First Steps For Applying to Enroll As An Inquirer

Applying to Become an Inquirer

According to the Book of Order of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the purpose of the Inquiry process is as follows (G2.0602):

The purpose of the inquiry phase is to provide an opportunity for the church and those who believe themselves called to ordered ministry as teaching elders to explore that call together so that the presbytery can make an informed decision about the inquirer’s suitability for ordered ministry.

In Pittsburgh Presbytery, enrolling as an Inquirer is the first step you will take toward becoming an ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament or a Commissioned Pastor. If you are seeking to enroll as an Inquirer, following are the steps you need to take.

  1. Tell your pastor and/or clerk of session at your church of membership.
  2. If you do not already have the three standard clearances (child abuse, criminal, and FBI) you should begin working on them immediately. Instructions may be found on the presbytery website. The policy of Pittsburgh Presbytery forbids the enrollment of any individual until they have submitted their completed *clearances.
  3. Go to the CPM Forms  page and complete Forms 1A, 1B, and 1C. All three forms will need to be submitted to your session and ultimately to the presbytery.
    • IMPORTANT NOTE: Remember to select the “Print Form” button before the “Submit” button in order to print to a PDF writer and save on your computer. Form 1C is a writable PDF worksheet you will need to complete, save to your computer, and submit via email to Pittsburgh Presbytery staff liaisons for CPM.
  4. Also notify the presbytery staff liaisons for CPM at the presbytery office of your intent to enroll as an Inquirer. They are the two staff members who work directly with CPM and are available to answer any questions you may have.
  5. In order to endorse you as an Inquirer, your session will need to have an orientation conducted by a team member serving on the Commission on Preparation for Ministry (CPM). It is the responsibility of your pastor to request this visit if one has not been done in the last three years. While not directly your responsibility, you need to be aware this visit must occur before you can be enrolled. All the more reason to tell your pastor as early as you can!
  6. After you meet with the session and are endorsed, Forms 1D and 2B must be completed by a representative of the session.
  7. Forms 1A, 1B, 1D, and 2B will be automatically submitted to the presbytery when they are completed online. Form 1C and your three clearances must be emailed to presbytery staff liaisons for CPM.
  8. The next step will be to meet with a CPM commissioner who will conduct a Pre-Care Consultation with you. This will be arranged by you directly once you receive notification from the presbytery office. However, before this can take place, all of your forms and clearances must be submitted.
  9. The last step is to meet with the CPM of Pittsburgh Presbytery. You will receive specific instructions and docket time one week prior to the CPM meeting from the presbytery office.

*The only exception to this rule is when the individual is, for whatever reason, having difficulty completing the FBI Fingerprinting.