A Study Guide For Pastoral Examinations

When I graduated from seminary, I had to undergo an extensive oral and public examination (theological, biblical, historical, etc.) in order to become an ordained minister in the United Reformed Churches of North America.  In preparation for this exam, I wrote up a detailed but succinct study guide.  Over the last 6+ years, others who have prepared for the exam have asked me for this resource.  Since I’ve gladly given it out before, I’d like to share it here for those interested.  Brothers in the PCA and OPC will also be able to use this guide, though they will have to add/subtract in various areas (stay tuned: there may be a Presbyterian version available sooner or later).

My prayer is that this resource helps men prepare to serve Christ and his church well – with heart and mind.

NOTE: This is a third draft in outline form – but I’m not promising it has no errors!  Let me know if you find any.

Here’s the link/file: URCNACandidacyexamstudyguide

rev shane lems
covenant presbyterian church (OPC)hammond, wi


3 comments on “A Study Guide For Pastoral Examinations

  1. Alan Beagley says:

    I didn’t find any mention of a requirement to use one of the Creeds in worship. I was hardly surprised but certainly disappointed to find that the Lord’s Supper may be celebrated as infrequently as four times a year. I liked what you wrote about being “seeker sensitive.”

    • Alan, thanks for the comments. Clarification: the URC doesn’t require the use of a Creed in every single service, but they do require that one of the creeds/confessions (most often the H. Catechism) is “ordinarily” used.

      Also, I agree that quarterly celebration of the Supper is not frequent enough, but the URC says that quarterly is the minimum. I know of quite a few URCs that celebrate the meal more frequently.

      Thanks again!

  2. Pete Latona says:

    What a great resource… Working in prison ministry, I’m not going for ordination any time soon, but to have a nice guide like this to organize what and why we believe is very nice…. Thanks for sharing.

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