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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

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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July 13, 2012

220th GA Wrap-Up

Logo of the 220th General Assembly PC(USA)The 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) completed its work on Saturday morning, July 7. It will likely be remembered both for the things that happened at the Assembly and for actions the commissioners did not take. A full-wrap is available on the church website (click here), and all the details are on PC-Biz. As previously promised, here is an update on the business items highlighted in my previous blog.

Ordination Examinations: By unanimous consent the Assembly approved the suggestion from the Office of the General Assembly to incorporate a study of the standard ordination ...

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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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June 21, 2012

The Public is Private, Removed

From several comments submitted shortly after I earlier this evening published a follow-on piece related to the June 10 post, "The Public is Private," it is clear that it is in the best interest of all concerned to remove both the original post and the follow-on piece.

At a future point it will be useful to take up issues of the relation of public and private personas, of boundaries in self-disclosure, and the role of social media in these regards in our online world. But those points will need to be discussed in the absence of any particular case.

The ...

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April 25, 2012

(Post[?]-)Denominational Ministry

As I have over the last three weeks been meeting with ecumenical colleagues, seminarians, and presbytery staff and volunteers around topics related to preparing for ministry in the 21st century, one topic that has emerged repeatedly has been the challenge of preparing folks for denominational ministry in what is an increasingly post-denominational age.

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