Steps to Becoming an Inquirer


1. Speak with your pastor about your interest and plans.

Before applying for inquiry you must have been a member of your church for at least six months. Explore with the pastor a time for a meeting with the session to review your inquiry application materials. Do NOT set the meeting date until you can submit your application because the session must sign off on the papers.
If the session has not had training from CPM within the past year, a time will need to be set for someone from CPM to be present and explain the preparation process. This may be the same meeting when you meet with the session. Email the Ministry Coordinator in the presbytery office via email ( to arrange for a CPM representative to meet with the session.

2. Call or email the Executive Presbyter to set a time for a pre-inquiry interview.

During this interview the preparation process for ministry will be reviewed. To prepare for this interview, please write a one page biographical sketch about yourself that includes information about your family, personal church history, work history, and your sense of call to the ministry. Email this statement to the Ministry Coordinator at the above address prior to the date of the interview. At this time you will receive a copy of the CPM Manual.

3. Inquiry materials to be completed by the applicant

A. After the pre-inquiry interview complete the following forms:
Form 1A. Background Information for Session and Commission on Preparation for Ministry Form 1B. Questions for Reflection Form 1C. Financial Planning for Theological Education Form 1D. Session Evaluation and Recommendation Form 2A. Application to Be Enrolled by the Presbytery as an Inquirer
Form 2B. Covenant Agreement and Inquirer Release
(These links will take you to the Presbyterian Church (USA) website.) You will need the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader to complete these forms. You may save the completed forms to your computer. A copy of each form shall be printed and submitted to the session and the Commission on Preparation for Ministry. Forms 1A and 1B may be submitted electronically to the Ministry Coordinator with a note attached indicating the meeting date with the session.
B. Order transcripts from college, seminary and other graduate studies to be sent directly to the Ministry Coordinator, Presbytery of Chicago, 815 W. Van Buren St. Suite 415, Chicago, IL 60607.
C. Please request an authorization form for a criminal back ground check from the Ministry Coordinator at the presbytery office.

4. With your pastor, schedule a time to meet with your session.

The session will need a copy of Form 1A and Form 1B. If the session endorses you as an inquiry applicant, form 1D shall be completed. You and the session moderator must sign form 2B, the Covenant Agreement and Inquirer Release. All completed and signed forms shall be submitted to the Ministry Coordinator.

5. Arrange for a psychological assessment with Midwest Ministries Development Service.

Ordinarily the church pays the fee for this assessment but shared payment may be arranged in hardship situations. The assessment need not be completed prior to your inquiry review but the date must be set. MMDS will send the report to you with a release form that you must sign and return to them in order for them to submit the report to CPM. This is required.
When all of the forms and information are received in the presbytery office you will be assigned an advisor and will be scheduled to meet with the Commission on Preparation for Ministry for your inquiry review. If the CPM votes to enroll you as an inquirer, your official beginning date will be the date of the CPM meeting. The committee ordinarily meets on the 4th Monday of each month.
Important addresses and phone numbers:
Presbytery of Chicago 815 W. Van Buren St., Suite 415 Chicago, IL 60607
Phone: 312-488-3000
Mail may also be addressed to the CPM at the presbytery address.
Mail the signed forms 1A, 1D and 2A to:
The Presbytery of Chicago
Attn: Ministry Coordinator 815 W. Van Buren St., Suite 415 Chicago,IL 60607 Attn: CPM