Book of Order: G-2.0603 & 2.0604
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…
The purpose of the candidacy phase is to provide for the full preparation of persons to serve the church as teaching elders…
We also work with those seeking training to be Commissioned Ruling Elders (CRE).
The responsibilities of Commission on Preparation on Ministry (CPM) include handling the documentation that is required to track an individual through the process of becoming an Inquirer, moving to Candidate, and accepting a call for ordination. The denomination requires that the CPM follows very specific guidelines to ensure that our new Ministers of the Word and Sacrament are prepared in the best way possible for work in our churches. There are forms for every step, which must be coordinated and reported on the Presbyterian PROMPT system. We do take the documentation responsibilities seriously and keep close, up-to-date records.
CPM is also responsible to help and guide those seeking training to be Commissioned Ruling Elders (CRE).
Another responsibility is elevating the discernment process, which is truly the heart of the CPM’s calling. Each committee member is liaison for two or more Inquirers/Candidates/CRE cohorts. We are to keep in very close contact with them, supporting, guiding, and praying for them. At every contact, we work to help the Inquirer/Candidate/CRE refine his/her call to the ministry. Our contacts and consultations with our Inquirers/Candidates/CRE cohorts focus on that critical part of our work.
Several members of Presbytery serve as ordination examination readers in the Chicago region. They are nominated by CPM and elected by Presbytery Assembly.
The need to be able to comfortably care for and communicate with Inquirer/Candidates/CRE cohorts is essential. It is also important to be well grounded theologically, to possess the ability to assess people’s gifts and calling, and to have the gift of discernment. Being familiar with or willing to learn the guidelines of Book of Order G¬2 is also a part of the committee responsibilities.
The CPM normally meets 11 months each year, close to the center of our Presbytery. During the year, we meet with Inquirer/Candidates/CRE cohorts as necessary, work with seminaries, prepare Candidates for examination on the floor of Presbytery, and continue to communicate with those under our care.