The Ministry Discernment Profile

The Pastoral Nominating has composed a MINISTRY DISCERNMENT PROFILE (MDP). The MDP is a “verbal snapshot of the church,” that serves as an introduction to the church for prospective pastors. It contains information like our statistical reports, a congregational survey to describe the church, its mission and ministry, and the vision for the future, its needs and expectations of its pastor, and the resources the church has (people and material wealth) to carry out its mission. The MDP can be found here. It is currently online through the Office of the General Assembly’s Church Leadership Connection (CLC) and is accessible to all pastors who are interested in seeing it.

What happens next?

All pastors open to a call will have an active PERSONAL DISCERNMENT PROFILE (PDP) in the system of the CLC, The PDP reflects the candidate’s Ecclesiastical Status, Formal Education, Training/Certification, Work Experience, Service to the Greater Church, and Position Type in which the candidate is interested, among some other information. This information is used to “match” prospective pastors to MPPC.

A pool of prospects will be referred to the PNC, along with other names submitted by the congregation and ministers who may refer themselves for consideration. The PNC will evaluate all these names in light of the needs and mission of the church, and in response to where God is leading.

The PNC’s work must be carried out in the strictest CONFIDENTIALITY. They will have people’s lives and careers in their hands, as well as the on-going relationships of pastors in their current churches. They must be absolutely sure to safeguard all information that comes to them. They cannot talk to the Session, to their spouses, or to anyone else outside their Presbytery Commission on Ministry liaison in this process.

The evaluation process involves reviewing PERSONAL DISCERNMENT PROFILEs written by prospective pastors, checking personal and professional references, getting assistance from the Presbytery with background checks (including standard criminal background checks, sex offender registry checks, and ascertaining that there are no ecclesiastical charges pending or sustained against the candidates).

Read more about the process here: