Commission on Preparation for Ministry

Commission on Preparation for Ministry

Presbytery Staff Liaisons – Rev. Brian Wallace, Associate Minister, and Adrien Domske, Administrative Assistant

Chair Rev. Dr. Robert E. Walkup (Baldwin United Presbyterian Church), Vice Chair Rev. Alina Kanaski   (Chartiers Valley United Presbyterian Church)

What We Do
Expectations of Commission Members
CPM Ministry Notebook
Guidelines & Resources
CPM Care Team Resources
CPM Forms
CPM Meeting Dates


What We Do

The Commission on Preparation for Ministry (CPM) is the entity in Pittsburgh Presbytery charged by the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA) “to facilitate the presbytery’s oversight of inquirers and candidates, …it may delegate its authority to designated entities within the presbytery. Such entities shall be composed of teaching elders and ruling elders in approximately equal numbers, bearing in mind the principles of unity in diversity in F-1.0403. All actions carried out as a result of delegated authority must be reported to the presbytery at its next regular meeting.” Book of Order G-3.0307 The CPM forms are to be used by those Presbyterians who:

  • are considering their call as teaching elder, or
  • have been recommended by their home congregation and accepted by the presbytery as an Inquirer to be ordained as a teaching elder, or
  • have been accepted by the presbytery as a Candidate for teaching elder, or
  • serve on the CPM of Pittsburgh Presbytery, or
  • are presbytery staff with the responsibility of providing services to CPM, or
  • are teaching and ruling elders of congregations with Inquirers and Candidates in the preparation for ministry process.

Expectations of Commission on Preparation for Ministry (CPM) members

  • Understand and support the mission and strategies of Pittsburgh Presbytery.
  • Work in a team spirit to carry out the directives and mission of Pittsburgh Presbytery in compliance with national policies regarding the care of Inquirers and Candidates for ministry and as guided by the Book of Order.
  • Serve on a Care Team.  Care Teams are assigned up to three or four students who are “under care” of Pittsburgh Presbytery.  Care Teams give guidance to Inquirers and Candidates who are seeking to serve in an ordained ministry.
  • Pray for, support, and assist those under care in discerning their call.
  • Meet with persons under care at least once per year.
  • Attend a CPM orientation and training typically held in December or January prior to the first meeting of a new year.
  • Attend all CPM meetings.  Meetings are held five times a year on Wednesday evenings. Periodically a special meeting will be called when the docket is too full to accomplish in one meeting. Meetings begin at 4:00 PM and normally last anywhere from 2 to 3 1/2 hours.
  • Read CPM meeting documents thoroughly and in advance to be prepared to participate in discussions and to make decisions regarding the care of the students seeking ordination.
  • Read the CPM notebook.
  • Periodically serve as a reader of ordination exams.

CPM 2020 Meeting Dates

  • February 5
  • April 22
  • June 24
  • September 2 – Virtually On Zoom
  • November 11 – TBD

All meetings are scheduled for 4:00 PM

All paperwork must be received by CPM no later than two weeks prior to the CPM meeting you hope to attend.

Suggestions for CPM Investigative Team

Suggestions for CPM Investigative Team

Suggestions for CPM Investigative Team

Suggestions for CPM Investigative Team

Revised 7/2/2013

An Administrative Team for Investigations (ATI) will be appointed ad hoc by the CPM in January of each year. The ATI will be a standing committee consisting of three members (at least one of which will be a minister and one elder). The subcommittee should reflect diversity in gender and race and will be divided into three classes which will encourage continuity and a certain expertise through training and experience.

Allegations of inappropriate conduct should be passed to the CPM chair. These allegations may come from the Care Team or from other sources. The CPM chair, in consultation with the vice chair and the presbytery staff resource person, will convene the ATI if the allegations warrant such action. The person under care will be informed of the allegations. The CPM chair may decide that a new Care Team is needed.

The Care Team will support the person under care and will suspend judgment with regard to the allegations under investigation.

The ATI will receive testimony and collect appropriate information regarding the allegations. Though the ATI is not to conduct a formal legal investigation, the Rules of Discipline should be consulted for appropriate guidance. The person under care will be given the opportunity to testify before the ATI. The persons and reputations of all involved will be protected and treated with great care.

If the allegations prove to be untrue, all parties involved will be informed. If the allegations prove to be true, the ATI will make a recommendation to the CPM regarding the continuing status of the individual under care.

If it is determined by the CPM that the individual is not to continue under its care:

  1. The individual’s pastor and session will be advised of the action and the rationale of the committee.
  2. The individual’s pastor and session will be encouraged to continue their supportive ministry to the individual.
  3. If additional supportive ministry is required, appropriate counseling arrangements shall be made. The CPM may provide assistance through the Pittsburgh Pastoral Institute (or another counseling agency) as well as partial funding, if necessary and available.
CPM Forms

CPM Forms

CPM Forms

CPM Forms

All the guidelines, instructions, requirements, and forms for individuals seeking to become ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA), from the application to begin the process through accepting a call.  Please review the “Ordination Process” for more detailed explanations of when to submit the forms.

Ordination Process in the PC(USA)(as it finds expression in Pittsburgh Presbytery)
Commissioned Pastor (CP) Process
Application to Enroll as an Inquirer
Advance to Candidacy
Annual Consultations
Commission Planning
Ordination Examinations
Personal Information Form (PIF) Instructions
Scholarships & Student Aid Funds


Application to the CPM Process/Enrollment as an Inquirer

  • Form 1A: Application to be Enrolled by Presbytery as an Inquirer
  • Form 1B: Questions for Reflection
  • Form 1C: Financial Planning for Theological Education
  • Form 1D: Session Evaluation & Recommendation
  • Form 2A: Report on Pre-Care Consultation of Applicant to Become Inquirer
  • Form 2B: Covenant Agreement & Inquirer Release

Applicants should contact their Session and Presbytery to make sure the forms have been forwarded (paperwork must be received by CPM at least two weeks prior to the CPM meeting the applicant wants to attend). See below for the meeting schedule.

Once Enrolled as an Inquirer you will receive the following to review or submit:


Advance to Candidacy

IMPORTANT NOTE: Completion of ALL five forms listed below are required in the care process of Pittsburgh Presbytery in order to be considered advancement to Candidacy.

Inquirers should contact their Session and Presbytery to make sure the forms have been forwarded (all paperwork, including answers to the candidacy questions, must be received by CPM at least two weeks prior to the CPM meeting the applicant wants to attend). Check the meeting schedule for dates.


Annual Consultations

  • Form 3: Pre-Consultation Report on Development Areas
  • Form 4: Report on Consultation

Commission Planning


Ordination Examinations

NOTE:  You must receive permission from CPM to take the Standard Ordination examinations.  If you need permission to take any of the ordination examinations, contact your Care Team at least two weeks prior to the next CPM meeting and let them know which exams you would like to take.


Personal Information Forms & Instructions


Scholarships/Student Aid Funds

Protected: Commission on Preparation for Ministry Notebook

Protected: Commission on Preparation for Ministry Notebook

Protected: Commission on Preparation for Ministry Notebook

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