. . .to enter into covenant relationship with those preparing to become ministers of the Word and Sacrament by enrolling them as inquirers, to receive inquirers as candidates, and to certify candidates as ready for examination for ordination.
See also G-14.0300 for information on inquirers.
The responsibilities of Commission on Preparation on Ministry (CPM) include handling the documentation that is required to track an individual through the process of becoming an Inquirer, moving to Candidate, and accepting a call for ordination. The denomination requires that the CPM follows very specific guidelines to ensure that our new Ministers of the Word and Sacrament are prepared in the best way possible for work in our churches. There are forms for every step, which must be coordinated and reported on the Presbyterian PROMPT system. We do take the documentation responsibilities seriously and keep close, up-to-date records.
Another responsibility is elevating the discernment process, which is truly the heart of the CPM's calling. Each committee member is liaison for two or more Inquirers/Candidates. We are to keep in very close contact with them, supporting, guiding, and praying for them. At every contact, we work to help the Inquirer/Candidate refine his/her call to the ministry. Our retreats focus on that critical part of our work.
Several members of Presbytery serve as ordination examination readers in the Chicago region. They are nominated by CPM and elected by Presbytery Assembly.
The need to be able to comfortably care for and communicate with Inquirer/Candidates is essential. It is also important to be well grounded theologically, to possess the ability to assess people's gifts and calling, and to have the gift of discernment. Being familiar with or willing to learn the intricacies of Book of Order G¬14.0300 is also a part of the committee responsibilities.
The CPM meets 11 months each year, usually at Geneva Center. Two special exceptions are the February meeting used as a 3-day training retreat for CPM members and the June meeting used as a 3-day retreat for Inquirers and Candidates.
During the year we meet with Inquirer/Candidates as necessary, work with seminaries, prepare Candidates for examination on the floor of Presbytery, and continue to communicate with those under our care.