First Call, First Steps

First Call, First Steps provides inquirers and candidates for ordination with information and tools essential to navigating the call process effectively, highlighting the practical realities of serving in congregational ministry. Church-bound seminarians will learn how to negotiate their terms of call through the lens of covenant.

The seminar helps attendees 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.

"I feel far more confident when it comes to negotiating a call."

Seminar participant/inquirer

Who's eligible

The First Call, First Steps seminar is open to seminary students and graduates who are enrolled as inquirers or candidates for ordination in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). This seminar is offered at PC(USA) institutions and may also be offered by mid councils and at seminaries with strong PC(USA) representation.

Learning formats

First Call, First Steps is available in two learning formats: virtually, as a 90-minute webinar, and in person, as a two-and-a-half-hour seminar.

Seminarians interested in attending a webinar are encouraged to attend the event scheduled for the seminary in which they are enrolled.

Additionally, all seminary students and graduates enrolled in the call process who are attending a virtual seminar can request access to the e-learning site. The Terms of Call and Personal Financial Planning e-learning series cover similar content to the First Call, First Steps seminar and, after completing these series, individuals can download certificates of completion to share with Committees on Preparation for Ministry.

Please email the Education team with any questions regarding these learning opportunities or accessing the Board of Pensions’ e-learning site.

What you'll learn

In the First Call, First Steps 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
  • understand key considerations for structuring terms of call

How to schedule

Seminaries, as well as mid councils with a larger number of seminarians and graduates under their care, work directly with their Board of Pensions Church Consultant and Board Education team staff to schedule seminars and register participants.

To schedule a First Call, First Steps seminar, contact your Board of Pensions Church Consultant or email the Education team.

Upcoming seminars

April 19, 2024
Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ (IN-PERSON)
Registration has closed.
Public event: Contact Carrie Mitchell, Church Consultant, for more information.

Aug. 7, 2024
Dubuque, IA (IN-PERSON)
Registration launches on June 10, 2024.
Private event: Contact Ken Green, Church Consultant, for more information.