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Pastor Kevin's Blog

NEXT Vision Update - Officer Training

Part of our NEXT strategic vision rests on equipping and entrusting future leaders for Willow Creek Presbyterian Church. You might be wondering how a church like Willow Creek equips and entrusts its ordained leadership. Here is a brief outline of the process.


Willow Creek typically accepts nominations for new elder and deacon candidates in late fall. All nominees are screened for basic membership and Christian experience requirements. If the nominee meets these requirements, they are invited to a preliminary interview with our board of elders, the "Session."

Preliminary Interview

The nominated candidate then meets with representatives from among the elders to discuss the propriety and timeliness of their nomination. If prudent, the candidate then begins the formal process of training.


Training for office at Willow Creek is an intentionally thoughtful and comprehensive process. It includes a biblical and theological overview, held over two ten-week sessions of Wednesdays at Willow (spring and fall). During this time, candidates learn and discuss many important aspects of practical theology. 

Final Interview

After completing the training, willing candidates are interviewed and examined by representatives of Session regarding their preparedness to serve as ordained officers. All those approved will stand for election at the annual Willow Creek congregational business meeting.

Approval and Ordination

Approved by the members of Willow Creek Church, candidates are ordained and/or installed at an subsequent worship service. They then begin their first three-year term of service as an ordained officer of Willow Creek Church.