Changes to the Bible exam Presbyterian Church (USA) candidates for ministry must take have yielded less than stellar results from the most recent round of testing, but the long-term outcome will be ministers more deeply grounded in the scriptures, those closest to the exam maintain.
The average score on the Bible Content Examination (BCE) administered September 4 and the percentage of inquirers and candidates who met the minimum score (70 percent) required to satisfy this requirement in the preparation for ministry process were below historical averages, said Tim Cargal, the PCUSA’s manager of preparation for ministry/exams and staff support to the Presbyteries’ Cooperative Committee on Examinations for Candidates (PCC).
The results are due, in part, to publically released previous test questions no longer being included in the exam, he said. Currently, “all publically available questions have been retired.”
Nevertheless, “the PCC believes that as inquirers and candidates adjust their preparation accordingly—as they have adjusted to the many other changes in the exams in recent years— satisfactory rates on the Bible Content Exam will return to levels more consistent with past performance,” said Steve Ranney, moderator of the PCC.
“Even more importantly, our candidates for the ministry of Word and Sacrament will be more deeply grounded in the scriptures that are foundational to our faith, and will be able to use that knowledge to guide the churches to which they are called to grow in the grace of our Lord (1 Peter 1).”
Related blog: Bible Content Exam Results