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Question and Answer

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.

About Q&A

"Questions and Answers" is a weekly feature of the OPC website. The answers come from individual ministers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church expressing their own convictions and do not necessarily represent an "official" position of the Church, especially in areas where the Standards of the Church (the Scriptures and the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms) are silent.

The questions come from individuals like yourself. If you have questions about biblical and theological matters, you are invited to send them by e-mail by using the "Pose a Question" link on the OPC home page or by clicking here.

At least one new question is posted each week, so there should always be something new here for you to read. (For those people who would like to look at previous questions and answers, they will continue to be available as well.)

The purpose of the OPC website's "Questions and Answers" is to respond to biblical and theological questions. Matters of church discipline, disputes, or debates go beyond the scope of our work. We recommend that you present your concerns in these areas to the appropriate judicatory. In most cases this will be to a local pastor, elder, or session. We do not want the website to replace personal involvement in, or commitment to, the local, visible church.

While we will respond to every serious questioner, we are not bound to give a substantive answer to every question, should we deem the question to be beyond the scope of our purpose or our own ability to answer.

You will receive an answer by e-mail. Please be patient as many of our respondents are busy pastors. The response to your question may take up to two (2) weeks. Some of the questions submitted will be chosen to be posted here, along with the corresponding answers.

Note that the "Questions and Answers" posted on the site have been edited—all personal references are removed, Scripture references or from some source may be added, and sometimes portions are expanded—to make the questions and answers more useful to a larger audience.

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