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Information for Candidates for Ordination or Licensure


Start with the Chapell/Meek book. That will give you an execellent idea of what you will need to know. That said, it includes only the items you will need to know, not than the actual information you need to know (e.g., "Briefly define Fundamentalism"). With that in mind, here you will find some additional suggested study material as you prepare for your exams. (This is not an exhaustive list!)


Enligh Bible

  • Outlines: you will be asked to give a chapter-by-chapter summary (example here) of some of these:

    • Genesis 1-20

    • Exodus 1-20

    • one of the minor prophets

    • one of the Gospels

    • Romans

    • Hebrews

  • Practical applications: what passages would you use in counseling someone in [common pastoral situation]?



  • You will need a brief statement of those areas where you think you might have an exception to the standards. Please give us your Biblical rationale for your position, as well as why you think it is out of accord with the standards. (The committee will discuss this with you, and make a recommendation to the Presbytery about your position.)

  • The exam covers the Westminster Confession and both Catechisms (Shorter and Larger). If you are asked a catechism question, the catechism answer is sufficient (though it is not necessary to use the catechism's wording).

    • Thus, if you are asked, "What is the chief end of man?" it is sufficient to answer, "The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever."

    • Unless, of course, you disagree with the catechism, in which case, give us your answer!

    • Either way, be ready for questions about the practical application of the Confession and Catechisms in your oral exam.

  • Be familiar with the different covenants (Covenant of Works, Covenant of Grace, Covenant of Redemption, &c.)

  • Familiarize yourself with the PCA position papers (here), particularly those that have been 'hot button' issues recently (e.g., Creation Days, Divorce, New Perspectives on Paul, &c.)

  • Nota Bene: The entire exam is short answer questions: work to keep your answers short. We're not expecting a comprehensive answer excluding all possible mistakes: we just want to know what you know - briefly. Keep in mind that you'll have an oral exam where, if necessary, we can ask you to clarify.




Church History generally, and PCA History particularly (one exam covering both aspects)


Church Government (BCO)

  • Focus particular attention on the BCO chapters that have full constitutional weight.

  • Bonus question: What is the most useful section of the BCO? Answer: the Index!

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