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Preparation for Ministry

Standard Ordination Exams



The General Assembly requires that everyone who serves in the ministry of Word and Sacrament, whether they proceed to ordination through the preparation for ministry process or are received from another denomination, must complete five standard examinations.

The Bible Content Examination assesses general knowledge of the Bible and its themes. It is usually completed early in seminary training and can be used to direct certain courses of study within the person’s theological education.

The remaining four tests, referred to collectively as the “Senior Ordination Exams,” are designed to assess a person’s ability to integrate academic theological study with the practical work of ministry in a pastoral context in the areas of Biblical Exegesis, Theological Competence, Worship and Sacraments, and Church Polity.

Handbook on Ordination Exams (June 2023 / 3.2)


Examination Preparation Tools


Presbyteries Cooperative Committee on Exams