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General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission

General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission

The General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission is staffed by the department of Constitutional Services.

“Church discipline is the church’s exercise of authority given by Christ.” (Book of Order, D-1.0101). 

Judicial process is the exercise of authority for the church by the councils for the correction of:

  1. irregularities and delinquencies taken by councils, the Mission Agency, or an entity of the General Assembly (referred to as remedial cases); and
  2. offenses by individual members (referred to as disciplinary cases). 

Judicial process is explained in the Rules of Discipline found in the Book of Order, which is Part Two of The Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The General Assembly, each synod, and each presbytery elects a permanent judicial commission composed of ministers and elders subject to its jurisdiction. The General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission (GAPJC) is composed of one member elected by the General Assembly from each of its constituent synods (16).   The General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission issues Authoritative Interpretations of The Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) through its decisions.  

Laurie Griffith
Manager of Judicial Process And Social Witness

Office of the General Assembly
888-728-7228 ext. 5432
email: laurie.griffith@pcusa.org

Diane Minter
Paralegal and Senior Administrative Assistant

Office of the General Assembly
888-728-7228 ext. 5421
email: diane.minter@pcusa.org

News & Statements

  • Seeking forgiveness in Hudson River Presbytery

    September 10, 2014

    “I am here to ask for forgiveness from the presbytery and particularly those members of it who I harmed by a court case that I initiated in 1999 titled Benton et al. versus Hudson River Presbytery,” begins a statement by the Rev. Marc Benton.

    “I am here today to repent of that position and apologize to you who were hurt by my actions, and apologize to the presbytery as a whole for the time and money spent in what I now recognize was an incorrect thing to do,” writes Benton, who will join in conversation with members of the presbytery at their Sept. 23 meeting.

    When the Permanent Judicial Commission of the General Assembly ruled on Benton v. Hudson River Presbytery, it made a “determinative distinction” between a permissible same-sex ceremony and a marriage ceremony.

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The General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission is a permanent commission of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) that exercises church discipline through judicial process.