How Long to Prepare for PCA Ordination Exams?

Discussion in 'Church Office' started by McPatrickClan, Nov 27, 2009.

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  1. McPatrickClan

    McPatrickClan Puritan Board Freshman

    Hi Guys- I am a first-year student at Redeemer Seminary. I have done well so far and earned all As & Bs (with the exception of my final semester of Greek :doh:). I am a good student who works hard at it & tries to do my best.

    My ultimate hope is that I will be able to plant a PCA church. I realize that I must be ordained to make this happen. I am trying to plan for my ordination exams, hopefully in the North Texas Presbytery in 2012.

    A few questions:

    1) Do you suggest going for licensure (sp?) first?

    2) How long is normal for a person to study for these exams?

    3) Any other tips?

    I'm in a bit of a time crunch (i.e. I cannot really study for a year or anything like that) only because I have three kids under six years old and a wife. Right now, we are robbing Peter to pay Paul to make it through seminary, so we have to make some headway as quickly as we can.

    However, I am no quick study, so I have to be aware of that as I plan 2012 & beyond. Thanks for your help!
  2. CIT

    CIT Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Our newest minister was just recently ordained and studied for six months after he graduated before taking his exams. I am not sure if this is normal or not, but it is what he did.
  3. westminken

    westminken Puritan Board Freshman

    You can send an e-mail to Steve Simmons, he is the chairman of the Theological Examining Committee of the NTP. I think for most guys it has been around 3-6 months for licensure studying. Are you under care in the NTP?
  4. Wayne

    Wayne Tempus faciendi, Domine.

    If you are a first year student, you have at least two years ahead of you to prepare.

    1. Get the booklet by Meek & Chapell and start working through the questions. Prepare print outs of your answers. Refine your answers as time and course learning permits. It sounds like a lot, in addition to your school work, but it is feasible. If you start now and study along the way, you could be ready to take your exams immediately upon graduation (so long as you had a call in hand).

    2. Memorize the Shorter Catechism. Again, you've got two years to accomplish this before exams loom near in your future. Take each Lord's Day to read through the entire WSC. After 104 repetitions, you'll know it pretty well.

    3. Along the way, read through the Westminster Confession and take notes as you go. Write down questions for further study.

    4. Read through the PCA's Book of Church Order too, at least several times a year. Don't sweat this one so much, but do try to have some good familiarity with the content.

    5. Check with your presbytery about licensure exams. You should definitely pursue licensure before ordination. It's a simpler exam and should be no problem. Follow the above schedule and try to schedule the licensure exam about a year from now, whenever it might be easiest on your schedule.
    Going through that exam will get your feet wet and you'll know a bit about what to expect.

    6. You might also try diligently to attend presbytery meetings if at all possible (even if not your own presbytery). For one, you will learn a lot just by observing the proceedings, plus you will begin to meet people and begin friendships and networks.

    The main thing is, if you are far-sighted and start preparing now, studying just in small bites at a time, you'll do fine.
  5. McPatrickClan

    McPatrickClan Puritan Board Freshman

    I am Under Care and thanks for all the tips! Keep em coming!
  6. Kevin

    Kevin Puritan Board Doctor

    I just passed my lic. exam & here is what I did for almost 1 year after I came under care.

    Meek & Chapell sat on my bedside table & I constantly refered to it. A friend forwarded me a 65+ page doc. that he had used of study notes.

    WSC I never learned it "word-for-word", but I read it everyday & taught it to my kids, and preached through the first third of it.

    Read the bible systematicly & completely. Then do it again. And again.

    Now I never went to seminary. I have a BA in Biblical Studies & a grad certificate (CCS 1 year) so I think if you have 2 more years of seminary you should have no trouble.

    BTW I do think that I had one advantage that guys just out of seminary lack, I am 42 & have been a deacon for 14+ years. I have been a "youth pastor" for 2 years, a SS teacher for 8+ years that meant that I prepared over 600 1 hour lessons ( I never used "canned" material). Also as a lay preacher I had preached 65+ sermons a year for the past 2 1/2 years.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
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