Presbytery Meeting Procedure for Introduction of Candidates

Presbytery Meeting Procedure for Introduction of Candidates

Per the manual of Pittsburgh Presbytery, the Commission on Preparation for Ministry is granted the authority to act on behalf of the presbytery to approve an Inquirer for Candidacy whom they believe have demonstrated the necessary gifts, calling, and qualifications to pursue ordination as a Minister of Word & Sacrament.

It is customary within Pittsburgh Presbytery for those who have been received by the CPM as Candidates, to appear at a subsequent meeting of the presbytery to be introduced. The key word here is introduction, not examination. The examination for candidacy is the responsibility of the CPM alone.

  1. The Moderator invites the CPM Chair or their designee forward to present the report of the Commission on Preparation for Ministry.
  2. The Chair (or designee) says “Mr./Madam Moderator, CPM presents _____ to be introduced as a Candidate today and he/she will be introduced by _____, a member of his/her Care Team.”
  3. The moderator should invite both the Candidate and the Care Team member(s) forward.
  4. The Care Team member (or another member of CPM) should briefly introduce the Candidate (2-3 sentences) highlighting the gifts they see in the person (biographical information will be covered by the Candidate themselves). In short, the Care Team member should answer the question: “Why are you excited about the ministry potential of this individual?”
    Time allotment: 2 minutes
  5. The Chair should thank the Care Team member then invite the Candidate forward to share their sense of call and current forms of service to the church. Framing questions for candidates to think about answering:
  • Why do you feel called to Ministry of Word & Sacrament?
  • What events have been significant in shaping your sense of call?
  • What gifts for ministry have you discovered?
  • What excites you most about ministry?
  • Where have you served the church (Field Education, volunteer experiences, summer jobs, church leadership, etc)?

Time allotment: 3 minutes


  • The candidate does not and should not answer all of the above questions; these are suggestions only with a maximum of 600 words.
  • You should answer the questions succinctly and to the point and plan on speaking for a total of two minutes, three minutes at the very most.
  • We strongly recommend you write what you are going to say ahead of time as standing in front of the presbytery can be an intimidating experience. While you certainly do not need to read what you have written, the act of writing it in advance will help you be more focused and to the point.


Good afternoon, my name is Jane Smith and I am currently a member of First Presbyterian Church. I grew up at First Presbyterian and was very active in youth group and summer camp during my high school years. When I graduated from college I began to sense God was calling me to ministry and I spent a year interning at Third Presbyterian Church before starting seminary the following year. This past year, I completed my field education work at Unity Presbyterian Church where I have spent a lot of time working with the Deacons and assisting in worship. I have found both churches in which I have served to be challenging and rewarding places and have confirmed my sense God is leading me toward parish ministry.

Good afternoon, my name is John Smith and I have taken a winding road to be here today. I grew up in a family where my mother was Baptist and my father was Catholic. As a kid, I went to church and youth group at the local Baptist church. After college, I took a job at Widgets Incorporated in the sales division. My wife and I started attending the local non-denominational church and that is the first time I really took faith seriously. When we moved to Pittsburgh, we joined Second Presbyterian Church where I served on Session and Board of Deacons along with teaching Sunday school. After years of fighting it, I realized God was calling me to leave my work at Widgets and pursue a calling to ministry. Seminary has been challenging for me but I had a chance this past year to travel to Vietnam which completely changed how I understand God’s work in the world. I am not sure where God is leading me next but am confident that serving the church in ministry of word and sacrament will be the central part of that call.

The Chair may do this if the Care Team member is not comfortable with that assignment. If there are multiple
individuals to be introduced as Candidates, the procedure shall be repeated  and all those being introduced prayed for at once.

TOTAL time allotment: 5 minutes