Commission on Preparation for Ministry

Following is the Presbytery of St. Andrew's Policy for Commissioned Ruling Elders as adopted by the Presbytery on February 7, 2012. At the bottom of the page are downloadable files you will need if you desire to enter this program.


4.01.10           Commissioned Ruling Elders

A.    Persons seeking approval as Commissioned Ruling Elders (CRE) shall be experienced ruling elders in congregations of the Presbyterian Church (USA).  Such persons shall present letters of endorsement from the session of their church to the Commission on Preparation for Ministry (CPM).  The letters will address the elders' faith in Jesus Christ, the maturity of their faith, their judgment, and their commitment to the church and its mission.  In addition, they will complete any other forms provided by the CPM and provide them to the CPM moderator.

B.     After receiving all the completed necessary documents from CRE applicants, the CPM will schedule a personal interview with them.  When the CPM has granted an applicant's approval to become a CRE candidate, it will assign the candidate a liaison who will guide, nurture, and communicate with the candidate on a regular basis.  The candidate will proceed with the prescribed education and training program.

C.     CRE Candidates will complete the following required courses:  Introduction to the Old Testament, Introduction to the New Testament, Church History, Reformed Theology, Reformed Worship and Sacraments, Introduction to Preaching, Presbyterian Polity and Rules of Order, and Pastoral Care.

D.    CRE Candidates will complete required courses via "online" courses from the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary (, equivalent courses from approved and accredited education institutions, and education opportunities offered by the CPM and/or the Presbytery of St. Andrew.

E.     A CRE Candidate may submit a transcript of previously completed coursework from an accredited educational institution.  The CPM will evaluate the transcript, and may prescribe additional study in areas it deems necessary.

F.      Upon completion of all course requirements, the CRE Candidate will preach a sermon to the CPM, and will submit an exegesis of the passage/passages upon which it is based.

G.    CRE Candidates will meet at least annually with the CPM for progress, consultation, and discernment.  CLP Candidates will submit an annual written report to the CPM prior to their meeting indicating their forms of service to the church during the past year, continuing education completed, and a statement of their desire to continue as CLP Candidates.

H.    After CRE Candidates have completed all course requirements and have successfully preached a sermon before the CPM, they will be scheduled for a final interview.  When the CPM has granted final approval to CRE Candidates, it will endorse them to the Committee on Ministry (COM) as being ready for a commissioned responsibility.  Until actual commissioning by the presbytery, CRE Candidates will continue in their relationship and responsibility to the CPM.

I.       CRE Candidates who are eligible for commissioning will not be authorized to perform the functions of a CRE until being called by to a particular responsibility and being commissioned by the presbytery.

Attached Documents