July 14, 2003 Q & A

Men Under Care


I am interested in going into the "man under care" program. I am curious as to what all is involved in this. More specifically, what is the person under care to do? If you could send me any information on requirements and expectations I would greatly appreciate it.


The answers to your question, at least to get started, are found in Form of Government XXI, "Licensing Candidates to Preach the Gospel" and specifically the first two sections of that chapter.

In brief, you need to be a communicant member of an OPC and your session needs to send a communication to its presbytery "certifying that in its judgment [your] Christian faith and potential gifts qualify [you] to be taken under care of the presbytery with a view to ordination to the gospel ministry." At the meeting of presbytery at which their letter is read, you will be briefly interviewed by the presbytery (not a theological exam, but an exam "respecting [your] Christian faith, life, service, and the motives influencing [you] to desire the sacred office").

Once taken under care by the presbytery, the presbytery—almost always acting through its Candidates & Credentials Committee (or a committee with some similar name)—will "show its continuing concern for the progress of ... the candidate under its care, and shall continually guide, counsel, and help [him] as [he] further prepares [himself] for the work of the ministry."

So, if you are not a member of an OPC and you wish to be under the care of the OPC, you need first to join a congregation of the OPC. If you are already a member, let your session know of your interest and work with them.

I hope this has been a helpful answer to your question. Feel free to follow up with further inquiries.



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