MFCA: Reformed Candidates' Supervision and Care (RCSC)
The ordination process for RCA candidates attending non-RCA seminaries.
Supervision and Care services of the MFCA exists especially for Reformed Church in America (RCA) candidates completing a Masters of Divinity (M.Div.) degree at a non-RCA seminary. The MFCA was inaugurated in 1998 by the General Synod to oversee our candidates studying at, or having graduated from other seminaries. If we think of New Brunswick Theological Seminary and Western Theological Seminary as agencies through which the RCA has historically carried on the task of theological training, then the RCSC function of the MFCA may be regarded as a third partner in this task.
Your interest in preparing for the ministry of Jesus Christ is important to the future ministry of the church, and of significance to us. The MFCA is committed to helping you meet the RCA requirements for ordination to the office of minister of the Word and sacrament, and the staff is available for clarification and assistance as needed. It is our purpose to support and guide you in fulfilling God's purpose for your life.
Seminary Education and the Master of Divinity
The candidate needs to earn a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree from an ATS (Association of Theological Schools) accredited institution. The classis is responsible for the selection of the seminary by the candidate and must approve the selection. Acceptable seminaries must be either one of the two RCA seminaries, New Brunswick Theological Seminary in New Jersey or Western Theological Seminary in Michigan; or, it must meet the following criteria:
1. An institutional structure and course of study fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada.
2. Instruction that is demonstrably compatible with Reformed theology as expressed in the three RCA doctrinal standards.
3. Location near RCA congregations whose opportunities for regular participation lead to the creation and growth of RCA identity, loyalty, and collegiality.
4. Diverse field education assignments in RCA teaching churches under the supervision of RCA ministers.
5. A high commitment to pastoral ministry.
6. Availability within its curriculum of at least one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and a program of spiritual direction.
7. Recognition of the RCA Standards of Unity as a valid statement of Christian faith for members of the RCA and no requirement that RCA students assent to additional doctrinal standards or statements.
The M.Div. must include the following courses in order to meet RCA requirements:
Hebrew language and exegesis 2-3 courses
Greek language and exegesis 2-3 courses
Church History 2-3 courses
Theology 2-3 courses
Biblical Studies 4 courses
Christian Ethics 1 course
Christian Education 1 course
Preaching & Practicum 2 courses
Pastoral Care & Counseling 2 courses
Evangelism & Missiology 1 course
RCA Standards and Polity 1 course
RCA History, Missions and Worship 1 course
Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) 1 course
Credo 1 course or written paper
Supervised Ministry Equiv. of 1 year (650 + hours)
As the candidate completes the seminary studies, the classis will examine the candidate in the areas studied.