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The Rev. Timothy Cargal, Ph.D., serves as the Coordinator, Preparation for Ministry/Exams for Mid Council Ministries of the Office of the General Assembly.

“... the Land that I Will Show You” is the blog of the Office of Preparation for Ministry/Examinations of the Presbyterian Church (USA). This blog is designed to serve as a resource for those discerning and preparing for a call to the ministry of Word and Sacrament as ordained teaching elders of the church. It will also provide a place for reflecting on and dialoging about the changing context of pastoral ministry in the early 21st century.

For quick announcements about changes or developments in the preparation process, dates related to exams or other key events, discussion boards, surveys, etc., you can follow us on Facebook at “Preparing for Presbyterian Ministry.”

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August 31, 2011

Why Ordination Exams? ... Then

Fountain pen laying on paper with written textAs I write this post, we are in the midst of the fall ordination examinations. The “sit-down” exams were completed last weekend. The “take-home” exegesis exam is due tomorrow. The “online” Bible Content Examination is the next day. Over the next six weeks, we will be preparing readers, convening the groups where exams will be evaluated, and reporting the results. A tremendous amount of human and financial resources will be expended during this period. More than a few folks involved will no doubt at some point say to themselves, “And why are we doing this?” (And, no, it won’t ...


August 10, 2011

From "Certfication" to "Ordination"

Calendar pagesOver the past two days there has been a lively discussion on the “CPM Sharing” group about the statistics relating those seeking pastoral positions in the PC(USA) with the number of positions available. Given the focus of that group on the preparation for ministry process, there has been particular interest around the “job market” for those looking for their first call. The numbers on which the discussion is based have been drawn from the Church Leadership Connection (CLC) website (click here for current figures). Some very thoughtful questions and observations about what those numbers can and cannot tell us ...