Qualifications for Ordination in the EPC
The qualifications and process below are for those who are not ordained ministers. If you are an ordained minister, see "Transferring into the EPC."
The office of minister: Those who fill this office should, according to the Scripture, have certain qualifications. They should be sound in the faith and have an aptitude for teaching. Their lives should reflect holiness and discipline which brings honor to Christ and which causes them to be well thought of by those outside the Church. They should have wisdom and discretion and should have adequate training to equip them for their task. (EPC Book of Government 10.2)
Assuming that one meets the biblical qualifications and has an inner sense of call, the process for becoming an ordained minister in the EPC involves:
- Being a member of an EPC congregation for at least six months
- Receiving Session endorsement as a person called to be a minister of the Word
- Applying to and interviewing with the appropriate presbytery committee
- Being examined by presbytery and approved as a Candidate Under Care
- Being under care of presbytery for a period of time (ordinarily a minimum of one year)
- Fulfilling educationl requirements
- Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
- Seminary degree: M.Div. or equivalent including Koine Greek and Hebrew
- Sustaining written examinations in Theology, Sacraments & Reformed Tradition, English Bible, the Book of Order and the nature of the office of Minister of the Word.
- Sustaining oral examinations in all the areas above, Christian experience of the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ and progress in spiritual growth.
- Receiving an approved call
In general terms, EPC ministers are expected to hold a high view of scripture and be able to "receive and adopt the system of doctrine contained in the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms of this Church as containing the system of doctrine taught in Holy Scripture." Those seeking ordination in the EPC must put in writing any exceptions they may have to the Westminster standards. Presbytery votes to disallow them or to allow them if they are not considered affecting the Confession's system of doctrine.
You may find these materials helpful:
- Westminster Confession (EPC Modern Language Edition)
- The Shorter Catechism (EPC Modern Language Edition)
- The Larger Catechism (EPC Modern Language Version)
- EPC Information Packet
- EPC Book of Order (including the Westminster Confession & Catechisms, Acts of the Assembly, and Service Forms)
You may order them from this website or by calling the Office of the General Assembly (734.742.2020).
If you have further questions, please the Office of the Stated Clerk or call the number above.