National Assessment

National Assessment

The National Assessment Workgroup has responsibility for discerning who should be selected for training for National Ordained Ministry of word and sacrament in the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand. The Co-conveners are Ian Dittmer and Douglas Bradley.


1. The church always treats a sense of call with great respect. It is the duty of sessions, presbyteries, candidates and students to test that sense of call. The testing of that sense of call will be through study, practice, prayer, and the wisdom and judgement of the church as ascertained by its teachers and councils.

2. The church relates the number of students accepted to its need for and ability to support ordained ministry.

3. Enquiry about acceptance as a student for the NOM begins through the moderator of the session of the parish. With the support of the session the candidate makes formal application to the presbytery via the Presbytery Student Committee Convener. The session also provides a certificate of church membership and a testimonial of Christian character.

4. The Presbytery requires the candidate to complete a standard application form which together with educational transcripts and other accompanying documents is considered by the Presbytery Students Committee. (The application forms are available from the Registrar.)

5. The Presbytery in acknowledging the application furnishes the candidate with a current copy of these Regulations and the Handbooks published by the Knox Centre for Ministry and Leadership and the National Assessment Work Group, and relevant sections of the Book of Order.

6. The Students Committee in due course meets with the candidate to consider the application. The candidate’s minister is associated with the committee while the candidate is under consideration. This process involves more than one meeting and, where appropriate, consultation with a spouse.

7. In reaching a decision the Students Committee bears in mind the candidate’s:

  • Christian character and sense of call;
  • Leadership qualities exhibited in service to the Church and in other spheres;
  • Length of communicant membership of the Presbyterian Church;
  • Education and ability to benefit from further study;
  • Attitude to and developing knowledge of the biblical witness;
  • Emotional maturity and ability to relate to other people;
  • Suitability for ministry both in specific cultural contexts and in the church generally;
  • Record of employment;
  • Ability in public speaking;
  • Spouse’s attitude;
  • Financial position and commitments;
  • Health as indicated by a medical report form completed by a Registered Medical Practitioner. (The fee for the medical examination is paid by the Presbytery);
  • Any record of a criminal conviction.

8. The Students’ Committee may:

  • Recommend the candidate to the Presbytery for assessment by the National Assessment Work Group;
  • Recommend to the candidate further study or service in the church; or
  • Decline to recommend the candidate.

The Students Committee must formally recommend a candidate as soon as it is satisfied that the candidate can meet National Assessment criteria, in accordance with regulation (4.3) below.

9. When the Presbytery supports the candidature the Presbytery Clerk (or Presbytery Student Committee Convener) forwards to the Registrar the application and supporting documents together with the Presbytery report form. On receipt of the completed forms the Registrar arranges for the candidate to attend the next national assessment programme by passing the material on to the National Assessment Work Group.