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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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December 21, 2012

Some Year-End Snapshots

2012Like many folks in many lines of work, the approaching end of the year signals for me not only preparations for Christmas but drawing together a number of annual reports. So in the spirit of many publications’ “year in review” stories I present here some snapshots drawn from the Inquirers and Candidates Database at the close of 2012.

So as you look at these “snapshots” from our family album, what do you think? Any of these numbers stand out more than the others for you? What do you make of the observation that our mythical “average” individual under care is a Caucasian woman candidate in her thirties who has already graduated from seminary?

Categories: Ordination Process


November 30, 2012

Changes Coming to CLC

“Church Leadership Connection” (CLC) is an Internet-based matching and referral system widely used by Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregations seeking pastoral leadership and by teaching elders and those seeking first calls to be ordained as teaching elders in the church. Having been in place for more than a decade, the CLC system will be receiving some significant updates in the coming year.

My colleagues in the Office of Vocation who manage CLC have highlighted the following changes in a report to the General Assembly earlier this year:

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November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving and Leadership

One of the ironies of modern American life is the juxtaposition of Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. At least according to the traditional view of things, we gather together with family and friends on Thursday to give thanks for all the things we have—and hopefully to recall that the most important things are not “things” at all, but intangibles like “faith, hope, and love” that Paul reminds are the things that abide (1 Corinthians 13:13). Then on Friday we rush out to buy things by the trunk-load because we are convinced those important to us need them—need ...

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October 31, 2012

Review of the Preparation Process

In my “GA wrap-up” post last summer, I shared that the Assembly called for a special committee to study the overall preparation for ministry process with particular attention to the place of the standard examinations within that process. The committee was charged to bring recommendations to the next General Assembly in 2014. In this post I want to provide an update on that review. But first, a little background …

The last official review of the preparation process for teaching elders was conducted between September 1998 and October 2000 at the request of the General Assembly Council (now the Presbyterian Mission ...

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October 19, 2012

Emotional Intelligence in Ministry

This fall the Office of Vocation has been partnering with the Center for EQ-HR Skills in a very small-scale study of the use of instruments that assess “Emotional Intelligence” with ministers and those preparing for ministry as teaching elders to promote awareness of how these skills contribute to leadership effectiveness.

As summarized by Daniel Goleman, one of the early and leading figures in this field, emotional intelligence is the capacity for recognizing one’s own feelings and those of others, for motivating one’s self, for managing emotions well in one’s self and in one’s relationships with others ...

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