Information for Pastors Open to a New Call, Ministerial Data Form, Non PCA Pastors Ordination Process, Seminary Student Ordination Process, Health Insurance Information, and Further Resources
MINISTERIAL DATA FORM (MDF)
The PCA Ministerial Data Form (MDF) is not available to download on this web site. If you would like to request or submit a current copy of the MDF, please email Karen Cook at email@example.com. If you do not receive a reply to your email within one business week, please call our office (678-825-1000) for assistance, as your email may not have been received.
PASTORS OPEN TO A NEW CALL
If you are open to a new call, or actively seeking a new call, our office offers some assistance to you. The Pastor Search office can help facilitate relationships between you and churches in the denomination. One way we do this is by providing and processing Ministerial Data Forms (MDF). This is the corresponding form to the Church Profile Form. We enter the information from both forms into a database that gives us the names of the candidates who are a good match for the churches that requests these forms. We then send the MDFs of those pastors to the churches. To request a copy of the MDF, as well as receive more details about this process, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please visit Senior and Solo Pastoral Positions and Ministry Staff Positions to view vacant pulpits and staff positions. These are listings of PCA churches that have contacted our office to announce their vacancies.
For pastors without call and in need of short-term assistance with health insurance, visit the PCA Retirement and Benefit’s Incorporated (RBI) web site: http://www.pcarbi.org/
NON PCA PASTORS
Thank you for your interest in pursuing the pastoral ministry in the Presbyterian Church in America. The PCA has made a firm commitment to the historic doctrinal standards that have been significant in Presbyterianism. You may be acquainted with this, namely the distinctness of the Reformed tradition. To summarize, the PCA is committed to the inspiration, inerrant Word of, and authority of the Scriptures in all matters of faith and practice. The Word of God is our only rule of faith and practice, with our subordinate standard being the Westminster Confession of Faith including the Larger and Shorter Catechisms.
Our Book of Church Order includes sections referring to the procedures for churches and ministers joining the denomination. Regarding the admission of ministers, Section 13-6 states:
13-6. Ministers seeking admission to a Presbytery from other Presbyteries in the Presbyterian Church in America shall be examined on Christian experience, and also touching their views in theology, the Sacraments, and church government. If applicants come from other denominations, the Presbytery shall examine them thoroughly in knowledge and views as required by BCO 21-4 and require them to answer in the affirmative the questions put to candidates at their ordination. Ordained ministers from other denominations being considered by Presbyteries for reception may come under the extraordinary provisions set forth in BCO 21-4.
The reference to Chapter 21 is important, as it concerns the specific academic and theological requirements for ordination. The Book of Church Order can be accessed online here, and there you will note that, Section 21-5 specifies some of the questions asked at the time of ordination.
It is the responsibility of the local presbytery to ordain ministers. Please contact Karen Cook at email@example.com for help with this. She can put you in touch with the stated clerk and local pastors in your area for more information and help in this process. Please include your address when asking for this information.
To place your resume on file with us or request a Ministerial Data Form, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your MDF and resume will be put on file and be made available only to those churches who request it.
Our office is now circulating the MDFs of seminary graduates who are members of a PCA church and seeking ordination in the PCA. Churches receiving your MDF will be notified if you have not yet been ordained.
Your seminary’s placement office will be a valuable resource to you as you transition from theology student to minister. These offices provide a variety of services. Be sure to contact them to find out what they offer as you begin to seek a call in ministry.
PROCESS OF ORDINATION
In the Presbyterian Church in America, the following basic procedures are outlined for men desiring to pursue ordination in the gospel ministry. According to our Book of Church Order (chapters 18, 19 & 21) a candidate for the ministry (if never previously ordained):
1. Comes “under the care” of a local church session, (giving evidence and testimony of his personal relationship with God and God’s call on his life to the ministry).
2. Is recommended to the regional presbytery and comes under the care of its Candidates and Credentials Committee.
3. Is “licensed to preach” by the presbytery. (This involves an examination before presbytery on specified subjects and frequently takes place during the year of internship.)
4. Receives a “call” to a specific ministry, i.e. assistant pastor, pastor, evangelist, etc.
5. Is “ordained to the gospel ministry” by presbytery, following an examination on additional subjects. (Before ordination there must be a “call” to a specific ministry.)
*Since it is the responsibility of the local presbytery to ordain ministers, please contact Karen Cook at email@example.com, so she can put you in touch with the stated clerk and local pastors in your area. Please include your address when asking for this information.
HEALTH INSURANCE INFORMATION
For health insurance information for those without call, please visit PCA Retirement and Benefits, Inc (RBI) at http://www.pcarbi.org/
RESOURCES FOR YOU
1. Covenant Theological Seminary’s placement office. Covenant Seminary has a listing (PDF file) of churches and other Christian organizations that have contacted them about open positions.https://www.covenantseminary.edu/alumni/
2. Westminster Theological Seminary’s online career placement. You can submit your resume (students and alumni only) as well as view job openings (open to all). http://www.wts.edu/students/services/employment.html
3. Reformed Theological Seminary’s placement office. You can view full-time and part-time openings. http://www.rts.edu/joblisting.aspx
4. Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary provides a web page listing open pulpits and ministry opportunities. Visit http://www.gpts.edu/students/alumni/ministry_opportunities.php.
5. ChurchStaffing.com is a useful website for pastors and ministry staff. Post your resume, view job openings, and find helpful resources about looking for a new call. www.ChurchStaffing.com
7. Non-PCA Ministry Opportunities List catalogs open senior, solo, assistant, and associate pastoral positions in churches as well as non-ordained ministry positions in churches of other denominations.
8. Church Planting through Mission to North America. http://pcamna.org/church-planting/
9. Pastors-In-Residence Ministry: The mission of Pastor-in-Residence Ministry is to encourage and support pastors in the vocational transitions of their lives; providing pastors with spiritual and emotional support, and networking pastors with churches and other ministries. These resources can provide opportunities to process unresolved personal conflict for possible re-entry into full-time service. http://pirministries.org/
10. PCA Call Package Guidelines: This document, created by the Administrative Committee of the PCA and PCA Retirement and Benefits, Inc. (RBI), provides you with best practice guidance regarding the content and structure of a minister’s compensation package. It is instructive for ministers who are evaluating a new call or ministers who are evaluating the sufficiency of their current call. The document also provides helpful instruction about other important issues affecting your compensation and taxes. For questions regarding the PCA Call Package Guidelines, please call RBI at 800-789-8765.