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Ordination in the PC(USA)

PC(USA) LogoFor the most complete information on PCUSA ordination requirements, check the current edition of The Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Part II: the Book of Order, and the handbook for your presbytery of care. The following assumes you are under care of your local presbytery as a candidate, that you have completed your Masters of Divinity program, and have successfully completed all the Standard Ordination Examinations, as well as any additional requirements of your local presbytery.

The Office of Student and Academic Affairs will hold workshops on occasion to help students navigate the call process and prepare for PC(USA) ordination exams. For a complete list of preparation resources, see the links below.

Exam Information

As part of the PC(USA) Ordination process, students seeking ordination must complete the Bible Content Exam and the four Senior Ordination Exams; students should consult their CPMs for instruction on when to take these exams.  McCormick Theological Seminary provides a testing site for these exams.

Students must register for these exams independently through the PC(USA) website according to the registration deadlines listed below. Register online at

The Bible Content examination is given:

  • The first Friday in February at 10 a.m.
  • The Friday before Labor Day at 10 a.m.

The four Senior Ordination Examinations are given twice yearly:

  • Beginning on the final Friday in January;
  • The last full weekend in August before Labor Day weekend.

Information on Reviews and Upcoming PC(USA) Ordination Exams taken at McCormick

Ordination Examinations are held in the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago's Learning Resource and Writing Center, Room 301, located at 1100 E. 55th Street, Chicago, Illinois.

Examinees have the option to bring a laptop or reserve on of the LRWC's computers. Please send a note to Alicia Rhine at to let her know your intent to bring a laptop or to reserve one of the lab's computers.

The schedule for the examinations will be as follows:


  • 8:30 am - Prayer and orientation
  • 9:00 am - Theological Competence (3 hours)
  • 12 noon - Break for lunch
  • 1:30 pm - Worship and Sacraments (3 hours)


  • 8:30 am - Prayer and instruction
  • 9:00 am - Church Polity (3 hours)
  • 3:00 pm - Biblical Exegesis will be available online

All exams are submitted electronically.

Exam Study Resources:

  • Bible Content Exam Practice Tool
  • Download the PCUSA Standard Ordination Examination Student Handbook
  • Princeton Materials
  • Download Jody Noble's Bible Content Exam Student Guide from 2009, divided into smaller files as Part 1 (p1-30), Part 2 (p31-55), Part 3 (56-95), and Part 4 (96-112).
  • Downloads: