This committee advises the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly regarding participation as an amicus party (friend of the court) in secular litigation related to matters of civil and religious liberty, relations between church and state, and any other matters arising out of the mission and interest of the church.
Skills & Expertise Needed: The members of the committee, ordinarily, shall be lawyers, and the members shall be experienced in fields related to issues that may be the subject of legal proceedings in which the church is or may become involved. Experience and practice in federal constitutional law helpful, especially first amendment law.
Time Requirement: Meets at call of committee moderator. The committee ordinarily carries out its work by tele-conference calls, with one face to face meeting every two years.
Nominated by GANC: 6 At-Large – For a six year term.
Find out more about the Advisory Committee on Litigation.
This committee develops and recommends social witness policy to the General Assembly. Social witness policies apply the Gospel to ethical concerns in the social order and in the church’s own life. Thus, the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy helps the General Assembly and Presbyterian Mission Agency maintain and strengthen the prophetic voice of the church; provides them with a regular capacity to study the theological and ethical dimensions of emerging issues; gives them advice and counsel on overtures, reports and actions recommending policy direction or action on social witness; and assists them to guide the whole church toward a better understanding of Christian social responsibility, both personal and corporate. The committee's three primary functions are 1) to prepare policy statements, resolutions, study papers and social involvement monitoring reports for consideration by the General Assembly and its Council; 2) to provide advice and counsel to all governing bodies - especially to the General Assembly and its Council - on possible positions to take on social policy questions and to interpret the General Assembly record on these matters; and, 3) to help the Presbyterian Mission Agency and middle governing bodies evaluate and explore new forms of social witness, including the use of an interactive cyber journal. Twelve (12) members, nine (9) elected At-Large and three (3) members of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board. Up to two four-year terms.
Skills & Expertise Needed: Social Ethics professor; Prison Chaplain; union or grass-roots organizer; political scientist; persons with human rights and international perspective. Persons should be able to write with skill and insight on theological/public policy matters.
Time Requirement: Meets three times annually for a three-day meeting. Additional committee and task group meetings/assignments plus travel time can bring the total up to 15-22 days per year.
Nominated by GANC: 9 At-Large – For a four year term.
Find out more about the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy.
The Book of Order at G-6.02 provides for the establishment of an Advisory Committee on the Constitution. The Committee is composed of nine (9) voting members, teaching elders and ruling elders in numbers as nearly equal as possible. The General Assembly provides by its own rule for the qualifications of members of the Advisory Committee on the Constitution.
The Organization for Mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), IV.C.3.a states the qualifications of members: "The committee is composed of nine (9) voting members who shall be stated clerks or former stated clerks of synods or presbyteries, former members of the Permanent Judicial Commission of the General Assembly, polity professors, or other qualified persons with knowledge of and experience with the Constitution and polity of the church."
All questions requiring an interpretation by the General Assembly of the Book of Order, including items of new business related to the Book of Order, but with the exception of those pertaining to matters pending before a judicial commission, are referred to the Advisory Committee on the Constitution. The Advisory Committee reports its findings to the General Assembly along with its recommendations and proposals for constitutional change.
The Stated Clerk of the General Assembly refers all timely filed proposals to amend the Book of Order to the Advisory Committee on the Constitution, which examines the proposed amendments for clarity and consistency of language and for compatibility with other provisions of the Constitution.
At least sixty days prior to the meeting of the General Assembly, the Advisory Committee reports its findings to the General Assembly along with its recommendations, which may include an amended version of any proposed constitutional changes as well as advice to accept or decline the proposals referred to the Committee.
Skills & Expertise Needed:
- Experience and knowledge of polity and history of the church, including experience interpreting the Constitution within the councils of the church
- Good writing and computer skills
- Interest and ability to conduct extensive research
- Ability to communicate effectively and make oral presentations
- Ability to put in long work days
- Ability to use electronic communications and access the Internet
- Demonstrated willingness to work collegially and work through disagreements
The workload varies over a two-year cycle. During the year following a meeting of the General Assembly, the time requirements are light, and the work can be accomplished in a couple of conference calls, which may take from 2 to 5 hours each.
During the year that concludes with the adjournment of a General Assembly the time commitments are moderate and some work will be done in conference calls. During this year committee meetings require about sixteen long days of work.
The fall meeting during the year before a General Assembly is typically accomplished over a weekend. The spring meeting before a General Assembly lasts six days to consider proposed constitutional amendments and requests for interpretation of the Constitution.
All members are ordinarily expected to be present through the session of the General Assembly to advise the Assembly and its Moderator on constitutional questions. General Assembly attendance requires an eight-day time commitment.
In addition to attendance at meetings, the work of the committee includes extensive preparation in the form of research and writing of draft responses to proposed constitutional amendments and requests for interpretation by the General Assembly. Assignments need to be completed and submitted before each meeting.
Nominated by the GANC: Nine (9) At-Large – One six-year term.
Find out more about the Advisory Committee on the Constitution.
The Advocacy Committee for Racial Ethnic Concerns (ACREC) works with the General Assembly, the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board and its staff, the Office of the General Assembly, and other entities related to the General Assembly to keep a strong prophetic voice for racial justice before the church. The committee has access to the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board and the General Assembly directly by means of reports, resolutions, and advice and counsel.
ACREC's Primary Functions:
- The committee is an advocate within the denomination maintaining an active witness for racial justice in the church. ACREC may address any issue that significantly impacts the quality of life for people of color, such areas as civil rights, housing, employment, healthcare, public education, affirmative action, environmental racism, economic justice, criminal justice and immigration policy.
- The committee recommends to the General Assembly new policy and timely revisions to existing policies and monitors the implementation of policies adopted by the church. ACREC strives to identify and challenge practices that adversely affect the quality of life and restrict full participation of people of color in the life of the church.
The committee is composed of twelve (12) members normally eligible to serve two four (4) year terms.
Members of the five racial ethnic caucuses (African American, Asian American, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, and Native American) shall select one member from each caucus to be elected through the General Assembly Nominating process to serve a four-year term with eligibility for one additional term.
Six members (one from each racial ethnic constituency group listed above, plus one more) are nominated at-large by the General Assembly Nominating Committee (GANC), ensuring geographic, racial and gender diversity.
One member is appointed by the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board Executive Committee.
Skills & Expertise Needed:
- Demonstrated commitment to social and economic justice as an expression of Christian discipleship and faith;
- Understanding of the systemic and structural nature of racism;
- Willingness to work collectively to articulate a theological understanding of racial justice and combat racism both in the church and in the world;
- Familiarity with or a willingness to become familiar with the church's public policy witness;
- Knowledge and expertise in a wide range of social justice issues;
- Skills in social analysis;
- Writing ability
- Regular access to email.
Time Requirement: The committee meets three times in a non-Assembly year, four times in an Assembly year. Committee members may serve as liaisons to other entities and/or serve on a task force or subcommittee requiring additional travel. The total time commitment may range from an average of 15 to 25 days per year. Committee members are also required to participate in occasional conference calls between meetings.
Nominated by GANC: Five (5) At-large persons from designated racial ethnic categories; and one (1) At-Large person, race and ethnicity unspecified, for balance and diversity within the committee, are nominated to serve on ACREC for a term of four-years. Find out more about the Advocacy Committee for Racial Ethnic Concerns.
The Advocacy Committee for Women’s Concerns (ACWC) is called by the General Assembly to its work in a world where women experience injustice and oppression because of their gender. Affirming our Reformed tradition, Presbyterians recognize “the human tendency to idolatry and tyranny, which calls the people of God to work for the transformation of society by seeking justice and living in obedience to the Word of God” (Book of Order, F-2.05). The church is motivated by the painful recognition of sexism, and has explicitly articulated in the Articles of Agreement (Section 5.6) its commitment to work against gender-based discrimination. The ACWC is the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s contemporary fulfillment of this historic commitment.
ACWC is housed in the Presbyterian Mission Agency Executive Director’s Office. ACWC has direct access to the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board and the General Assembly. The committee’s three primary responsibilities include:
- serving as a voice of advocacy on existing and emerging issues of justice both within the church and society;
- evaluating and monitoring policies, procedures, programs and resources regarding the way in which they impact the status and position of women; and
- giving the General Assembly and the Presbyterian Mission Agency advice and counsel via overtures, resolutions, and reports recommending policy direction or action on justice issues.
The committee carries out these advocacy and monitoring functions in collaboration with the Advocacy Committee for Racial Ethnic Concerns and Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy.
ACWC is made up of twelve (12) members, including:
two clergy women
one female church lay employee
the Presbyterian Women Church-wide Coordinating Team Vice Moderator for Justice and Peace
one Presbytery Mission Agency Board Executive Committee member
seven at-large members chosen to balance the committee with regards to geography, race ethnicity, age and expertise.
At least four members are racial ethnic, and at least two, but not more than three, are men. Members may serve up to two four-year terms.
Skills & Expertise Needed:
- Critical faith perspective on sexism and gender justice
- Passion for seeking justice for women
- Advocacy experience
- Skills in social analysis
- Knowledge in women's issues and commitment to remaining informed on current events relevant to gender justice
- Familiarity with or willingness to become familiar with Presbyterian policy
- Writing ability
- Access to email is also necessary as this is the primary means of communication for the committee.
Time Requirement: ACWC meets three times annually for three days each meeting. A few members will also attend Advice and Counsel meetings in April of General Assembly years and the General Assembly.
Additional committee and working group assignments plus travel time can bring the total to 12-20 days per year. Much of the work of the committee occurs between meetings, so committee members should expect to devote some individual time to the work of ACWC. Members should also be prepared to participate in occasional conference calls and regular email correspondence between meetings.
Nominated by GANC: 10 At-Large (7 At-Large; 3 At-Large from designated categories) – For a four year term.
Find out more about the Advocacy Committee for Women’s Concerns.
“The primary function of the Audit Committee is to assist the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board (PMAB) in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities and duties to 1) monitor the integrity of the financial reporting process and system of Internal Control regarding finance, accounting, legal compliance and ethics that have been established; 2) monitor the independence and performance of the Corporation’s external auditors, internal auditing unit and management; 3) provide an avenue of communication among the external auditor, internal auditing unit, management and the Board; the Committee has the authority to conduct any investigation appropriate to fulfilling its responsibilities, and in this regard, it has direct access to the external auditors as well as anyone in the organization.” Manual of Operations, Presbyterian Mission Agency Board.
The Audit Committee reviews and approves the annual audited financial statements with independent auditors and management. It ensures that the independent auditors are satisfied with the disclosure and content of the financial statements. The committee also provides oversight of the system of internal controls through the review and approval process of the internal audits performed in accordance with the approved internal audit plan. The Audit Committee informs the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board if internal controls are functioning as intended. The Audit Committee is also expected to make recommendations for improvements and reporting upon the reliability and integrity of financial information.
Each member of the Audit Committee shall be independent and may not accept directly or indirectly any consulting, advisory, or other compensatory fee from either the Presbyterian Mission Agency or the Office of the General Assembly.
For more information please see the PMAB Manual of Operations.
The Audit committee consists of six (6) members: three (3) from the membership of the PMAB and elected by the PMAB; one (1) member from Committee on the Office of the General Assembly (COGA), nominated by COGA, and two (2) at large members for special expertise, nominated by the General Assembly Nominating Committee for a two-year term, eligible for two additional terms for a total of six years, and elected by the General Assembly.
Skills & Expertise Desired:
All members of the Committee shall have a working familiarity with basic finance and accounting practices, financial background and training/education would be helpful. An understanding of generally accepted accounting principles, financial statements and audit committee functions, experience in preparing or auditing the financial statements, including experience in accounting for estimates, accruals, and reserves, and experience with internal controls and procedures for financial reporting. Anyone with an active interest in the integrity, governance, finances, and control of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) will be considered.
The two at-large members of the Committee shall have accounting or related financial management expertise determined by the Finance Committee and the Audit Committee Chairs. Experience as an internal auditor, certified public accountant, and knowledge about governance and internal controls is a plus.
Time Requirement: The Audit Committee ordinarily meets in conjunction with the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board meetings. In addition, the Audit Committee has the option to meet more frequently than the scheduled Presbyterian Mission Agency Board meetings. The annual review of the audited financial statements is a meeting that is usually held in April or May.
Nominated by GANC: 2 At-Large – Two (2) year term; eligibility for two (2) additional terms.
Four basic functions have been assigned, by the General Assembly, to this board:
- design and administer a comprehensive program of pension, medical, and other benefits for ministers, missionaries, and certain other church workers;
- design and administer a program of financial assistance to help meet needs that are beyond the scope of the pension and benefits;
- establish and operate retirement housing for eligible retirees and their spouses; and
- receive, invest, and disburse the funds required to support these plans and programs for the sole and exclusive benefit of members and beneficiaries of the assistance and home programs.
Currently twenty-nine (29) At-Large Members, no more than 40% may be teaching elders. One Board member may be nominated upon recommendation of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board. Election is for a term of four years, with eligibility for a second term, but in no event may a director serve more than eight consecutive years.
Skills & Expertise Needed: Needed: Benefit plan design; managing a large charitable trust or foundation; employee benefits administration; health, death, and disability plans; insurance; investment; the actuarial sciences; law; or government relations. A broad understanding of and commitment to the church and team skills.
Time Requirement: Regular meetings, 2-3 days in duration, are held three times a year in February or March, in June or July, and in October. There may be special meetings at the call of the chairperson.
Nominated by GANC: 29 At-Large – For a four year term.
Find out more about The Board of Pensions.
Empowered by the Holy Spirit, the Office of the General Assembly will encourage the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to be a people of hope; seeking together the mind of Christ, working for justice and mercy in the world, and participating in God’s continual reformation of the church.
The Committee on the Office of the General Assembly (COGA) carries out the assembly’s oversight of the Stated Clerk and the Office of the General Assembly between sessions of the assembly and provides a linkage with the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board. The committee includes fourteen elected members and the Moderator of the General Assembly. The Executive Director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency and Vice Moderator of the PMA Board sit as corresponding members.
The Committee on the Office of the General Assembly understands ecclesiology as mission, calling us to engage in making the current and future church a more faithful reflection of the body of Christ. Among the specific responsibilities of COGA are: to oversee the annual review of the Stated Clerk; to review and coordinate the Stated Clerk’s plans for the General Assembly docket, business referrals and programs; to consult with the Moderator concerning worship and committee leadership at the assembly; to propose to each assembly a location and date for subsequent meetings of the assembly; to consider and approve any staffing rationale changes to the Office of the General Assembly; and working jointly with the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board, to recommend a per capita budget to each assembly.
Skills & Expertise Needed: Persons elected to serve on the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly should be: grounded in the Constitution of the PC(USA) and its polity including the relationships of the church’s councils, ecumenical and justice ministries; able to work well as part of a team that celebrates diversity and engagement; creative and energetic in leadership; competent in financial administration, communications and technology; and able to think strategically about the program and format of General Assemblies.
Time Requirement: Approximately 13 days each year which includes two meetings (Fall, Winter), attendance at General Assembly and occasional participation in sub committees.
Nominated by GANC: 14 At-Large – For a four year term.
Find out more about the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly.
The Committee on Mission Responsibility Through Investment (MRTI) is responsible for implementing General Assembly policy related to mission responsibility through investment. MRTI assists the church at all levels to utilize its investments as key instruments to promote its mission goals in society. MRTI provides leadership for effective engagement of the private sector in partnership with ecumenical colleagues in the United States, and in collaboration with indigenous churches, ecumenical bodies and local groups in other nations. Current priority issues include climate change, human rights, environmental performance, sweatshops, banking practices, violent video games, and child sex trafficking.
Twelve (12) members: two (2) from membership of Presbyterian Mission Agency Board; two (2) from membership of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Foundation Inc.; two (2) from membership of Board of Pensions; one (1) each named by the Advisory Committees on Social Witness Policy, Women's Concerns, and Racial Ethnic Concerns (usually from the membership of these advisory committees); three (3) At-Large members.
Skills & Expertise Needed: Knowledge of the PC(USA), its policies, structures and reality is desired. Knowledge and experience with social issues, particularly as they relate to corporations is important. Persons with backgrounds in ethics, business, law, investments and advocacy as well as persons who bring experience from congregations with investment policies for their endowments and related-institutions (i.e. campus ministry, higher education). MRTI also benefits from members with theological training.
Time Requirements: Meets three times annually -- two face-to-face meetings (one in the spring and one in the fall) and one committee conference call which is done in January.
Nominated by GANC: 3 At-Large – For a four year term.
For more information about the Committee on Mission Responsibility Through Investment.