The purpose of this paper is to suggest guidelines for Presbyteries of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, as they take under their care candidates for the gospel ministry. In attempting to do this we have used the entire text of Chapter XXI, section 2 of the Form of Government (which is quoted below, in italics). Using this material as our basic framework, we have suggested how each of the stipulated requirements may be accomplished.
Prior to licensure candidates shall be taken under care of a presbytery.
1. A candidate must be a communicant member of a local congregation of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.
2. Ordinarily it should be of the same presbytery in which he is applying to be taken under care.
3. The Presbytery shall receive a written recommendation from the session of the local congregation of which the candidate is a member, certifying that in its judgment his Christian faith and potential gifts qualify him to be taken under the care of the presbytery with a view to ordination to the gospel ministry.
4. It is of particular importance, at this time, that the presbytery inquire as to the grace of God in him and whether he be of such holiness of life as is requisite in a minister of the gospel.
5. It is therefore the duty of a presbytery in taking a candidate under its care, to examine him respecting his Christian faith, life, service, and the motives influencing him to desire the sacred office.
6. The presbytery must show its continuing concern for the progress of all the candidates under its care, and shall continually guide, counsel, and help them as they further prepare for the work of the ministry.
7. If a candidate desires to place himself under the care of a presbytery other than his own, he shall request his presbytery to forward the written recommendation of his session to the presbytery under whose care he desires to place himself.
8. That presbytery shall examine the candidate as required above of all candidates and, if it receives him as a candidate, shall give him all that continuing care above required.
9. If the exception envisioned in  and  is allowed, it is imperative that the vital link between the Presbytery and the Session that has immediate and sustained supervision of the candidate not be weakened.
Published at the direction of the Christian Education Committee and its Subcommittee on Ministerial Training, 11/30/99.
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