the rules and regulations of the CAC, which rules may be changed, withdrawn, added or interpreted at any time, at the CAC's sole option and without prior notice to me.
I understand that it is my obligation to maintain any license required in the jurisdictions in which I practice or plan to practice. I attest that all information on this application is accurate, truthful, and correct to the best of my knowledge. I understand that to falsify information is grounds for refusing to allow me into CAC Network or for removal from the CAC Network should I be included.
I understand that by joining the CAC Network I will support the CAC through positive promotion via word-of-mouth, social media, professional networks, church-related events, etc… I will financially support the CAC and understand the minimum suggested gift is $144/year or $15/month.
I hereby acknowledge that I have been advised that this application will remain active for no more than 90 days from the date it was submitted.
I understand that this application does not guarantee acceptance into The Center for Apostolic Counseling Network.