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Preparation for Ministry

Exams schedule


Standard ordination exams home


Registration dates:  Winter 2021 Senior Ordination Exams—November 1 - December 31; Winter 2021 Bible Content Exam—November 1 - December 31 

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 three times a year at the end of January, April, and September, 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. 

Fall 2020 Exams Cycle

Senior Ordination Exams

July 1 — Registration opens
August 31 — Registration deadline
September 1 — Exegesis book announced
September 24–26 — Senior Exams
October 1 — Exegesis Exam deadline
October 5–9 — Reading period
October 12 — Results Released

Bible Content Exam

June 1 — Registration opens
July 31 — Registration deadline
September 4 — Bible Content Exam at 10:00 a.m. local time at testing site

Winter 2021 Exams Cycle

Senior Ordination Exams

November 1, 2020 — Registration opens
December 31, 2020 — Registration deadline
January 1 — Exegesis book announced
January 21–23 — Senior Exams
January 28 — Exegesis Exam deadline
February 1–5  — Reading period
February 8 — Results Released

 Bible Content Exam

November 1, 2020 — Registration opens
December 31, 2020 — Registration deadline
February 5 — Bible Content Exam at 10:00 a.m. local time at testing site

Spring 2021 Exams Cycle

Senior Ordination Exams

February 1 — Registration opens
March 31 — Registration deadline
April 1 — Exegesis book announced
April 22–24 — Senior Exams
April 29 — Exegesis Exam deadline
May 3–7 — Reading period
May 10 — Results Released



(14) Comments

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  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. 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


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

    by Tim Cargal

    August 22, 2015


  7. 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


  8. 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


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

    by Olivia Smith

    August 4, 2015


  10. 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


  11. 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


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

    by Steve Graff

    September 5, 2014


  13. 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


  14. 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


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