In the past, I've mentioned my attempts to pass the ordination exams for the Presbyterian Church (USA). Specifically, having passed the other four exams (Bible Content, Polity, Biblical Exegesis, and Worship & Sacraments) more than a decade ago, I struggled to pass the final remaining exam: Theological Competence, with five attempts (the most recent of which in 2001) that ended without success.
I am pleased to report that this is no longer my story.
Yesterday morning, I picked up a small envelope from the Office of Presbyterian Ministries on campus at Fuller. Inside was the nearly blank sheet of paper you see above with four handwritten words on it: "Mark - Passed Theological Comp!"
After phoning my wife, I put a notice on Facebook to inform my friends, and thank you all for your words of support and congratulations. My wife soon showed up at my office to put up some appropriate decorations in celebration of completing this more than decade-long journey.
What's next? My Committee on Preparation for Ministry (CPM) will still require that I complete Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE, yeah I get them mixed up in my speech all the time, too...), which means that I'll need to sign up at a local hospital to work on weekends for about nine months or so. I don't know when I'll be starting this next step toward ordination right now, but will do so soon.
For now, I'm just enjoying having completed this step....