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Candidates for the ministry in the Christian Reformed Church were presented to Synod 2011 delegates and as well as to visitors and family members.

For the Calvin Theological Seminary students, the appearance capped years of work and examinations.

The last formal examination took place in late April at the CRC’s Grand Rapids, Mich., office. That day panels of pastors interviewed each of the 41 candidates.

The veteran pastors were kind, yet demanding. Candidates emerged from the interview rooms knowing that they would be recommended to synod.

"The day is filled with inspiring stories from prospective candidates and with reflection focused on the church we all love," said Rev. David Koll, director of the CRC’s Candidacy Committee.

The day also made seminarians consider their journeys.

“Eight years ago, the Lord dragged me—kicking and screaming—into following this crazy calling that he had given me to be a pastor,” said seminarian Ken Kruithof.

“I look to the future and the great adventure that the Lord has planned for me; I am filled with great joy. My prayer at this point in my journey is that whatever God has next for me, that I would embrace it with more joy and less kicking and screaming.”

Late in the day, Thyra VanKeeken emerged from her interview with a big smile on her face. VanKeeken works as an intern for the CRC's Office of Social Justice and hopes to serve a church, probably in Canada.

Asked how it went, the Canadian seminary student said exuberantly, “Great. It looks like I’ll be a candidate."

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