Commissioned Ruling Elder/Lay Pastor Program
CRE – Commissioned Ruling Elder (same as CLP)
CLP – Commissioned Lay Pastor (same as CRE)
CPT – Committee on Pastoral Transitions
CRM – Committee on Relational Ministry.
Welcome and thank you for your interest in the Commissioned Ruling Elder program of Shenandoah Presbytery. Commissioned Ruling Elders and Commissioned Lay Pastors are basically two names for the same thing. CLPs were renamed CREs when the Book of Order was changed some years ago. In coming years, CLP will likely be the default title.
Shenandoah Presbytery has partnered with Union Presbyterian Seminary to provide the educational component of the program to prepare candidates for commissioned service. We are excited to offer this service that we believe will be reasonably priced and more accessible. Most classwork from Union Presbyterian Seminary will be taken online and at home. The classes are available to anyone regardless of their desire to pursue a commissioning track; however, space may be limited.
Shenandoah Presbytery has been blessed by a number of faithful elders who have been called and commissioned by the Presbytery. It is no small thing to serve in any leadership role of a church, and serving as a regular worship and pastoral leader can be a rewarding call to serving on a team.
How to Apply
We recommend reading through the policy, brochure and other materials on this site to familiarize you with some of the rationale and the process that we require of all candidates of the program.
Discerning your call is not only a solo affair. You will meet with your church leaders and Session, with the Oversight Committee (which currently is a subcommittee of the Committee on Pastoral Transitions), meet with a vocational psychologist who works with Shenandoah Presbytery, and with other peers and professionals.
A number of application forms are available below. Complete the forms and send them to:
attn: Kim Stroupe
1111 N. Main Street
Harrisonburg, VA 22802
During the process, a member of the Oversight Committee will be happy to meet with your Session to explain the Session’s role in your preparation if it would be helpful. Your Session will also need to endorse you for this service as part of the discernment and application process.
As the CRE/CLP program continues to evolve, please feel free to contact us with questions.
Please read the following documents:
CRE/ARE Application Form
CRE Covenant Agreement and Explorer/Disciple Release
CRE Session Endorsement Form
Dates for Union Presbyterian Seminary Classes in 2017/18 are:
CRE and Church member courses, Phase I (Tuesdays):
September 12 – October 10, 2017: Biblical Interpretation
October 24 – November 21, 2017: Reformed Theology and Church History
February 20 – March 20, 2018: The Christian Life
April 10 – May 8, 2018: Mission and Evangelism
January 9 – February 6, 2018 (Tuesdays): Confronting Racism in the Congregation
May 24 – June 21, 2018 (Thursdays): Parables of Jesus
CRE and Church member courses, Phase II (Thursdays):
September 7 – October 5, 2017: Worship and Sacraments
October 19 – November 16, 2017: Teaching the Bible
January 11 – February 8, 2018: Polity and Administration
February 22 – March 22, 2018: Pastoral Care
April 12 – May 10, 2018: Preaching the Bible
Online portions of the courses are held from 7-9 p.m. ET on the dates listed.
Each five-week course costs $100, and requires the purchase of one book. Contact Marilyn Johns (email@example.com) for more information, or go to www.upsem.edu/pathways to read about the program and/or to register.
For questions or more information, contact Bob Osborne.