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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 27, 2012

Updated "Advisory Handbook" Available

Cover of Advisory HandbookSeveral actions taken by the General Assembly this past summer affect the preparation for ministry process. In conjunction with the annual “Polity Conference” the first week of October, we are releasing an updated version of the Advisory Handbook on Preparing for Ministry in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). This edition also includes new materials in response to requests for expanded treatment of some topics. “Release 1.3” of the 2011/2013 handbook is now available for download from our website.

In all, six sections in the “Walking the Road Together” chapter of the Handbook have been updated. In order ...


September 14, 2012

Of Carts and Horses

Cartoon of "putting cart before the horse"One of the great questions now before the church concerns how it relates to its changing cultural context, and the types of leaders and forms of leadership needed to bring to reality a new relationship between church and culture. In this post I want to look at one particular aspect of that question—the relationship between leaders and institutional change—and whether we are in some ways "putting the cart before the horse."

I recently finished reading Diana Butler Bass's book, Christianity after Religion (San Francisco: Harper One, 2012). One of the key analytical structures utilized in the book ...