CPM Standards & Measures

CPM Standards & Measures

Adopted December 3, 2003


Field Education in a Supervised Ministry
Psychological Evaluation
Reports & Information from Seminarians
Mentor Relationships
Ongoing Worship & Involvement in a PCUSA Church
Clinical Pastoral Education
Seminary Attendance
Personal & Professional References


Statements of Faith (Candidacy & Certification)
CPM Questioning
Constitutional Questions
Moral, Ethical, & Nurturing Issues


Field Education in a Supervised Ministry

  1. Required of all inquirers and candidates.
  2. Home church cannot serve as sole field education experience.
  3. One field education experience must be different from home church in terms of type of church.
  4. One field education experience must be in a PC(USA) church.
  5. Care team must validate field education before it is undertaken.
  6. Care team must receive and review report from field education supervisor. Inquirer/candidate has responsibility for ensuring that report is sent to care team.
  7. Care team is encouraged to contact supervisor by telephone.

Psychological Evaluation

Required by all inquirers within the first 6 months of candidacy at an approved evaluation center.  Care team must review reports.

Reports & Information from Seminaries

  1. All inquirers and candidates must maintain at least a 2.5 cumulative grade point average.
  2. All inquirers must sign a release form permitting the CPM and its members and staff to obtain personal and academic information from any individuals or institution including their seminary for the duration of the ordination process.
  3. Care Team checks all transcripts for not only grades but course work.
  4. On an annual basis the CPM Chair and/or Vice Chair will review with Dean of Students at seminaries those students under CPM’s care.

Mentor Relationships

  1. Must meet with spiritual mentor at least 2 times a year.
  2. With regard to marriage mentors, they are strongly encouraged to meet at least 2 times a year.
  3. Care Team discusses this at annual consultation.

Ongoing Worship & Involvement in a PC(USA) Church

Required for all inquirers and candidates. Care Team discusses with person under their care at annual consultation.

Clinical Pastoral Education

  1. Encouraged but not required for all inquirers and candidates.
  2. CPM reserves the right to require a CPE experience on an individual, case by case basis.
  3. CPM receives reports from supervisor and contacts the supervisor for information. Care team is responsible for reviewing and contacting.

Seminary Attendance

  1. All inquirers and candidates must attend a seminary accredited and approved by the Association of Theological Schools in USA and Canada.
  2. If Inquirers or Candidates choose to attend a non-PC(USA) seminary, then they may be required to attend a PC(USA)seminary for coursework including, but not limited to, the following areas: Presbyterian polity; reformed theology; reformed worship and sacraments; Presbyterian confessions; and a course utilizing Biblical exegetical interpretation.
  3. All students under care of CPM, regardless of where they attend seminary, are required to complete the course work listed in the above paragraph.
  4. Future course work discussed with care team in an effort to ensure that the above courses are taken by all students.

Personal & Professional References

  1. Each inquirer must supply the names, addresses and telephone numbers of 2 personal and 2 work-related your supervisor) or academic references. Such references cannot include family members.
  2. All references must be contacted by care team within first 6 months of inquiry. Discussions should center on personal traits, character, work history, etc.


Statements of Faith for Both Candidacy & Certification

  1. Statements of faith should be reviewed in some form, email or personal meeting (preferable), with care team prior to appearing before CPM.
  2. All statements should demonstrate a reformed theological understanding and utilize clear and concise language as well as standard theological terminology. Statements should be no more than one page (one side) in length and no longer than 850 words with word count noted and lines numbered down the left side of the document. As a guideline, each statement should include, but not be limited by, a discussion of the following theological doctrines:
    • understanding of the triune God;
    • understanding of each person of the God-head;
    • understanding of the saving work of Jesus Christ;
    • understanding of the Church;
    • understanding of Scripture;
    • understanding of the Sacraments;
    • understanding of eschatology;
    • understanding of humanity and sin
  3. In reviewing statements of faith at the candidacy phase, consideration is taken into account regarding course work taken up to that point (including course work still to be taken). However, whatever the level of courses taken by a particular individual, some statement of understanding (whatever the individual understands at that point in time) is still expected in regard to at least those theological doctrines listed in the above paragraph.

CPM Questioning

  1. Before a particular individual is questioned at any stage of the process but after they are introduced by the care team, entire CPM should BRIEFLY share their concerns and potential questions in an effort to streamline questioning.
  2. CPM reviews appropriate questioning at training session as well as guidance on parameters of reformed theological understanding as guided by scripture, confessions and other theological documents as distributed by CPM.
  3. The CPM will distribute to all members a Book of Confessions, The PC(USA) Study Catechism and other summary confessional materials. It is expected that all members will read and be familiar with these documents and materials.

Constitutional Questions

  1. Care team should review the constitutional questions with individual before they appear before CPM to be certified ready to receive a call (before their oral trials).
  2. One way to talk about these questions is to tell individuals: “Be prepared to discuss the ordination questions before CPM.” In addition, a good way to ask about these questions is as follows: “Which ordination question gives you pause or concern?”

Moral, Ethical & Nurturing Issues

  1. Care team should address in annual consultation sex, substance abuse and money. At some point in all annual consultations discussion should focus on this question: “Are there things concerning these issues (sex, substance abuse or money) that we should talk about?”
  2. Talk about higher standard to which clergy are held.
  3. Discuss with them how they “take care of themselves” physically, emotionally and spiritually.
  4. If married student, care team should attempt to offer to take them out for a meal together with the spouse at some point during the care process.
  5. Discuss with them the appropriate use of social media.