Resourcing Leaders & Transforming Lives

Commission on Preparation for Ministry – Considering Ministry

Becoming a Minister

I believe I’m called to be a minister. What should I do next?

Has God called you to ministry? Though all Christians are called to serve the cause of Jesus Christ, God calls certain persons to serve the Church as clergy in congregational and other non-parish settings.

When people of faith believe that they have received a call from God to the ministry of Teaching Elder, The Presbyterian Church (USA) has a process to work with you and your congregation to prepare you for this ordained office. Talk to your pastor not only about the process or steps to ordained ministry, but how ministry is developing in today’s world. Discover the vast ways people are serving God’s church faithfully in local as well as international ministry contexts. Your pastor or other religious mentor can begin to help you see whether professional ministry is what you are being called to or the “ministry of the faithful” whose Christian faith help to shape their work in the world.

You, along with your congregation, and with the Presbytery’s Committee on Preparation for Ministry (CPM) will give you tools to discern your suitability for ordination through spiritual development, guidance, reflection, and consultations. The tools for discernment in the preparation for ordained ministry involves two phases: Inquiry and Candidacy. The inquiry phase is for you and your church to explore whether ordered ministry is in fact your calling. If ordered ministry is in fact for you, you will be approved to move to the candidacy phase.

Perhaps the most overwhelming part of the entire process is filling out so many papers; so many conversations; and so many steps to take in the process. Once you become an Inquirer, you’ll have the share support, encouragement, reminders and help you need.

Are you ready to begin the journey?

May God continue to bless you and we look forward to hearing your story and journeying with you through the process of exploring your call to Christian service.

For Further Reading…

Discerning Your Call and Your Gifts For Ministry of Word and Sacrament

This resource pamphlet is used to explore one’s gifts and talents to further explore and possibly pursue the ministry profession provided by the national office of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

The Advisory Handbook on Preparing for Ministry

The handbook provides moderators, presbytery staff, and applicants with an overview of the process and resources, its intentions and goals.


Gifted by the Flame -Professional Church Vocations

This is an updated version of “Call to Presbyterian Professional Church Mission” — Allows one to choose different paths in the ministry profession, as well as to explore different areas of vocational interest.

Goals and Responsibilities for Sessions

This document provides goals and responsibilities for sessions of local churches to help guide an individual through the vocational ministry process.