Committee on Preparation for Ministry

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Purpose:

  • Oversight, guidance, and examination of inquirers and candidates
  • Appointment of readers for examination exams
  • Prepare and supervise Commissioned Lay Pastors

Theological Education Fund Information Video

Application Stage:
The individual in Homestead Presbytery considering a professional ordained vocation in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) shall:

  • Belong to a PC(U.S.A.) congregation within Homestead Presbytery for a period of at least 6 months (G-14.0303b)
  • Explore his or her sense of call and personal implications with the Sessions and Pastor (G-14.0303a)
  • Complete the Application to be Enrolled as an Inquirer, (Form 1), and submit it to the Session.

The session, after meeting with the individual, shall:

  • Make an enrollment recommendation to Homestead Presbytery through the Stated Clerk (G-14.0303d)
  • Forward the Application to be Enrolled as an Inquirer, (Form 1), to the CPM Moderator
  • Contact the CPM for orientation to the process (G-14.0303c)

The CPM, upon receipt of the recommendation, shall:

  • Review the following materials:
    • The recommendation of the Session
    • The Application to be Enrolled as an Inquirer, (Form 1)
    • The Psychological/ Career Development Report
  • Meet with and interview the individual (G-14.0303e)
  • Recommend to Homestead Presbytery whether to enroll the individual as an inquirer (G-14.0303e)

When interviewing a potential inquirer, the CPM looks to see if the person demonstrates:

Personal integrity and responsibility

  • A positive, hopeful approach
  • Flexibility, openness, and the ability to learn
  • The acceptance of risk and the ability to face the absurd and tragic dimensions of life in ways which point toward hope
  • Lively personal interests and activities
  • Knowledge of self and one's own issues including acknowledgement of limitations
  • Ability to receive personal counsel
  • Ability to listen
  • Qualities of compassion and caring
  • Commitment to participation in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A)
  • Acceptance of clergy call as servant
  • Affirmation of the place of Biblical faith
  • A sense of spiritual presence
  • A self-critical stance which encourages opinions from others and a willingness to change in the light of new evidence

Inquiry Stage:
The inquirer shall:

  • Engage in some form of service to the church with the approval and under the guidance of the committee on preparation for ministry (G-14.0307)
  • Complete a Pre-Interview Annual Consultation Report, (Form 3), concerning progress in studies and service to the church (G-14.0307) and return that report to the committee prior to the consultation
  • Participate in the committee's Annual Consultation Program. In no case shall an inquirer be excused from the annual consultation (G-14.0309d)
  • Request that all grade reports and field education reports be sent to the committee on preparation for ministry
  • Take the Bible Content Examination beginning in the first year of the seminary study.
  • Participate in a Psychological/Career Development Group with Midwest Career Center. (CPM will pay for all but the travel expenses)
  • Remain as an inquirer for a sufficient length of time for the inquirer, the session, and the committee on preparation for ministry to decide whether the inquirer should apply to become a Candidate

The Session shall:

  • Function in a supportive role to assure that care is provided on a continuous basis (G-14.0306b)
  • Appoint an elder form the church to be a liaison person with the inquirer
  • Consider the provision of financial support for the inquirer
  • Provide for the individual to participate in a Psychological/Career Development Group with the Midwest Career Center. (CPM will pay the for all but the travel expenses. Expenses related to travel, room and board shall ordinarily be paid by the Session.)

The CPM shall:

  • Appoint a committee liaison
  • Develop a Covenant of Agreement, (Form 2B), for guidance, goals, consultations, and reports
  • Exercise responsibility for the spiritual growth of the inquirer (G-14.0306a2)
  • Support the inquirer with an understanding and sympathetic interest (G-14.0306a2)
  • Give guidance in regard to courses of study, familiarity with the Bible and with the confessions, practical training and plans for education (G-14.0306a2)
  • Give guidance and instruction to the inquirer in the faith and polity of the church (G-14.0306a2)
  • Instruct session on its role in the inquiry process (G-14.0306a1)
  • Send a copy of the Pre-Interview Annual Consultation Report, (Form 3), to the inquirer well in advance of the annual consultation
  • Conduct an Annual Consultation Program (G-14.0309)
  • Submit copies of the Report of Annual Consultation, (Form 4), to the inquirer, the sponsoring session, and the theological institution
  • Inform all inquirers of scholarship opportunities

Offerings at Ordination / Installation Services

When an offering at an Ordination or Service of Installation is taken, that offering should be used for the support of inquirers and candidates in Homestead Presbytery.

Financial Aid:

The Vera Moorhead Memorial Scholarship Fund For Students for Ministry

Definition of Term:

  • Scholarship will be a fund available to students preparing for Ordained Ministry to be used for emergency aid only. A maximum of one hundred ($100.00) per student per application will be given
  • Students must be an Inquirer or Candidate for the Ministry of the Word and Sacrament and be under care of Homestead Presbytery
  • Students for Ministry must be presently attending a seminary as a full-time student
  • All students must make application and meet all the qualifications and criteria herein contained to receive this scholarship

Qualifications and Criteria

  • Students may make application for this scholarship bi-annually. Applications will be distributed annually.

The Moderator of the Committee on Preparation for Ministry must receive applications by September 1 and January 1. Applications will be reviewed and monies allocated in early November and early March.

Application Guidelines

  • Students must make application to the Committee on Preparation for Ministry by way of the moderator of the committee for this emergency aid fund
  • Students must give a written description of the circumstances that lead them to apply for this emergency aid.

Administrative Responsibility

  • The Committee on Preparation for Ministry shall use only the interest on the principal of the Vera Moorhead Memorial Scholarship Fund.
  • The Committee on Preparation for Ministry shall make all Inquirers and Candidates aware of this emergency aid annually in time for them to make application by September 1 and January 1.
  • The Committee on Preparation for Ministry will examine and review all the applications that are submitted and decide on the validity of the needs and who shall receive the one hundred dollar ($100.00) grants

Use of Funds

  • Any interest not used within the given year will then be added to the principal. It is not to accumulate. The Committee on Preparation for Ministry may include other monies to be added to this scholarship fund.

Session:

Each Session is expected to provide support for inquirers and candidates under their care. This is a serious commitment made between an individual, their session, and the Presbytery, each should contribute to this commitment in some manner.

Presbytery Support:

Five Hundred ($500) per semester is available to each inquirer or candidate under care through the Committee's Presbytery Budget

To apply, contact liaison or the CPM chair (if liaison is unavailable)

Omaha Seminary Foundation (1-402-402-397-5138 )

  • Offers $2500 annual grants (3 years max for $7500)
  • Offers $4000 annual grants (3 years max for $12,000)

For both of the above the applicant must:

1) Be a member of Presbyterian Church (USA).

2) Be under the care of a Presbytery as a Candidate/Inquirer.

3) Possess qualities of excellence for ministry.

4) Be accepted or enrolled in one of the following: Austin Seminary, Columbia Seminary, Dubuque Seminary, John C. Smith Seminary, Louisville Seminary, McCormick Seminary, Pittsburgh Seminary, Princeton Seminary, San Francisco Seminary, or Union Seminary/PSCE.

Brochures are available with a description of the grant.

National Support

  • Theological Education Website: links to where a person can find additional funding and support: http://www.thefund.org/programs/fellowships/fellowshipsplus/index.html
  • Presbyterian Study Grant – ($200 - $2000) per academic year, apply though Financial Aid office at the Seminary.

Candidacy

Things that the CPM looks for when we interview a potential Inquirer:

  • An inquirer will demonstrate continues development of those qualities desirable for coming under care. He or she will also be able to demonstrate additional competencies listed below by giving a specific example taken from class work, field education, and personal experience.
  • The ability to understand and work with a variety of viewpoints and persons
  • The ability to set appropriate personal and professional goals and to monitor these goals
  • The ability to manage time
  • Availability to persons and families in times of need
  • Appropriate empathy, compassion, and identification with the other in facing the deepest questions of life
  • The ability to form and sustain positive relationships with persons of all ages
  • The ability to work with staff colleagues in ways which facilitate mutual trust and growth and the accomplishment of tasks
  • Understanding of the variety of methods of interpreting literature of the Christian tradition
  • Understanding of the historical context, theological, and ethical terms of major Old Testament, New Testament, historical and contemporary theologians
  • Development of a theological position that permits interpretation of the Christian traditions and one's own personal, social, and religious experience.
  • The ability to relate this theological position to the Reformed tradition
  • Understanding and appreciation of the liturgical stance of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
  • An Awareness of the worldwide character of the Christian faith and its diverse witness
  • An active concern for the issues of social justice