Committee on Preparation for Ministry (CPM)
The Committee on Preparation for Ministry establishes (CPM) covenant relationships with those who are to be ordained as Teaching Elders and their sessions and congregations in order to ensure that they receive full preparation for their task under the direction of the Presbytery.
This covenant relationship is divided into two mandatory phases of inquiry and candidacy.
To be enrolled as an inquirer, the applicant shall be a member of the sponsoring congregation, shall have been active in the work and worship of that congregation for at least six months, and shall have received the endorsement of the session of the sponsoring congregation. The inquiry phase shall continue for a period of no less that one year. The purpose of the inquiry phase is to provide an opportunity for the church and those who believe themselves called to ordered ministry as Teaching Elders to explore that call together so that the Presbytery can make an informed decision about the inquirer's suitability for ordered ministry.
The candidacy phase shall continue for a period of no less than one year. The purpose of the candidacy phase is to provide for the full preparation of persons to serve the church as Teaching Elders. This shall be accomplished through the Presbytery's support, guidance, and evaluation of a candidate's fitness and readiness for a call to ministry requiring ordination.
During the phases of inquiry and candidacy the individual continues to be an active member of his or her congregation and subject to the concern and discipline of the session. In matters relating to preparation for ministry, the individual is subject to the oversight of the Presbytery through the CPM within the context of their covenant relationship.
Inquirers and candidates shall, with the permission of the Presbytery of care, engage in some form of supervised service to the church. No inquirer or candidate who has not been previously ordained as a Ruling Elder may serve as Moderator of a session, administrer the Sacraments, or perform a marriage service. An inquirer or cadidate previously ordained as a Ruling Elder may be authorized by the presbytery to preside at the Lord's Supper when invited by a session.
In fulfilling its duties and responsibilities, the Committee on Preparation shall:
a. function according to the provisions of the Book of Order, G-2.06 and report directly to the Presbytery regarding its work with candidates.
b. enroll inquirers, with the provision that the action shall be reported to the next stated meeting of the Presbytery.
c. make definite recommendations to the Presbytery with respect to whether or not an inquirer should be received as a candidate.
d. conduct final assessment and certifies a candidate ready for examination, pending a call.
e. recommend both transfers of an inquirer or candidate and removal from covenant relationship.
f. recommend any exceptions of the requirements for ordination to the Presbytery (Book of Order, G-2.0610).
g. appoint the Presbytery's representative or representatives to the Presbyteries' Cooperative Committee on Examinations and shall report the name(s) of the person(s) appointed to the Presbytery for confirmations.