In the RCA, profession of faith happens when someone who has already been baptized, often at a young age, publicly professes their faith in Christ and joins the church. Upon public profession of faith, the individual becomes a confessing member of the church, rather than a baptized member, and is welcomed into full participatory privileges of the local congregation, such as voting and governance.
Typically, people who want to make profession of faith will work with their church’s elders to prepare for this step on their faith journeys. Some churches offer preparatory classes that review beliefs, creeds, catechisms, and confessions, ensuring that people understand what they believe and profess. Any individual who desires to make profession of faith will then meet with the board of elders for a time of questions and answers. Finally, the individual will make public profession of faith before the congregation.
Baptism and profession of faith are often paired together, typically for those who have not been baptized at a young age. Liturgies—orders of worship—are provided below, both as separate elements and as a combined order.