Senior ordination exams
The focus of the senior ordination examinations is to assess one’s entry-level readiness for ministry in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The exams present pastoral challenges whereby candidates can demonstrate how they integrate faith and theological education in practical ministry.
This page will provide you with important information about the exams that you will need to know to complete the registration process. When you are ready to register, please visit the Registration page.
The exams cover the areas of Biblical Exegesis, Theological Competence, Worship and Sacraments, and Church Polity. These tests may be taken only with the permission of the presbytery’s committee/commission that is supervising the person’s discernment and preparation for ordination as a teaching elder. These exams are designed to be taken near the end of a candidate’s preparation as an assessment of readiness to begin ministry. Descriptions of the individual examinations are available in the downloadable “Handbook on Standard Ordination Examinations.”
For the “open book” sections of the Church Polity, Theological Competence, and Worship and Sacraments exams, test takers may use the published and/or PDF (Adobe Acrobat) editions of the Book of Order and the Book of Confessions as appropriate.
The four senior ordination exams are available in Spanish. The theology, worship and sacraments, and polity exams are also available in Korean. Candidates whose primary language is Korean may write responses to the exegesis exams in Korean. The language in which the exams will be completed must be selected during the registration process.
Senior ordination exams are administered at proctored testing sites using an Internet-based testing system. Please contact the proctor at your desired testing site in advance of registration to find out how to comply with the technological support at that particular testing site. Inquirers and candidates should confirm these requirements with the proctor at the site before registering
Candidates with learning disabilities or physical handicaps and those unable to travel to one of the regular testing sites should discuss special arrangements with their presbytery committees and proctors. Even in these cases it is the responsibility of the inquirer or candidate to be sure they can met the requirements for accessing the internet at the agreed upon testing location. Registrations for the senior examinations involving any special arrangements may be requested using the standard online registration process, but will not be finalized until approved by the appropriate presbytery committee and reviewed by the Coordinator for Preparations for Ministry/Examinations.
For more information
If you have questions regarding the registration process,or other questions about the Bible Content Examination, senior ordination examinations or to discuss special arrangements, contact Tim Cargal, (800) 728-7228, x5771.
Examination archive - January 2013
The August 2011 Polity exam will require that all citations be given from the 2009-2011 Book of Order. The first exam to use the 2011-2013 Book of Order for citations (which would include nFOG if approved by the presbyteries) will be the January 2012 exam. The PCC, which develops the exams, has reviewed the August 2011 exam to be sure that the questions would not require different actions depending on whether the current FOG or the nFOG is in place. Obviously citations would be different, but not ministry responses. By delaying citations from the 2011-2013 Book of Order until January 2012, the PCC believes candidates will have adequate time to obtain and familiarize themselves with its structure before being required to cite it in an exam situation.
How will the polity exam be affected if the new FOG is approved? When will the test be changed to reflect nFOG?
The general instructions for the exams do not address the issue of printing exams on both sides of the paper. However, be aware that exams are stapled into exam covers across the top of each sheet. Consequently, exams printed on both sides of the sheet will create considerable inconvenience for readers who would then have to flip the exam books over to read what is printed on the back of the sheets.
Do the readers have any preference as to whether our printed exams should be printed individually or can we do front & back? Thanks.
On this page you will find links to download the most recent exams for all subject areas in English, Korean, and Spanish. There are also a few Spanish exams among those in the archive maintained by McCormick Theological Seminary. See: http://www.jkmlibrary.org/component/option,com_docman/task,cat_view/gid,28/Itemid,98/