Rules Tightened for Exchange of Pastors with RCA

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On Monday afternoon Synod 2011 tightened CRC rules for exchanging ministers with the Reformed Church in America.

Under the amended rules, graduates of an RCA seminary must either serve in an RCA congregation before taking a call in the CRC or follow the rules of the CRC’s candidacy process.

Previously, those newly ordained by the RCA could go directly to a Christian Reformed church position, but those who qualified for candidacy in the CRC without first serving a church in that denomination could not serve in the RCA, explained Rev. David Koll, denominational director of candidacy.

“We think it will strengthen both denominations if pastors have had rootedness in their own tradition,” said Koll.

Some delegates expressed concern that the rules would limit opportunities for candidates of the two denominations.

“My experience in seeking a call was a long and difficult one,” said Rev. Elizabeth Vander Haagen, Classis Grand Rapids East. “I pursued many different ones, including within the RCA, so I have concern for closing that door.”

Koll responded that the candidacy process is “smoother than it has ever been before.”

For more coverage while synod is in session, including webcasts, photos, discussion forums, reports, and more, visit the Synod 2011 website.

About the Author

Roxanne VanFarowe is a freelance writer who lives in the woods with her artist husband James and their five children in Hillsborough, North Carolina. They are members of Blacknall Presbyterian Church in Durham.