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The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 19 : The Licensure of Candidates for the Gospel Ministry and Internship

Paragraph 5 :

19-5. When any licentiate shall have occasion to remove from the bounds of his Presbytery into those of another, the latter Presbytery may, at its discretion, on his producing proper testimonials from the former, repeat any portion of the previous Presbytery’s examination it desires. The Presbytery into whose bounds the licentiate is moving, however, must at least examine the man concerning:
a. his Christian experience,
b. his call to preach the Gospel,
c. his views in theology,
d. Bible content,
e. church government.
This Presbytery then may license him to preach within its bounds.

[Historical Summary : The current text dates to 1980 (see first citation below), with one subsequent modification in ______, in which "English Bible" was replaced with "Bible content", in recognition of non-English speaking contexts. The text of PCA 1973, which was in use up until 1980, was unchanged from that of PCUS 1869 and subsequent key editions. Only a few minor differences of punctuation and capitalization distinguished PCUS 1867 from PCUS 1869.]

Background and Comparison :
1980 (M8GA, 8-88, III.3, p. 116), 19-5
When any licentiate shall have occasion to remove from the bounds of his Presbytery into those of another, the latter Presbytery may, at its discretion, on his producing proper testimonials from the former, repeat any portion of the previous Presbytery's examination it desires. The Presbytery into whose bounds the licentiate is moving, however, must at least examine the man concerning his Christian experience and call to preach the Gospel and his views in theology, English Bible, and church government. This Presbytery then may license him to preach within its bounds.

1. PCA 1973, 20-11, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, p. 139
2. Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, 20-10, Proposed text, p. 25
3. PCUS 1933, XXII, § 117
4. PCUS 1925, XXII, § 117
5. PCUS 1879, VI-6-9

6. PCUS 1869 draft, VI-6-9
When any candidate for licensure shall have occasion, while his trials are going on, to remove from the bounds of his own Presbytery into those of another, it shall be considered regular for the latter Presbytery, on his producing proper testimonials from the former,
to take up his trials at the point at which they were left, and conduct them to a conclusion in the same manner as if they had been commenced by itself.

PCUS 1867 draft, VI-6-9
When any candidate for licensure shall have occasion, while his trials are going on, to remove from the bounds of his own presbytery into those of another, it shall be considered as regular for the latter presbytery, on his producing proper testimonials from the former, to take up his trials at the point at which they were left, and conduct them to a conclusion, in the same manner as if they had been commenced by itself.

COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order
(1898, pp. 165-166), on VI-6-9:
IX.--When any candidate for licensure shall have occasion, while his trials are going on, to remove from the bounds of his own Presbytery into those of another, it shall be considered regular for the latter Presbytery, on his producing proper testimonials from the former, to take up his trials at the point at which they were left, and conduct them to a conclusion in the same manner as if they had been commenced by itself.
But the latter Presbytery may, if it thinks best, repeat any or all of his former trials.



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15
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19
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I. King & Head of Church
.§1.
§4
§5
RoD
27
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35
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40
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II. Preliminary Principles
§1
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DfW
47
48
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54
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63
[FoG = Form of Government ; RoD = Rules of Discipline ; DfW = Directory for Worship]