About the Commission on Preparation for Ministry (CPM)
The Commission on Preparation for Ministry (CPM) is charged with the care and supervision of inquirers and candidates for ministry of word and sacrament in addition to those pursuing commissioning as ruling elders. The CPM also nominates Ruling Elders and Ministers of Word and Sacrament for election as denominational examination readers.
There are three different components of the overarching preparation process:
- Discernment:An individual discerns their call to ordered service as a Commissioned Ruling Elder or Minister of Word and Sacrament. The individual’s home church plays a role in this discernment along with the broader Presbytery.
- Preparation: Once an individual has discerned a call to a distinct ministry, they embark on a program of study and preparation that includes formal coursework, field education, skills training, vocational exploration, and personal formation.
- Examination: The Commission on Preparation for Ministry will examine an individual’s preparation for the distinct ministry. After the CPM has completed this step, the Presbytery will also examine the individual.
Each component builds off the others. For those pursuing ministry of word and sacrament, the first two components (discernment and preparation) are separated into distinct stages: the inquiry phase and candidacy phase, respectively. For those pursuing commissioning as Ruling Elders, those first components are woven throughout the process.
- Application for Preparation for Commissioned Ruling Elders (CREs) and Commissioned Lay Pastors (CLPs)
- Application to enter discernment for ministry of word and sacrament
- Application to progress to candidacy for ministry of word and sacrament
- Acknowledgment of CPM policies and procedures
- Annual Consultation Form
- Checklist for Ministry of Word and Sacrament
- Checklist for CREs and CLPs
- At a Glance: Discerning and Preparing for Ministry of Word and Sacrament
- At a Glance: Preparing for Service as a CRE or CLP
- Spiritual Autobiography Reflection Questions
- Presbyterian Seminaries at a Glance
Policies and Handbooks
- CPM Procedures and Requirements Manual
- Handbook for CREs and CLPs
- PC(USA) Advisory Handbook
- PC(USA) Standard Ordination Examinations (OGA website)
Chair: Michael Cuppett, TE – Catonsville Presbyterian – 2025
Richard Jones, TE – Luminis Health Anne Arundel County – 2026
Bill Minor, RE – Kenwood Presbyterian – 2025
Claire Pula, TE – Retired – 2025
Shannon Weston, TE – Unburdened, Inc. – 2024
Cat Goodrich, TE – Faith Presbyterian – 2024
Patricia Foye, RE – First Annapolis – 2026
Christa Burns, TE – Retired – 2024
Vacant Seat – 2026
Mary Gaut, Stated Clerk – Presbytery Staff