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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 Process

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.

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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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October 19, 2012

Emotional Intelligence in Ministry

Emotional Intelligence logoThis 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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September 27, 2012

Updated "Advisory Handbook" Available

Cover of Advisory HandbookSeveral actions taken by the General Assembly this past summer affect the preparation for ministry process. In conjunction with the annual “Polity Conference” the first week of October, we are releasing an updated version of the Advisory Handbook on Preparing for Ministry in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). This edition also includes new materials in response to requests for expanded treatment of some topics. “Release 1.3” of the 2011/2013 handbook is now available for download from our website.

In all, six sections in the “Walking the Road Together” chapter of the Handbook have been updated. In order ...

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September 14, 2012

Of Carts and Horses

Cartoon of "putting cart before the horse"One of the great questions now before the church concerns how it relates to its changing cultural context, and the types of leaders and forms of leadership needed to bring to reality a new relationship between church and culture. In this post I want to look at one particular aspect of that question—the relationship between leaders and institutional change—and whether we are in some ways "putting the cart before the horse."

I recently finished reading Diana Butler Bass's book, Christianity after Religion (San Francisco: Harper One, 2012). One of the key analytical structures utilized in the book ...

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