First Call, First Steps

​The First Call, First Steps seminar provides inquirers and candidates for ordination with information and tools essential to navigating the call process effectively.

This half-day seminar highlights the practical realities of serving in congregational ministry and encourages church-bound seminarians to negotiate their terms of call through the lens of covenant. It helps them to build their lives and ministries on a firm foundation, so they may devote their best gifts and energies to the work of God's kingdom. First Call, First Steps is offered by the Board of Pensions at no cost to participants.

Who's eligible

The seminar is offered at Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) seminaries and is open to inquirers and candidates for ordination in the PC(USA) and their spouses. First Call, First Steps may also be offered at seminaries with strong PC(USA) representation.

Mid councils with a larger number of students or recent seminary graduates under their care and an interest hosting the seminar may contact the Board to explore scheduling possibilities.

What you'll learn

In this seminar, you will

  • examine theological perspectives on benefits, compensation, and call;
  • consider the financial realities of pastors
    • fair cash compensation
    • effective salary
    • housing allowance
    • clergy taxes
    • income security
    • healthcare coverage; and
  • understand key considerations for structuring terms of call.

Upcoming seminars

Currently scheduled First Call, First Steps seminars are as follows:

February 11, 2020
Columbia Theological Seminary
Decatur, GA


To discuss scheduling this seminar and to register students, seminaries and mid councils should call Devin Johns, program administrator, at 215-587-7459, or email her with FCFS in the subject line.

"The seminar was helpful for my understanding of how to frame first terms of call."

 — Seminar participant/inquirer