The new plan, announced by the Presbyteries’ Cooperative Committee on Examinations for Candidates (PCC), will move the administration and evaluation of the exams to an online management process.
The new process, to be implemented in phases over the next three years, will streamline evaluation and administration costs while maintaining the integrity of the examination process.
For more than 40 years, candidates have taken ordination exams at PC(USA)-related seminaries at one of two set times in a calendar year. They have recorded their answers in color-coded test books for each section of the exams. The books have then been shipped to the Office of the General Assembly to be sorted and sent on to reading groups who have gathered in six locations across the country for a week to evaluate them. Candidates have waited up to two months to receive results.
Timothy Cargal, interim associate for Preparation for Ministry and Exams within the Office of Vocation, says, “The new process will allow us to move from an industrial to a digital model. The assembly line approach worked in an earlier time, but now it makes sense to take advantage of today’s technology.”
Once fully implemented, the process would:
» expand the reader pool to include those unable to attend the regional reading groups,
» introduce plagiarism screening,
» allow more flexibility in exam schedules,
» generate financial savings that will make it possible to maintain the quality and integrity of the process within the current fee structure.