GOE Time Again

It’s that stressful time of year again, when students preparing for ordination around the church gear up and take the General Ordination Exam–a multi-day, seven-part written exam covering seven different canonical areas of study.  

While they have been in use churchwide for several decades now, the GOEs remain controversial. Concerns grow about the consistency of grading, the relevance of the questions asked, and what sort of merit the whole exercise has to do with being an effective minister of the Gospel. For a very thorough rundown of these issues, Tom Ferguson (dean at Bexley Hall) is blogging his way through this year’s set of questions after they are finished.

He points out one problem with the “print only resources” rule so long relied on:

Plus, if someone can’t be trusted only to use certain designated websites, we probably shouldn’t trust them to have discretionary accounts, church credit cards, and to keep pastoral confidences. It inconveniences students to have to collect all these resources in print (one student said to Crusty, “I don’t have some of these in print form, I’ve downloaded them but apparently can’t use those PDFs”) and doesn’t reflect the reality that almost all liturgical planning involves some online component.

Whatever its usefulness as a measuring tool for ordained folks, prayers go up for all those taking the exams this week. Stay calm, and write on!

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