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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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Posts with category: Ordination Exams

March 15, 2013

Turning a Page on Exams

Notebook computer displaying exam areasLast week readers elected by their presbyteries gathered together in Atlanta to evaluate standard ordination examinations. Even as they met in Atlanta, readers elected by presbyteries across the upper Midwest and Plains were also evaluating exams. What these readers shared in common was that all the exams they read and evaluations they wrote were managed through an online system. What distinguished them was that the Southern Region readers in Atlanta marked the end of a roughly 45-year practice of bringing people to central locations to perform this work, and the Midwest Region readers joined readers from the Northeast and Central ...

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October 31, 2012

Review of the Preparation Process

Committee around tableIn 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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August 31, 2012

"Early results are in..."

Well, the candidates have finished the first round of online testing for the senior ordination exams, and on the whole the early reviews have been very positive. That is not to say that there were not some problems or that there is no room for improvement.

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August 20, 2012

Countdown to Online Exam Launch

film strip countdownI’m using this post to encourage those who follow this blog to help us get the word out about two very important things related to the online ordination exams at the end of this week. We have sent this information via email to everyone registered for the exams, but not everyone is diligent in checking their email. Beyond that, specialists in advertising say that getting a message across requires multiple exposures in multiple formats. So if you or someone you know will be taking ordination exams on Friday and Saturday, I hope you will reinforce this message.

Here is ...

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July 31, 2012

Online Exams Becoming Reality

Screen shot of online exegesis examIt was six years ago this past spring that the Presbyteries’ Cooperative Committee on Examinations for Candidates (PCC) formed a task group to explore the possibilities for moving the paper-based examination system into the digital age. This past weekend PCC members became the first people to use an online system to answer an ordination exam question. In just four weeks, 511 inquirers and candidates will take one or more examinations online. In this post, I will describe the process we are engaged in to do all that we can to assure that the transition from paper to Internet goes as ...

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