Skip to main content

Preparation for Ministry

Exams schedule


Standard ordination exams home

Upcoming Dates
Dates for Examinations
Testing Sites for the BCE

Upcoming Dates

Registration for the Spring 2018 Senior Ordination Exam is open February 1 – March 31, 2018. For all the necessary information about online registration and administration of these tests, please visit the examinations section of this website


dates for examinations

The Bible Content Examination is given twice yearly:

  • The first Friday in February at 10 a.m. local time
  • The Friday before Labor Day at 10 a.m. local time

The senior ordination exams in the areas of Theology, Worship and Sacraments, Church Polity, and Bible Exegesis are offered four times a year at the end of January, April, July, and October, usually on the last full weekend of those months. The PCC sets the specific dates so that the evaluation period by the readers will fall in the first week of the following months.

Test takers are eligible to take the Theology, Worship and Sacraments, and Polity exams only during the 60-hour period from 8:00 a.m. US Eastern Time on the announced Thursday of the testing period to 8:00 p.m. US Eastern Time on the Saturday of the testing period.

Test takers have nine (9) hours to complete a test once it is begun. Regardless of the time when a test taker begins an exam, the system will close access at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday; therefore, it is the test takers’ responsibility to begin examinations sufficiently in advance of 8:00 p.m. on Saturday for their full permitted time to be available. Candidates who may be taking examinations in more than one of the subject areas of Theology, Worship and Sacraments, and Polity need to be aware that the same 60-hour testing period applies to all three of these areas of examination. It is each candidate’s responsibility to manage her or his time to assure that any of these three areas of examination for which they are registered have been completed by the 8:00 p.m. close of testing on the announced Saturday of the examination period.

Access to the Bible Exegesis is opened to all registrants for that test at 3:00 p.m. US Eastern Time on the scheduled Saturday. Each candidate must have her or his completed responses on the exam administration site by 12:00 noon US Eastern Time the following Thursday regardless of the candidate’s time zone.

Each spring the PCC publishes the schedule for examinations and evaluation periods for the coming program year. 

Summer 2017 Exams Cycle

Senior Ordination Exams

May 1 — Registration opens
June 30 — Registration deadline
July 1 — Exegesis book announced
July 27–29 — Senior Exams
August 3 — Exegesis Exam deadline
August 7-11 — Reading period
August 14 — Results Released

Bible Content Exam

May 1 — Registration opens
July 31 — Registration deadline
September 1 — Bible Content Exam at 10:00 a.m. local                            time at testing site

Fall 2017 Exams Cycle

Senior Ordination Exams

August 1 — Registration opens
September 30 — Registration deadline
October 1 — Exegesis book announced
October 26–28 — Senior Exams
November 2 — Exegesis Exam deadline
November 6-10 — Reading period
November 13 — Results Released


Winter 2018 Exams Cycle

Senior Ordination Exams

November 1, 2017 — Registration opens
December 31, 2017 — Registration deadline
January 1 — Exegesis book announced
January 25–27 — Senior Exams
February 1 — Exegesis Exam deadline
February 5–9 — Reading period
February 12 — Results Released

Bible Content Exam

November 1, 2017 — Registration opens
December 31, 2017 — Registration deadline
February 2, 2018 — Bible Content Exam at 10:00 a.m.                                      local time at testing site

Spring 2018 Exams Cycle


Senior Ordination Exams

February 1 — Registration opens
March 31 — Registration deadline
April 1 — Exegesis books announced
April 26 – 28 — Senior Exams
May 3 — Exegesis Exam deadline
May 7 – 11 — Reading period
May 8 — Results Released



testing sites for the bce

The Bible Content Examination is a proctored test administered on many seminary campuses and some presbytery offices nationwide.  Persons taking the exam are encouraged to do so at one of these established testing sites. However, those who are no longer in seminary or are not able to travel to one of the testing sites within a reasonable amount of time may want to consider having a special proctor administer the exams. Inquirers/candidates and the appropriate presbytery committee must make arrangements for special proctors prior to registration. Details including the special proctor’s contact information must be entered during the online registration process and approved by the presbytery’s committee before registration can be finalized.

Download a list of examination testing sites.


(16) Comments

Join the Discussion
  1. The Senior Ordination Exams (Exegesis, Polity, Theology, and Worship & Sacraments) are not proctored and can be taken anywhere that the candidate has reliable Internet access.

    by Tim Cargal

    April 6, 2016


  2. Are the Senior Ordination Exams proctored? Do I have to take them at a specific testing sight?

    by Elaina Sipes

    April 5, 2016


  3. Registration for the September 2, 2016, Bible Content Examination will be available at the online registration site,, from May 1 to July 31, 2016. “Special Proctor” requests may be made through the online process, but should be discussed with the presbytery committee in advance. The name and contact information for such “special proctors” must be provided during the online registration process.

    by Tim Cargal

    February 17, 2016


  4. I can't find a link to register for the BCE in August. Can you tell me how to do that? Is the process different if I would like to request a proctored exam?

    by Christopher Spotts

    February 17, 2016


  5. The specific dates for examination periods are set each year by the Presbyteries’ Cooperative Committee on Examinations during their Annual Meeting. The dates for Summer 2016 through Spring 2017 will be announced in mid-April. However, you can determine the dates using the following information. The BCE is given on the Friday before Labor Day, and the first Friday of February. The senior exams are tied to reading periods which begin on the first Monday of August, November, February, and May; the exams will begin on the Thursday 11 days before the Monday of the reading period.

    by Tim Cargal

    January 14, 2016


  6. Are 2016 exam and registration dates beyond those for January/February available?

    by I Sil Yoon

    January 13, 2016


  7. I was steered to the exam website for registration for the BCE. However, there is nowhere to register or pay for the February 2016 exam. Could you tell me when the site will be open or how to register for the exam? Thank you.

    by Robert Mathis

    October 27, 2015


  8. The testing sites for the 2015-2016 cycle are unchanged from those in 2014-2015.

    by Tim Cargal

    August 22, 2015


  9. Do you have more current testing sites and information on the BCE.? I'm only seeing the site list up to February 2015.

    by Jayne E. parker

    August 21, 2015


  10. The PCC sets the specific dates for exams during its annual meeting each year following the guidelines above in the "Dates" section. The BCE guidelines are quite specific. Senior exams are scheduled so that reading periods begin on the first Monday of the following month, and so can be easily projected into the future by using a calendar.

    by Tim Cargal

    August 4, 2015


  11. When will the Senior Exam schedule for the 2015-2016 academic year be posted?

    by Olivia Smith

    August 4, 2015


  12. I wonder how many lay(normal church members) members could take and pass these exams on the first try. Think what this could mean for our churches.

    by robert h wright jr

    April 29, 2015


  13. The PDF document schedule on this page is two pages long, and includes the dates for the Spring 2015 exams (to be given at the end of April 2015). The schedule for the 2015-2016 exams will be released in May 2015.

    by Tim Cargal

    September 5, 2014


  14. Are 2015 exam & registration dates beyond those for January/February available?

    by Steve Graff

    September 5, 2014


  15. The book has been posted to the "Preparing for Presbyterian Ministry" Facebook page and notices have been emailed to all those registered for the Exegesis exam.

    by Tim Cargal

    July 1, 2014


  16. Where can I find the books being tested on for the exegesis exam? I believe they were to be released on July 1?

    by Bob Zemke

    July 1, 2014


Join the Discussion