Public Worship and Aids to Devotion Committee Website


General Assembly of Australia


An Order for the Licensing of Candidate for the Ministry to Preach the Gospel

Call to worship:

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favour and honour; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. O Lord Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you. (Psalm 84:11, 12)

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, 'Your God reigns!'

(Isaiah 52:7)

A hymn is sung

Scripture reading


Almighty and most merciful Father, we adore you as the giver of every good and perfect gift. Your goodness has created us; your generosity has sustained us; your fatherly discipline has rebuked and corrected us; your patience has continued towards us; your love has redeemed us. For these and all your mercies, we give you humble and hearty thanks. Grant to us with your gifts a heart to love you, and enable us to show our thankfulness for all your benefits by giving up ourselves to your service, and cheerfully submitting in all things and in all circumstances to your holy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Scripture reading

The Apostles' Creed:

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.


Offering/Collection and dedication

A hymn is sung

Statement of purpose:

Friends in Christ: God by his Holy Spirit calls individuals to serve him according to the gifts bestowed upon them, and to particular servants he grants the ability to preach the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. To his church commandment has been given not only to pray for the increase in the number of Christian workers, but also to examine those who seek the office of preachers of the gospel, that those of pure heart, good conduct, sound learning, true Christian experience, and ability to speak in an edifying manner be found for the service of God's church. Therefore, it is appropriate that those who desire to give themselves to this ministry should not only prepare themselves by study, prayer, and good works, but should also have opportunity to exercise their gifts by the experience of preaching, and to approve themselves to God's people as those able to rightly handle the word of truth. According to the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, the oversight of these matters is committed to the Presbytery, which is to examine every candidate for the ordained ministry concerning his religious experience, his motives in seeking the ministry, and his proficiency in that knowledge which is necessary as a teacher of the truth revealed through Jesus Christ our Lord.

A narrative of the steps is read by the Clerk of Presbytery.

Questions to the candidate/s by the Moderator of Presbytery:

I am now required to ask you N....... to stand and answer the following questions:

  1. Do you believe the Word of God which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the only rule of faith and practice?

Response: I do.

  1. Do you own and accept the Westminster Confession of Faith, as amended by the General Assembly, read in the light of the Declaratory Statement contained in the Basis of Union adopted by this Church on the 24th day of July, 1901, as an exhibition of the sense in which you understand the Holy Scriptures, and as a confession of your faith; and do you engage firmly and constantly to adhere thereto, and to the utmost of your power to assert, maintain, and defend the same?

Response: I do.

  1. Do you own and accept the purity of worship as practised in this Church?

Response: I do.

  1. Do you own the Presbyterian form of government to be founded on the Word of God and agreeable thereto; and do you promise that, through the grace of God, you will firmly and constantly adhere to, and to the utmost of your power, in your station, assert, maintain, and defend the same?

Response: I do.

  1. Are zeal for the glory of God, love for the Lord Jesus Christ, and a desire to save souls, and not worldly interests or expectations (so far as you know your own heart), your great motives and chief inducements to the work of the Holy Ministry?

Response: They are.

  1. Do you promise in the strength of Divine grace, to lead a holy and circumspect life, faithfully fulfilling all appointments and instructions given you by competent authority, in accordance with the laws of this Church?

Response: I do.

  1. All these things you profess and promise through grace, as you shall be answerable at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ?

Response: I do.

May Almighty God accept and bless you, and bestow upon you his enlivening Spirit, that those things which you have purposed in your heart you may be enabled to fulfil, to the glory of his holy name and the upbuilding of his church. Amen.

The signing of the Formula by the candidate/s.

The Moderator shall call upon the candidate/s to sign the formula, saying:

You are now required to sign the formula as a seal to these vows which you have made.

The Presbytery Clerk may read the formula and shall direct the licentiate/s in signing the formula.

Licensing prayer by the Moderator:

O Lord God Almighty, whose name is holy, we thank you for the gift of your Son Jesus Christ, and for the word of your truth by which he has been revealed to us as Saviour.

We praise you that in him you have called us into fellowship with your people. We bless you for your love towards your church. You have been her strength in weakness, her light in darkness, her defence in the day of evil, and the source of her patience, faith and triumph in all ages.

We thank you for the gospel ministry, and for the assurance which you have given to all your faithful servants that, in their witnessing for you, you will be with them always, even to the end of the world. O God, our Heavenly Father, we ask you to give your promised grace to these your servants, N....... whom now, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we do solemnly set apart for the preaching of the gospel. Provide them with all necessary gifts of the Holy Spirit. Enrich them with all knowledge and the ability to speak. Fill them with the wisdom and gentleness of Christ. Make them good examples to other believers in faith, love, holiness, speech and conduct. Make them wise in the winning of souls to faith in Jesus Christ. May they be guides to those who are in darkness, supporters of the oppressed, helpers of the sick, poor and needy. Bless all to whom they shall minister your saving truth; may they be built up in the faith; enabled to lead godly lives; guided into many forms of Christian service, and kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

To him who by means of his power working in us is able to do so much more than we can ever ask for, or even think of: to God be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time, forever and ever. Amen.

The Lord's Prayer

Declaration of Licensing by the Moderator:

In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the only King and Head of the Church, and by authority of this Presbytery, I hereby declare you N....... duly licensed to preach the gospel and may the blessings of God rest upon you and the Spirit of Christ fill your heart. I give you the right hand of fellowship as a preacher of the gospel.

The right hand of fellowship is then extended by the members of Presbytery to those duly licensed.

Bible presentation to licentiate/s:

Accept this Bible, and may God grant you faithfulness to the Word of God as you teach the gospel of his grace, and the strength to be an example of faithful and holy living.

A hymn is sung.

Address and Charge to the licentiate/s.

A hymn is sung.

Benediction by the Moderator:

The peace of God which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit be amongst you, and remain with you always.

The three-fold Amen is sung.