Examination for Ministry

Selecting a person to fill a position of important spiritual leadership is a weighty responsibility.

A lesson may be learned from the early Presbyterians as they examined A. B. Simpson and others for admission to Knox College as students for ministry. A. W. Tozer says of the occasion: “After sitting for several hours, during which time they were studiously ignored by the members of that august body, they were subjected to an examination that singed their pride and rooted out any traces of conceit that might have survived that long siege of letting alone they had endured earlier in the day.

The members of the examining board undoubtedly were one and all men of genuine Christian principles, and it is not hard to believe that they must have had good hearts about them somewhere, but this is no time to be soft, so they proceeded to take the boys apart piece by piece to see what made them run, and they examined the ‘parts’ to see whether they were the stuff of which ministers are made”.1

A minister is to have “true dignity”, meaning “upright in all his dealings” (1 Timothy 3:4).2

“Before there can be acceptable service, there must be an acceptable life.”3


© 2017 D & L Publications


  1. Adult Teacher Supplement, Third Annual Volume, Third Quarter, 1967, Gospel Publishing House, Springfield, MO, Copyright 1966, p. 5
  2. Word Meanings in the New Testament, Ralph Earle, Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., P. O. Box 3473, Peabody, MA, 01961-3473, Copyright 1974, p. 391
  3. A. W. Tozer –