As I noted last time, I am at the point in my seminary career where my academic work for a Master of Divinity degree and my plans to become ordained as a Minister of the Word in the CRC merge. They also diverge…
Even though an M.Div degree is required to be ordained in the CRC, one can get that degree from just about any accredited seminary in and take an alternative route to receive ordination in the CRC. I chose to get mine through Calvin Theological Seminary which means that, up to now, I was fulfilling both the requirements for my degree and my ordination simultaneously. While that is still happening, there are also additional things that I must do which I detailed last time.
Once all of those requirements have been met and satisfied, to both the seminary’s and the candidacy committee’s satisfaction, the Candidacy Committee - on the recommendation from the seminary – will recommend to synod that I be declared eligible to receive a call. When Synod convenes this June in Grand Rapids, MI my name, Lord willing, will be among 50+ names who will be seeking ordination in the CRC this year.
The process at Synod is a process whereby a sub-committee of Synod will review the files of all the candidates and recommend our names to the floor of the entire synod for eligibility having completed the necessary requirements as set forth by the denomination. Synod will then vote on the list as a group – accepting or rejecting all of us at one time. Only after that vote will I be allowed to entertain a call from a CRC congregation to be ordained as a minister.
And it is at that point that the process of ordination comes full circle and ends where it started. If you recall, my first entry in this set of five made the important point that my desire to enter the ministry was to be confirmed and affirmed by a local congregation. Here again, my acceptance of a call comes from a local congregation thereby completing what was started over three years ago, where it started – with a local congregation; who (hopefully) sees in me what that first congregation saw in me – the grace of God and a desire to use the gifts He’s given me to serve Him and His people.