Consulting Services Foundation
A Ministry to Assist Churches
Consulting Services Foundation (CSF) is a donor supported 501(c)(3) organization with the stated mission to offer experienced, knowledgeable, and well connected consulting services for pastoral search committees seeking senior ministers and staff positions as well as seminary students preparing for ministry. CSF operates as a non-fee based service but accepts donor contributions from several sources, including those entities that have benefitted from its services.
Your “call to the ministry”
We are here to help to determine your call
Many times seminary students become absorbed in religious studies and delay wrestling with the concept of “call to the ministry” for which they are being trained. Experience has shown that seasoned counsel can be of great benefit to students who are headed toward pulpit or other Christian ministries. Until now no support services outside the seminary environment have been available to aid those undergoing training. CSF counseling and assistance exposes students preparing for Christian ministries to the official requirements, BEYOND the institutional environment (seminary), which must necessarily be accomplished to equip and prepare them to be called into various ministry positions. CSF offers counsel and assistance to such individuals.
Interested seminary students are invited to fill out our Seminary Student Data Form and send to:
P.O. Box 4238
Jackson, MS 39296
Once received by CSF, the SSDF will be on file with CSF and can be updated as necessary via email for attachment. The data form, with the concurrence of the student, can be filed with the PCA Administration Office or at other denominational offices as may be desired.
As a ministry to the church, CSF provides assistance services free of charge to seminary students. Interested seminary students are encouraged to contact CSF early in their seminary career at CSFoundation123@gmail.com to begin the assistance process. You may also scan and email us your student with the same email.
The work of local church pulpit / pastoral search committee many times is a daunting task. Staffing for senior pastors, assistant pastors and other key leaders can be a difficult process. In which case, to find the right match is extremely important for the ministry of the church.
One of the primary functions of Consulting Services Foundation is to assist in the process of finding good candidates for these ministerial positions and suggesting the candidate that “best fits” to that church for consideration.
CSF offers the services of Bebo Elkin and Wayne Herring, who bring many years of experience in church and seminary connection into action, on behalf of the church, to reach its goal to call the best possible pastor or assistant staff for the individual church.
James “Bebo” Elkin
CFS Executive Director/Consultant
James (Bebo) Elkin, by God’s blessing, has been committed to Christ and His Church for 62 years. Bebo and his wife, Jan, have been married for 50 years, and are the parents of three children and grandparents of four.
Bebo pursued graduate work early in his career (BA, MDiv, MA, ThM), followed by serving as headmaster of a Christian school, and decades of service with the campus ministry of the Presbyterian Church in America, Reformed University Fellowship (RUF). Through the years, he has been an adjunct professor at Reformed Theological Seminary (Jackson and Charlotte), Covenant Theological Seminary, and Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. During those years as area coordinator for RUF, he spent a lot of time not only teaching but counseling and coaching seminary students with regard to their future ministries. He has been a Ruling Elder at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson, MS, for nearly 30 years. Since 2011, Bebo has been Executive Director of Consulting Services Foundation.
Wayne Herring is a native of Brandon, Ms., and a graduate of Mississippi State University and Reformed Theological Seminary. He has served Christ in the Presbyterian Church in America for over 45 years as a Pastor, Executive Pastor, Church Planter (3 times,) Seminary Professor, and mentor to many younger men. He is presently the Church Relations Officer for the Administrative Committee of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America and is in regular contact with most of the top 300 churches in the denomination. He is married to Dr. Dena Gibson and has 19 grandchildren.
A Message from the Chairman
During my years as a chief development officer and chief operations officer at Reformed Theological Seminary and serving on the Mississippi Joint Committee for RUF, I saw a real need, particularly among church pastoral search committees, pastors ready for a call and seminary students. That need called for knowledgeable assistance in seeking the right person as a fit for a particular staff need.
To that end, several years ago, the appropriate timing and availability of that knowledgeable assistance and the initial resources to support the work came together and Consulting Services Foundation was established. Several teaching and ruling elders of the PCA joined to form the board of directors and the very able ruling elder Bebo Elkin was put to work as executive director. In the meantime, another knowledgeable and able board member, teaching elder Wayne Herring, has stepped up as a working board member.
CONSULTING SERVICES FOUNDATION offers experienced, knowledgeable and well connected consulting services free of charge. I might add, the services available through CSF may cost a great deal of money from other sources or, on the other hand, money is not available to pay for the services needed, but can be rendered by Consulting Services Foundation, a ministry to The Church of The Lord Jesus Christ.
Ruling Elder, FPC Yazoo City
Reformed Theological Seminary (retired)
CONSULTING SERVICES FOUNDATION affirms and commits itself to the doctrinal statement of faith as expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, as have been adopted and approved by the Presbyterian Church in America.
Below are some of our more frequently asked questions. If you have others that aren’t answered here, please send us your question using the form on this page.
Q. How is CSF supported?
A: CSF is a donor-driven 501(c)3. There is no charge for our services. Our work is exclusively supported by gifts from individuals, churches, foundations and other sources desiring to support the work and worship of the Church. To support CSF contact us below.
Q: Why CSF?
A: CSF provides knowledge, wisdom, and expertise to church leaders seeking pastors and prospective pastors seeking a call. We draw upon decades of experience and a broad network of relationships throughout the Reformed and Presbyterian community to find the right fit for churches and pastors.
Q: How long is the pastoral search process?
A: An average pastoral search can take 6-12 months.
Q: How can I start working with CSF?
A: If you are a church leader/committee or pastor, contact us by email here. If you are a seminary student, fill out the Seminary Student Data Form here and send us a message here. We look forward to hearing from you!
Q: How does the call process work?
A: 1. The church receives the candidate’s information.
- The church conducts phone and in-person interview(s). The church may request additional information, sermons, and references from the candidate.
- The church invites the candidate to preach (one or more times).
- The church’s pulpit committee recommends the candidate to the session for concurrence.
- The church’s session calls a congregational meeting at which the congregation votes on the candidate.
- Following an affirmative congregational vote, the Presbytery examines the candidate (Seminary students should be aware of graduation, internship, and examination requirements that must be fulfilled to be eligible for a call).
- Presbytery votes to approve the candidate and the call then receives the candidate as a member of the Presbytery.
- The candidate is installed as the pastor of the church.
Q: When should a seminary student begin looking for a call?
A: Seminarians should acquaint themselves with Presbytery’s candidacy and ordination requirements as soon as they begin seminary studies. Seminarians should begin serious consideration of possible calls about 18 months prior to graduation.
Roy Taylor; BA, MDiv, DMin
Stated Clerk, of the General Assembly, Presbyterian Church in America
Ligon Duncan, III; BA, MDiv, MA, PhD
Chancellor and CEO, Reformed Theological Seminary
Charles M. Wingard; BA, MDiv, DMin
Associate Professor of Practical Theology
Dean of Students
Director of Field Education
Reformed Theological Seminary
Mr. Bob Bailey, Chairman, Yazoo City, Mississippi
Mr. Elbert Bivins, Treasurer, Jackson, Mississippi
Mr. John Burnham, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Mr. Bill Humbarger, Indianola, Mississippi
Rev. Wayne Herring, Franklin, Tennessee
Rev. David Irving, Raymond, Mississippi
Rev. Phillip Palmertree, Kosciusko, Mississippi
Dr. Bob Schwanebeck, Starkville, Mississippi
Rev. Tim Starnes, Cleveland, Mississippi
Mr. Bebo Elkin, Executive Director, Jackson, Mississippi
Make a Gift
Consulting Services Foundation (CSF) is an IRS Certified 501(c)3 organization authorized to accept tax-deductible contributions. CSF is enabled by donor gifts from individuals, churches, foundations, and sources wishing to support the work and work of the Church. Please contact Bebo Elkin at (601) 259-9394 or by using the form above or mailing a gift to:
Consulting Services Foundation
P.O. Box 4238
Jackson, MS 39296