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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

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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January 27, 2012

Interpreting Ord Results

Exam resultsOver the next eight days, almost 600 inquirers and candidates will write a just over 1,000 total ordination examinations. Roughly 20% of those will be Bible Content Examinations (BCE), and the remainder are fairly evenly divided across the Theology, Worship & Sacraments, Polity, and Exegesis exams. Those taking the BCE on February 3 will receive their results immediately upon completion (since it is a multiple choice exam taken online), while those taking the other “ords” will anxiously be waiting to receive their results about a week after the Reading Groups meet on March 5-7.

For many of both those under ...

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August 31, 2011

Why Ordination Exams? ... Then

Fountain pen laying on paper with written textAs I write this post, we are in the midst of the fall ordination examinations. The “sit-down” exams were completed last weekend. The “take-home” exegesis exam is due tomorrow. The “online” Bible Content Examination is the next day. Over the next six weeks, we will be preparing readers, convening the groups where exams will be evaluated, and reporting the results. A tremendous amount of human and financial resources will be expended during this period. More than a few folks involved will no doubt at some point say to themselves, “And why are we doing this?” (And, no, it won’t ...

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March 31, 2011

A Horse of a Different Color

With apologies for the delay (March has been a busy month of travel and meetings), I do want to follow-up on the question about what other issues test takers raised in their feedback forms after the spring ordination exams. There...

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March 1, 2011

Testing Beyond the Questions

Last week I read through the evaluation forms submitted by those who wrote senior ordination exams at the end of January. These exams were only the second to involve online registration and the first that required all test takers (and...

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