This article traces some of the formal processes in the passage to ordination in southern African Presbyterianism. It draws on historical aspects from the Scottish, English, USA and New Zealand experiences, these being churches which are in historical and current relationship with the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa. It notes how these processes are dynamic and contextual. This inherited situation is marked by inconsistency, not least in the situation where it is assumed that a call from a congregation is a prerequisite for ordination. A revised model is suggested.