11300 Rockville Pike, Suite 408
Rockville, MD 20852
Phone: 240.514.5348
Fax: 240.514.5349

Commission on Preparation for Ministry

The Commission on Preparation for Ministry (CPM) is charged with shepherding people who feel a call to Ministry of Word and Sacrament through their discernment and through the ordination requirements of the PC(USA). This includes befriending candidates, actively advocating on their behalf, and examining Candidates to certify them ready to receive a call.

Members of CPM are divided into four Liaison Groups. Each Group is responsible for five to ten candidates. Each member of the Group is a Liaison, or partner, to 1 or 2 candidates. Liaisons check in with their candidates regularly, and each candidate meets with their entire Liaison Group annually. The CPM as a whole meets in a plenary session every other month. Liaison Groups meet outside of the plenary session as necessary.

Requirements for membership

  • Ordination as Ruling Elder or Teaching Elder.
  • Compassionate heart and desire to accompany people discerning God’s call on their life.
  • Ability to provide objective guidance and critical evaluation in a pastoral way.
  • Ability to attend meetings electronically on Zoom, communicate through email, and access documents linked on the NCP’s website.
  • Elders serving in congregations that have candidates in the process are encouraged to join.


  • Establish a relationship with the candidate in your care. Check in with them regularly (at least every six months). Pray for them.
  • Attend bimonthly plenary sessions (September, November, January, March, May). CPM regularly meets on the third Thursday. Accommodations are made for members who are not regularly available on that day.
  • Attend Liaison Group work meetings as necessary (usually held before plenary session or in a month that plenary does not meet).
  • Proctor Bible Content Exam at NCP offices (one proctor is needed twice a year).
  • Serve on Final Assessment Commission. Final Assessments are held Saturday mornings in October, March, and June. Each Commission consists of a minimum of five members. The number of Commissions required on any given day is determined by the number of candidates ready for Final Assessment.
  • Serve as reader for Senior Ordination Exams. NCP is asked to provide 4-5 readers once a year. Training for evaluating each exam — Exegesis, Polity, Theology, and Worship and Sacraments — is provided for by the Office of General Assembly.

Documents relating to CPM may be found here.

Staff Contact:
Dina Bickel

Class of September 1, 2024

  • Mary Casper
  • Lou Durden
  • Rev. Margaret (Maggie) Hayward
  • Edward Jones, Sr.
  • Rev. Megan Klose, Chair
  • Rev. Blair Moorhead
  • Rev. Catherine Taylor
  • Darrell Whiting, Jr.

Class of September 1, 2025

  • Rev. Denise Diaab
  • Rev. Molly Douthett

Class of September 1, 2026

  • Eric Akyeampong
  • Rev. Crawford Brubaker
  • Rev. Todd Sutton
  • Rev. Elisabeth (Beth) Williams
  • Rev. Grace Woodward