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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

June 27, 2012

220th GA Preview

Logo of the 220th General Assembly PC(USA)The 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) will convene in Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon, June 30. As always, there are many items that rate high on the attention of both members of our churches and our broader society. In this post I want to point out just a few business items that may not be covered by one’s local newspaper but will likely be of interest both to those preparing for ministry as teaching elders in the PC(USA) and those who work with them in their discernment and preparation.

Since anyone can follow ...

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May 31, 2012

A Next Step

Open book displayed on tablet computer screenThe Presbyteries’ Cooperative Committee on Examinations for Candidates (PCC) is currently conducting its Annual Meeting. During its opening business session, the PCC considered a number of issues related to moving the exams to an online system. There have been many reasons why the PCC began this effort more than five years ago, but from the very beginning a primary one is that people now simply expect to have the advantages made possible by technological advancement.

At its meeting last year, the PCC took one step that was not directly related to online administration of the examinations themselves but that definitely ...

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April 16, 2012

A Digital Handbook for Digital Exams

This fall, the standard ordination examinations will have a whole new "look and feel" as all five areas will be administered online for the first time. So that everyone from inquirers and candidates, to their presbytery committees, to the proctors at the testing sites can prepare for the changes, we are releasing a new edition of the "Handbook on Standard Ordination Examinations in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)."

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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 ...

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February 28, 2012

Considering Our--and Others'--Call

Block question mark casting a shadowI’m currently on the road visiting a couple of seminary campuses to meet with Presbyterian students, the faculties, and administrative support staff. As always these visits have included many stimulating discussions. But as I was reading through the passages for this morning in the Daily Lectionary, one of those conversations immediately came to mind.

The observation was made that any process that requires a person to demonstrate God’s call on her or his life to others runs the very real risk of excluding some who are genuinely called but simply cannot provide the particular “evidence” (see G-2.0607 ...

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