GS 2022 art 144

GS 2022 Article 143 – Overture RSE 2021 re Place of Preparatory Exams

1.   Material

  • 1.1    Overture from Regional Synod East (RSE) 2021 recommending that preparatory exams be conducted in a student’s ‘home classis’ (8.4.4.1).
  • 1.2    Submissions from the following churches: Carman West (8.5.4.1); Smithers (8.5.4.2); Willoughby Heights (8.5.4.3); Yarrow (8.5.4.4); Cloverdale (8.5.4.5); Coaldale (8.5.4.6); Flamborough-Redemption (8.5.4.7); Fergus-Maranatha (8.5.4.8); Calgary (8.5.4.9); Chatham-Ebenezer (8.5.4.10); Glanbrook-Trinity (8.5.4.11); Neerlandia (North) (8.5.4.12); Edmonton-Immanuel (8.5.4.13); Edmonton-Providence (8.5.4.14).

2.   Admissibility

  • 2.1    The submissions were declared admissible.

3.   Decisions

Synod decided:

  • 3.1    To adopt the overture;
  • 3.2    To amend the regulations for the preparatory examination adopted by GS 1958 (Art.188 Part 1) from:
    • “The preparatory examination will take place in the classis where the student resides.”
  • to:
    • “The preparatory examination is to occur in the classis where the church that sent the student’s original attestation to the federational seminary belongs. The preparatory examination for a student not originating within the Canadian & American Reformed Churches is to occur in the classis where he lives.”
    • 3.2.1   In circumstances in which a particular student’s connection to his ‘home classis’ is unclear or debated, requests for examination must be processed through the student’s local consistory;
  • 3.3    That these revised regulations for the preparatory examination, as well as the existing regulations for the peremptory examination as found in GS 1958 Art. 188, be published in English as an appendix to the Acts of GS 2022 (see Appendix 23);
  • 3.4    That CO Art. 4B be amended from:
    • “Only those shall be declared eligible for call within the churches who (1) have passed a preparatory examination by the classis in which they live. . .”
  • to:
    • Only those shall be declared eligible for call within the churches who (1) have passed a preparatory examination by classis….
  • 3.5    That the above changes to both the regulations of preparatory examinations and the Church Order take effect as of 1 January 2023.
  • 3.6    That the cost of return travel for students undergoing a preparatory examination in their home classis be borne by that classis.

4.   Grounds

  • 4.1    The letters from the churches expressed an overwhelming degree of support for this overture.
  • 4.2    Steadily growing enrolment at CRTS has significantly increased the workload for Classis Ontario West (COW).  This pressure would be alleviated by sharing the workload among all the classes of the federation. 
  • 4.3    Doing so would not create insurmountable financial or logistical burdens for those classes.
  • 4.4    Preparatory exams determine who can serve as a minister in the federation. The responsibility and privilege of sharing in this determination ought to be federational.
  • 4.5    Re 3.2.1: Exceptional circumstances will undoubtedly arise when it comes to identifying a student’s connection to his ‘home classis’.  In such circumstances, students would be well-served by guidance from their local consistory.
  • 4.6    Though concern was raised regarding logistical complications which might arise, it would be impossible to envision and account for every possible exigent circumstance.
  • 4.7    Re 3.5: Given that it will take some time for students, churches, and classes to absorb and adjust to these changes, it would be wise to implement these decisions on 1 January 2023.
  • 4.8    Re 3.3: An appended translation of the GS 1958 Art. 188 Part 1 would serve as a useful reference for the reader.