Nearly two decades ago, as a candidate for ministry in the Presbyterian Church (USA) I had to take, what we Presbyterians call “ordination exams.” Like the medical boards for doctors or the bar for attorneys, we must pass five exams - Bible context, polity, theology, worship and exegesis - in order to move forward in the process to become a Minister of Word and Sacrament. While there are many opinions about the process, I am a firm believer in the presence of a rigorous and and flexible process for preparing and calling church leaders to ordained ministry. That said, the ordination exams create quite a bit of anxiety for many people. Never fear, my friend, Jack Jenkins and a seminary student himself, has put together a quick video Stuff Presbyterian Seminarians Say to help folks gain a little perspective as they approach ordination exams later this week.
So I saw a lot of these “S**t [insert niche demographic here] Says” going around, and realized that Presbyterians — especially Presbyterian Seminarians — weren’t getting their due. As thousands of PC(USA) seminary students nationwide gear up for ordination exams this week, I figured I’d offer them a reminder of what makes our tradition so wonderful . . . and so wonderfully ridiculous.