Association of Christian Religious Practitioners (ACRP)

ACRP is a professional body for people serving in the field of religious and ministry profession.

This professional body functions in the structure of different professional councils: Council for General Ministry Practitioners (CGMP); Council for Training Practitioners (CTPC) and Council for Pastoral and Spiritual Counsellors (CPSC).

Benefits of affiliating with ACRP:

  • Professional recognition in terms of an Act of Parliament.
  • Formal confirmation of ethical standards.
  • Assistance with best practice of governance to ensure public trust.
  • Formal recognition of knowledge and experience (Recognition of Prior Learning).
  • Access to formal qualifications.
  • Access to Continued Professional Development (CPD).

Detailed information and forms are available on

Council for General Ministry Practitioners (CGMP)

This council is responsible for the professional body services to church and ministry leaders in general and to specialists in sub-disciplines that do not have their own ministry councils, such as youth ministry, missionaries etc.

CGMP is also responsible for the registration and management processes for pastors and those in general ministry. Those who register with ACRP through one of its councils are called affiliates of ACRP.

Affiliates linked to ACRP via CGMP are persons in ministry in churches and other ministry institutions, including persons in full time or part time ministry. Individual persons in ministry can become affiliated with ACRP via CGMP directly or through intermediaries. CGMP develops relationships with churches, denominations, church networks, fraternals, other ministry organisations and training providers who can be affiliated with ACRP by entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ACRP. By doing so an institution becomes a partner of ACRP, with the purpose of making the professional body services available to the members and/or students of the institution. An organisation that becomes affiliated with ACRP is also recognised as an intermediary between ACRP and the members and/or students associated with the affiliated organisation.

Detailed information and forms are available on

Council for Ministry Training Practitioners (CMTP)

CMTP is responsible for the registration of persons and institutions who specialises in providing ministry training.

This council was established by representatives of theological and ministry training institutions as well as churches and ecumenical networks. The main purpose was to serve as a coordination platform among ministry training institutions; to pursue new opportunities that were created in the South African qualifications environment towards the formal accreditation of training of pastors and ministers who did not have the opportunity for formally recognised training in the past; to create new opportunities for the large number of Bible schools and other training institutions in the country and over the continent to be formally recognised and registered within the South African National Qualification Framework (NQF).

For ministry training programmes to become formally accredited within the (NQF), there are two possible routes: either to be accredited via the Council for Higher Education (CHE) or via the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO).

ACRP can and do support and mentor training providers with the focus of the support and mentoring being on both institutional capacity and programme content. Support is provided so that they will be ready to apply to QCTO for accreditation as providers of the new occupational qualifications in Christian ministry.

As a professional body, ACRP can provide guidelines and advice to training institutions who want to submit an application for QCTO accreditation. Such institutions can enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ACRP. By doing so an institution becomes a partner of ACRP, with the purpose of making the professional body services available to the members and/or students of the institution. ACRP can also provide tools that were created to help with the completing of the QCTO application. ACRP are available throughout to provide guidance and to continue playing a supportive role during the process.

Another purpose for CMTP is the need to develop and pursue a joint vision for Christian leadership training in the country; the need to create a teaching and training presence and unrestrained access to ministry training over the country and to create opportunities for persons who want to study but do not have access to tertiary institutions.

Detailed information and forms are available on

Council for Pastoral and Spiritual Counsellors (CPSC)

CPSC was established to take care of the professionalisation needs of the large number of well qualified pastoral care and counselling practitioners who could not receive formally recognised, professional designations in the past. This was because, in the past, no space existed within the South African regulatory framework for the formal recognition of pastoral carers and counsellors.

Affiliates linked to ACPR via CPSC comes from a wide range of persons with a focussed or specialised counselling ministry, varying from lay pastoral workers, counsellors, chaplains, pastors, ministers and specialist counsellors to private practitioners, family and marriage counsellors, trauma counsellors and mediators.

The main objectives of CPSC are:

  • Guiding the profession and protecting the public;
  • Setting and maintaining standards of pastoral and spiritual counselling; and
  • Maintaining and enhancing the dignity of the profession.
  • Other objectives are:
  • Aligning the profession with the changing landscape of the South African socio-political needs;
  • Providing a scope of practice that makes pastoral and spiritual practice more accessible to all people;
  • Moving pastoral and spiritual counselling into contexts where it can serve society in an optimal manner (including hospitals, correctional services, schools, etc);
  • Promoting inter-professional liaison and promoting spiritual health and wellness;
  • Encouraging study, research and publications on pastoral and spiritual counselling;
  • Monitoring Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in pastoral and spiritual counselling; and
  • Obtaining statutory recognition of the profession.

Detailed information and forms are available on