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The Rev. Timothy Cargal, Ph.D., serves as Assistant Stated Clerk for Preparation for Ministry in 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 of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). 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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January 30, 2013

Pastoral Residency Accepting Applicants

For Such a Time as ThisThe Office of Vocation is currently receiving applications for its fourth class of pastoral residents in the “For Such a Time As This” program. The commitment of all those involved in the program is to small church ministry that is “Growing Leaders, Growing Churches.

Since 2009, there have been 22 pastors serving in their first calls with 26 congregations in ten different presbyteries. The residents serve in temporary pastoral relationships with two-year terms. Of those in the first class, virtually all continued as pastors with the congregations once that term was concluded. A similar pattern is anticipated as the second class reaches the end of their two years of service in the coming months because the program has produced very good matches between pastors and congregations.

Churches are selected because they fit the pattern of traditionally hard-to-place calls but where there is a commitment among members and the presbytery to renew the congregation through missional engagement with their communities. The pastoral residents receive a variety of supports including special training events and partnering with experienced pastoral mentors. This training focuses on church growth and transformation—skills that can help them considerably in securing their next call at whatever point their work with the residency congregation is concluded.

Participants in the program have spoken very highly of the collegiality experienced not only between the residents and their mentors but with their fellow residents as well. Many believe that the bonds they are forming during their participation will continue to support and encourage them throughout their ministries.

Applicants for the Class of 2013 must be candidates under care of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) who are seeking their first-call and are willing and able to serve at sites within the bounds of the program’s 2013 partner presbyteries. Since the deadline for presbytery applications is January 31, a list of partner presbyteries for the incoming class is not yet available. Only candidates who will be “certified ready to be examined for ordination, pending  a call” by summer 2013 are eligible to apply, and the deadline is March 31. The website link for more information is ...

If you have questions, contact Coordinator, Cindy Cushman at

Categories: Ordained Ministry