Discovery Workshops introduce ministers transferring ordination and ordinates to the beliefs, expectations, government, and ethos of the EPC. DW are required for all ministers and candidates seeking ordination in the Presbytery of the West (POW). Content pertains to the EPC Book of Order and Westminster Standards with emphasis on EPC Essentials and Reformed theology. The Discovery Workshop requirement is generally fulfilled through a mentoring relationship. A workshop is scheduled the first week in August when the number of candidates and transferring pastors justify a two-day workshop. Mentors are assigned at least four months prior to taking written and/or oral exams.
There are four EPC ordination exams: Book of Order (open book); biblical Hebrew and Greek Exegesis (seven-day take home); Theology, Sacraments, and Reformed; and English Bible. Ordination study material is on the EPC website. Go to https://epc.org/ministerialvocation/mvcresources/. POW Candidates and transferring pastors watch the DW videos on Reformed theology and read the BOO to understand doctrine and to apply Presbyterian government to the life of the church.
Mentors guide candidates and pastors 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 review papers and exceptions to WCF and sends a summary report to the Director of the Discovery Workshops who sends a summary report to Chair of the Care of Candidates or Chair of the Ministerial Committee. 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 discuss the Book of Order with mentor.
- Write a five-page paper on the distinctives of the Reformed Theology that includes the Solas and Sacraments. (no need t0 footnote)
- Write a five page paper on the Book of Government highlighting the distinctives of Presbyterian government. (No need to footnote)
- 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 and complete the Discovery Workshops.
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.