Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ruling Elder Exams

Although Teaching Elders are put through more rigorous exams, Ruling Elders also need to be examined by the Session before taking office. Areas of examination may include: Biblical knowledge (knowing the books of the Bible, themes of books, where key passages are located, etc), theology (theology proper, anthropology, soteriology, eschatology, etc), familiarity with the creeds and confessions of the church (Westminster Confession, Shorter and, more importantly, Larger Catechism, what does it mean when the Apostles Creed says "descended into Hell"?, etc).

Of course, there are more than just academics that have to be taken into account, but these are good starting points.

The ARP has a "Study Questions for Presbytery Examinations" here. I believe this is intended for Pastors, not Ruling Elders, but it could just as easily be used to examine a RE.

Over at A Puritan's Mind, there are two study guides for examining potential elders (Exam 1 and Exam 2). They are longer than the ARP guide, but again, could be adapted for use in examining Ruling Elders.

Remember, the difference between a Teaching Elder and a Ruling Elder is function, not knowledge!

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