The Ecclesiastical Program for Ministerial Candidacy (EPMC)


Credit Hours


Years to Complete

  • Residential
  • Online

    This ten-credit program prepares you to meet CRC synodical requirements by giving you an orientation to the theology, history, and ministry of the Christian Reformed Church and by walking with you on the final leg of your ministry formation journey.


    The Ecclesiastical Program for Ministerial Candidacy (EPMC) is available to you if you are in or have completed an MDiv program at another seminary but seek ordination as a Minister of the Word in the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA). In coordination with the CRCNA, Calvin Seminary provides four courses to be completed as part of the ordination process.

    The EPMC Program

    This program seeks to holistically prepare participants for ministry and meet thecandidacy requirements established by the Synod of the CRCNA. The 10-credit curriculum provides an orientation to the theology, history, and ministry of the Christian Reformed Church. In addition, vocational formation components prepare students with hands-on ministry experiences, mentorship and reflection.

    Required Courses10

    1 Biblical Interpretation for Ministry

    An introduction to basic principles for interpreting the Bible in the Reformed tradition. This course initiates the student in the fundamental task of a doing a responsible and relevant interpretation of the biblical text. Thus, the course aims to familiarize us with the indispensable abilities to hear attentively the Word of God and obey it.

    3 Christian Theology in Reformed Confessions

    Introduces Reformed theology through a study of confessions, from the Reformation era (Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism, Canons of Dort) and the more recent past (Contemporary Testimony, Belhar Confession), and through the basic elements of the Reformed worldview grounded in this confessional theology.

    3 Christian Reformed Church History AND

    An Intro to the basic outline of CRC History and some key ethical and theological positions of the CRC. The course focuses on the key elements of CRC identity in North America, including the struggle for liberty, Christian education, and tensions about Americanization-that are essential knowledge for effective ministry in the CRC.

    Christian Reformed Church Polity

    Prepares students for effective leadership and ministry in the CRC by introducing principles and structures of CRC polity and exploring case studies in church governance and administration, with reference to Church Order and the Synodical Regulations.

    2 Preaching the Word

    In this course, EPMC students will become familiar with the "Four Page" approach to homiletics. The importance of preaching anchored in the biblical text, sensitive to the needs of people, and guided by the confessions of the church will be stressed. One of the sermons required will be a doctrinally focused sermon using one of the Lord's Days of the Heidelberg Catechism.

    1 Digital Bible Tools for Teaching and Preaching

    This course introduces students to using digital tools for studying Scripture: exploring the text in its original languages, finding resources for deeper enrichment, and establishing a lifelong process for preparing to teach and preach.

    Program Requirements and Information

    Students interested in applying for the EPMC program should review the EPMC handbook. This pdf-resource goes more in-depth into the program requirements, including what is required for admissions. For questions about the program, contact David Koll, Director of Candidacy for the CRCNA.