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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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March 27, 2012

Who is the Client?

Today I joined with a number of colleagues who serve the Presbyterian Church (USA) at the national level for presentations by and conversations with Gil Rendle about cultural forces in which denominations are currently going about their work. (I’ve discussed some aspects of his book, Journey in the Wilderness, in a previous post.) There was one question he posed to the group specifically with reference to those who are preparing for ordained ministry that I would like to pose to those who follow this blog.

First though, let me summarize the background against which he posed the question. In ...


March 23, 2012

The End of an Era

Exam book laying on computerAcross the church this week those who wrote standard ordination examinations last January have been receiving their examination books and readers’ evaluations back from their proctors. What as been a twice-yearly ritual for more than four decades was being performed for the last time. When the “ords” are next taken in August of this year, they will be a paperless process.

The first steps toward online ordination exams were actually taken back in October 2009. On the first Friday of that month, a “pilot test” of Internet-based administration of the Bible Content Examination (BCE) was conducted. A total of 138 ...