Discovery Workshops introduce church officers, ministers transferring ordination, and ordinates to the beliefs, expectations, government, and ethos of the EPC. They are required for all ministers and candidates seeking ordination in the Presbytery of the West. Ruling Elders and Deacons are strongly encouraged to attend the Discovery Workshops, which are conducted once a year, generally the first weekend in August, at no charge to the attendees. They cover the EPC Book of Order and Westminster Standards with emphasis on EPC Essentials and Reformed theology. The camaraderie and information shared during the workshops enable candidates and ministers to better serve the church. Ruling Elders and Deacons do not complete assignments.
Next 2017 Discovery Workshop Aug 4-5 at Greenwood Community Church
If candidates are unable to attend a scheduled workshop, they watch the DW videos and discuss the material with a DW Mentor as they prepare for oral and written EPC exams. Mentors guide candidates through the Westminster Standards, Book of Order, and Leadership Training Guide; help them finalize their Statements of Faith and exceptions to the Westminster Confession. Mentors receive and evaluate the required papers. Mentors send a final report to the Director of the Discovery Workshops who sends a summary report to Chair of the Care of Candidates. The DW Mentor relationship generally lasts four to five months.
The basic requirements for the DW are:
- Read the Book of Order, Leadership Training Guide, and Westminster Standards.
- Listen to and discuss the lectures on Reformed Theology, Westminster Standards, and Book of Order in the workshop and with mentor.
- Write a five page paper on the distinctives of the Reformed Theology that includes the Solas and Sacraments.
- Write a five page paper on the Book of Government highlighting the distinctives of Presbyterian government.
- Write exceptions to the Westminster Standards.
- Prepare to take Presbytery oral exams.
Additional Requirements for All Candidates and those Ministers transferring from Non-Reformed Denominations are:
- POW requires ministers to take a Reformed Theology seminary course. If they have not fulfilled this requirement, they can take one for credit or audit at Reformed Theological Seminary on iTunes or one at an accredited seminary, as approved by Care of Candidates Committee and Ministerial Committee.
- Prepare to take EPC written and Presbytery oral exams.
Care of Candidates Committee Advisor
Candidates for ordination are also assigned an Advisor by the Care of Candidates Committee.
A TE could be both Advisor and Mentor, or the roles could be separated wherein one TE fulfills one role and someone else the other.
Candidates submit paper work (PIF, Statements of Faith) to the Chair of the Care of Candidates Committee and are assigned an Advisor. The Advisor shepherds the candidate through the ordination process. The role is primarily pastoral: they support growth in Christ and prepare the candidate to be a pastor wherever God calls them. Advisors guide candidates through the steps of the ordination process. The relationship can last one or more years with conversations occurring at least once a month. Advisors report to the Chair of the CoCC.