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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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September 29, 2011

Why Ordination Exams? ... Future

Theology exam book laying atop laptop computerThe previous two posts have explored how the ordination exams began from a concern for equitable treatment of those preparing for ministry of Word and Sacrament and the principles formed to achieve this purpose of equitable treatment of candidates across the church. In this final installment in the series, I want to look to the future of the ords in light of changes to the exams process recently announced by the committee of the church responsible for their administration.

The current model for administering the Presbyterian Church (USA) ordination examinations is essentially unchanged since the tests began in the United ...


September 13, 2011

Why Ordination Exams? ... Now

building blocks of ord exam priniciples

In my previous post I shared how the ordination exams began from a concern for equitable treatment of those seeking ordination to the ministry of Word and Sacrament. In this second of three posts in this series on the past, present, and future of the ords, I want to share the principles formed to achieve this purpose of equitable treatment of candidates across the church. Historically, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and its predecessor bodies have expressed three principles on which the exams are based.

Blind review by future peers in ministry (ruling and teaching elders) from outside one’s own ...