The Committee on Theological Education (COTE) has General Assembly responsibility to serve as a two-way communication link between the denomination and it’s graduate theological institutions in order to strengthen them for their mission to the whole church. COTE seeks to envision and foster partnerships and new initiatives for the benefit of the PC(USA), other governing councils, and our Presbyterian seminaries including an Open Letter to the PC(USA) at Pentecost 2011 on leadership initiatives.
COTE serves as an advocate for theological education, seeking to support our Presbyterian seminaries through the Theological Education Fund, the Theological Schools Endowment Fund, as well as the Seminary Support Network.
COTE reports to the Executive Committee of the General Assembly Mission Council and directly to the General Assembly. Twenty-three (23) voting members: 11 church-at- large, 2 from the General Assembly Mission Council, 10 representatives of the denomination's theological schools. Length of term: 4-year term. Members at-large may NOT be Trustees, Staff, or Faculty of Presbyterian Seminaries.
Skills & Expertise Needed: Persons who have a keen interest in theological education, church leadership development and expertise in processes related to ministry formation in the PC(USA) for example, CPM, COM, board membership, new church development, and church transformation.
Time Requirement: Annual Fall meeting from Tuesday to Thursday during the week after Labor Day, and bi-annually in the Spring (odd numbered years only) on Tuesday through Thursday during the third week of March. Task Force and Committee meetings in between and usually by conference call about once every few months.
Nominated by GANC: 11 At- Large – For a four year term.
Find out more about the Committee on Theological Education.
The Educator Certification Committee establishes the standards of the Educator Certification process. These standards are described in detail within the Educator Certification Handbook, as approved by the Committee. Standards include the oversight of courses offered to fulfill knowledge and skill requirements, designating Educator Certification Advisors in consultation with presbyteries, and evaluating certification examinations. The Council also maintains relationships with the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators and with theological institutions related to the PC(USA). The Educator Certification Committee is made up of nine (9) members elected in two classes for four-year terms. A committee member may be elected to a second consecutive term. Membership of the Committee should include at least one of the following: director of Christian education; staff of a middle governing body; pastor serving a church that employs a church educator; faculty or staff member of a Presbyterian Church (USA) theological school; associate pastor of Christian education; racial/ethnic representative. Ex-officio members of the Council include: a representative from the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators and a representative from Union Presbyterian Seminary. The Committee is staffed by the PC(USA) Associate for Certification and Christian Vocation.
Skills & Expertise Desired: Persons wishing to be considered for the Educator Certification Committee should possess the following skills: knowledge of the content areas necessary for Educator Certification (biblical interpretation; Reformed theology; Presbyterian polity, program and mission; education theory and practice; worship and sacraments), experience in Christian education in congregations; and expertise in evaluating educational materials.
Time Requirement: Meets twice a year for three days, with committee work between meetings handled through email and conference calls. In addition, Committee members are expected to evaluate Certification exams each year and to work with other committee members to give written feedback to candidates for Certification concerning their work.
Nominated by the GANC: 9 At-Large – For a four year term.
Find out more about the Educator Certification Committee.
The General Assembly Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations works to highlight the vision of ecumenical involvement and work within the life of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The committee plans and coordinates the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s engagement in ecumenical relations, articulating Reformed and Presbyterian identity in the midst of the church's ecumenical commitments and provides guidance for the church's conversations with non-Christian religious traditions.
Twenty-three (23) members: Twelve (12) At-Large, 2 – appointed by entities - (1) from the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly and (1) from the General Assembly Mission Council; 4 - Invited from ecumenical partners (1) and full communion partners (3); 2 - Ex-Officio with Vote - Stated Clerk (or Associate Stated Clerk for Ecumenical and Agency Relations) and Executive Director or Director, Compassion, Peace and Justice, 3 - Ex-Officio without Vote - Directors of General Assembly Mission Council Ministries or designees.
Skills & Expertise Needed:Persons wishing to be considered for the General Assembly Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations should possess the following: ecumenical consciousness, broad view of the church, understanding of the Presbyterian Church especially as it relates to the Form of Government section F-1.03a,c, and ability to articulate a clear sense of the church and the quest for Christian unity.
Time Requirements:The Committee on Ecumenical Relations will meet two times a year for a period of 2-3 days each.
Nominated by GANC: 12 At-Large – For a four year term.
Find out more about the General Assembly Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations.
The committee’s responsibilities are described in detail in section G-3.0103 of the Book of Order. The main functions of the committee are “to advise the council regarding the implementation of principles of unity and diversity, to advocate for diversity in leadership, and to consult with the council on the employment of personnel, in accordance with the principles of unity and diversity in F-1.0403.” (G-3.0103) At the national level that means to advise, advocate, consult with, as well as review, report, and make recommendations to the General Assembly and its entities on the implementation of the principles of participation and inclusiveness. The committee maintains relationships with appropriate constituency groups, providing updates on the status of the PCUSA with regard to representation and inclusiveness (especially in areas of difference recognized as the basis of discrimination and inequality in church and society, namely race, ethnicity, gender, ability/disability, and age). The GACOR reports biennially to the General Assembly. The committee reviews the diversity and inclusiveness of decision-making bodies at the national level, reviews implementation plans, sets AA/EEO goals and advises national leaders on issues related to and supporting full participation and representation
The committee reports directly to the General Assembly, reviews Synod Committees on Representation, and provides training to synod leaders biennially.
Skills & Expertise Needed: (within the membership of 16) Expertise in church polity, facility with AA/EEO and supplier diversity policies and procedures, demonstrated commitment to inclusiveness and diversity, willingness to listen to others and to speak for others when appropriate, an understanding of advocacy and ability to articulate that role in developing resources, ability to assess statistical analysis/evaluation, creativity, willingness to act as a consulting resource and connection to your synod, knowledge of the work of representation/participation, relatability across difference and good communication skills. Experience with producing resources for a multicultural church, utilizing cultural proficiency, and/or perspectives/values of persons with disabilities is a plus.
Time Requirement: Meets two or three times annually (differing depending if it is a GA year), for two to four days each. Minimum annual time requirement of eight days (includes travel); subcommittee and special task group work may also include conference calls, time commitment at least 3 hours a month outside of meetings.
Nominated by GANC: 16 At-Large – for a four year term, one from each synod. Representation categories for membership will be described in the GACOR Manual of Operations but shall be in accordance with the principles of unity and diversity in F-1.0403.
Find out more about the General Assembly Committee on Representation.
But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him, who is the head, into Christ from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.” — Ephesians 4:15–16
For over 200 years, Presbyterians have been responding to the call of Jesus Christ, taking the gospel into all the world and bearing witness to Christ’s saving love to the ends of the earth. Today the Holy Spirit is still on the move, calling us to share in what God is doing in the world. As your partner in Christ’s service, the General Assembly Mission Council is faithfully working to Grow Christ’s Church Deep and Wide – bringing Presbyterians together in mission and ministry as together we grow in evangelism, discipleship, servanthood, and diversity.
The General Assembly Mission Council is the mission agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Six ministry areas carry out our missional work: Compassion, Peace and Justice; Evangelism and Church Growth; Racial Ethnic and Women’s Ministries/Presbyterian Women; Theology, Worship and Education; Vocation; and World Mission. Together with Shared Services, and Communications and Funds Development, these ministry areas work to inspire, equip, and connect all Presbyterians for the church’s work. The GAMC works in partnership with congregations, presbyteries, synods, other Presbyterian-related organizations, and ecumenical partners.
The GAMC’s strategic directions for 2011 – 2012 are as follows: engage in communities of mission practice, focus on the health of congregations and other communities of faith, focus on leadership development, embrace a global perspective, and reach out to collegians and young adults.
Who We Serve
The GAMC serves presbyteries and synods, congregations, officers and members, mission networks and organizations, and a variety of other groups and individuals within the church such as seminaries, schools and colleges, associations for musicians, camps and conference centers and others. These constituents often have different interests and concerns, which the GAMC must balance.
The General Assembly Mission Council’s budget consists of a variety of funding streams, including shared and directed mission funding from congregations through presbyteries; endowments; sales of resources; grants; Presbyterian Women; validated mission support groups; individuals; and churchwide special offerings.
Size and Complexity of GAMC
The GAMC has approximately 350 employees plus 200 international mission workers and additional national volunteers. While much of the work is directed toward serving external constituents, the GAMC coordinates a variety of specific ministries and support functions to accomplish its mission.
An elected body of 40 voting members and 15 corresponding members oversees the work of the General Assembly Mission Council.
Role of Council Members
- Provide governance and oversight to the Council
- Fiduciary – use wisdom, sound judgment, and experience to help the Council in manners of stewardship, finance, and the execution of its goals and objectives
- Strategic – use experience to help inform the work and vision of the Council and to help the Council develop and implement plans
- Generative – engage in forward-looking discussions designed to anticipate the needs and opportunities to serve the church
- Serve as an ambassador for the work of the Council, communicating its mission and ministry to the wider PC(USA)
Qualities of Council Members
- Deep faith and good understanding of the Reformed tradition and Presbyterian polity and able to apply it to the work of the Council
- Love for Christ’s church and openness to “Reformed and always being Reformed”
- Constructive, even when critical, probing and prophetic, to do so in a way that builds up the church and fellow members and staff
- Leadership skills
- Ability to communicate effectively with people of diverse theological viewpoints
- Sound judgment – sort out what is important and what is not; bring wisdom to deliberations
Experience/Skills Currently Needed
The church will be best served with a Mission Council representing a range of experience and skills, especially those listed below. We are particularly seeking persons with these skills in 2012.
- Experience working with large, complex organizations
- Funds Development
- Strategic Planning
- Education – Seminary, Christian education
- Large church as well as small
- New church development
- Youth and young adult ministry
“The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) shall give full expression to the rich diversity within its membership and shall provide means which will assure a greater inclusiveness leading to wholeness in its emerging life.” (F-1.0403 of the Book of Order) In response to the church’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity, the General Assembly Mission Council especially seeks persons of color, persons with disabilities, and younger teaching and ruling elders.
Expectations of Elected GAMC Members
- Able to fulfill one six-year-term (those elected at the 2012 General Assembly will complete their term at the close of the 2018 General Assembly).
- Minimum mandatory commitment to spend 8 -12 days a year attending GAMC meetings (in Assembly years there are three meetings per year - one in February, May, and September and in non-Assembly years there are two meetings per year - one in February and in September)
- Service on at least one other related committee, requiring up to six additional days per year
- Willingness and ability to serve on various task forces, other boards, and committees
- Comfort and desire speaking with other groups across the church about the work of the GAMC
The responsibilities of the General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission (GAPJC) are described in the Rules of Discipline section of the Book of Order. Members of the GAPJC shall have experience in interpreting the constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Experience with the Rules of Discipline and the normal functioning of church governing bodies is helpful. The GAPJC shall have an equal number (as nearly so as possible) of minister and elder members with one member at-large elected from each synod for a six-year term. No person shall serve on more than one permanent commission at the same time. The Moderator, Stated Clerk, or any member of the staff of the General Assembly or any of its entities shall not serve on its Permanent Judicial Commission.
Skills & Expertise Needed: Strong writing skills and analytical ability. Computer literate, ability to use word processing software helpful background: current or former stated clerk work, volunteer on Presbytery or Synod PJC and/or advocacy within PC(USA).
Time Requirement: Ten to fifteen days away from home. Meetings usually last four days and normally are held three times each year. Advance preparation must be made for each meeting. This requires an additional eight to twelve days per year. A total of 32 days per year may be required.
Nominated by GANC: 16 At-Large – For a six year term.
Find out more about the General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission (PJC).
The Mission Development Resources Committee is an advisory committee of the General Assembly Mission Council. This committee makes decisions on Church Loans, Walton Awards for excellent New Church Developments and Mission Program Grants (New Church Development, Presbytery-level Transformation), and Worship Style & Space Assistance Grants. The MDRC is comprised of Thirteen (13) elected members: Twelve (12) At-Large and One (1) Presbyterian Foundation Representative. Members are eligible to serve up to two four-year terms.
Skills & Expertise Needed: Persons with extensive experience in establishing new congregations, leading congregational transformation, real estate, banking, legal, and an interest and commitment to evangelism and mission through church development. It is helpful if those considering service on this committee have either established a new congregation, or led an existing congregation through a transformation effort, or served on a presbytery mission or church development committee. There is a heavy reading workload. This is a working committee that requires a great deal of time commitment.
Time Requirement: The Mission Development Resources Committee meets face-to-face each May and November with additional conference call team meetings. Team meetings may include bi-weekly telephone conference calls. New proposals will be reviewed throughout the year.
Nominated by GANC: 12 At-Large and 1 Foundation Representative – For a four year term.
Find out more about the Mission Development Resource Committee.
Since 1799 the Presbyterian Foundation has developed gifts and managed funds on behalf of congregations, mid-councils the General Assembly and other agencies of the Church. The Foundation a faith-based, balanced approach to investing and faithfully safeguards and distributes funds according to the instructions of the donors. The Foundation remains fully committed to its mission statement: -- "A vital part of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Foundation cultivates, attracts, and manages financial resources of individuals and institutions to serve Christ's mission."
The Foundation is governed by a Board of Trustees. The permanent complement consists of 19 Presbyterian men and women nominated by GANC and elected by the General Assembly to serve a designated term. The Stated Clerk of the General Assembly and the Executive Director of the General Assembly Mission Council are ex officio Trustees. An elected Trustee shall be eligible to serve two full or partial terms, for up to a total of eight (8) years.
Board Composition: Due to the nature of the Foundation’s work, the composition of the Board must reflect expertise and experience in each of the following areas: Accounting, Banking/Trust, Clergy, Development, Human Resources, Legal, Investment Management, Marketing, and Investments.
Time Requirement: There are three official board meetings per year, two days each; some committees may require an additional meeting.
Trustee Attendance: Trustees are expected to attend all board meetings. There may be a need for an occasional excused absence. However, the absence of one or two Trustees can truly hamper the board’s ability to conduct business, since only three to five Trustees are assigned to each standing committee. Trustee attendance will be monitored to maximize the effectiveness of the board.
Trustee Duties and Responsibilities: Trustees are to carry out the fiduciary responsibilities of the corporation. As the fiduciary, this body is legally appointed and authorized to hold assets in trust and manage the assets for the benefit of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), governing bodies, local churches and other related entities. Trustees’ responsibilities also include understanding the Foundation’s mission, evaluating current business opportunities and threats, and providing the Foundation’s CEO and organization with clear strategic direction.
Board responsibilities as a corporate body are to:
- Review, evaluate and approve objectives, strategies and major policies for Foundation services, annual forecast of income and expenses, and capital expenditures.
- Ensure compliance with the reporting requirements of the General Assembly.
- Understand the risks and liabilities of board membership and recognize the factors involved in managing the risks and liabilities of the Foundation.
- Provide feedback to the Board Development and Human Resources Committee on methods to improve board/committee meetings, proceedings, and performance of the Foundation’s leadership.
- Provide personal financial support of the Foundation and serious consideration of the personal use of the Foundation’s services.
- Assist in acquiring new gifts from Presbyterian entities and individuals by networking with the staff and other resources to identify potential donors and gifts.
- Promote the Foundation’s services in the home synod, presbytery and the session.
- Volunteer for board/committee assignments especially in the areas of personal expertise or interest.
- Clearly define the direction and articulate the expected quantitative and qualitative results.
- Provide strategic direction to the business affairs of the Foundation.
- Establish reporting mechanisms and key indicators to identify and measure organizational results.
- Lend assistance, guidance, and support to the CEO and leadership of the Foundation.
- Endorse and promote the Foundation's business activities.
- Elect all officers of the Board of Trustees and the Foundation’s leadership.
Encourage Presbyterians' participation in Christian stewardship and investment of resources according to the social witness principles of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
The Board of Trustees possesses the full power to conduct, manage, and direct the business and affairs of the Foundation. The Board’s work is conducted through five standing committees which provide leadership, guidance, and decisions on policy and strategic initiatives. Board members are to approach key areas of committee responsibility with emphasis on generative, creative, and forward thinking. This includes anticipating the future business environment and directing the Foundation through strategic plans and initiatives to enhance business opportunities and minimize potential business threats. The five committees include:
- Audit & Corporate Compliance Committee
- Audit and fiscal responsibility
- Legal and compliance
- Information Systems
- Gift administration
- Investments Committee
- Responsible for overall investment of Presbyterian Foundation assets
- Investment policy and guidelines
- Individual manager performance
- Recommend changes when appropriate
- Approve selection of new managers for specific funds
- Work closely with staff to ensure investment objectives of Foundation are being met
- Monitor overall investment performance
- Board Development & Human Resources Committee
- Maximizing the role of current and former trustees
- Ongoing trustee training and new member orientation
- CEO performance review and board self-assessment
- Human Resource policy and issues
- Structure and location of board meetings
- Board self assessment
- Vision & Outreach
- Funds development
- Marketing direction
- Advancing the relationships with New Covenant Trust Company, N.A.
- Strategy review
- Executive Committee (Board Officers & Committee Chairs)
- Exercise of authority of the full board in emergencies with the exception of actions excluded in the By-laws.
Find out more about the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Foundation.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Investment and Loan Program, Inc. provides the opportunity for individual Presbyterians, congregations, presbyteries and synods with financial resources to become partners with growing congregations in financing capital projects. The Program provides low cost loans to congregations, presbyteries, and Presbyterian entities for building and remodeling physical space, or for refinancing existing debt. Whether it is a new kitchen, a classroom or new worship space, a loan from the Program is available at the right time, with the right terms and the right mission focus for your leadership team.
The Program raises the funds for lending by selling investments. Each investor becomes a part of the mission of building churches. Investors become more engaged in their congregations and increase their ownership of the church's mission. The Program encourages stewardship of accumulated resources.
The Board of Directors consists of fifteen (15) members: six (6) At-Large members; two (2) members nominated by the GAMC’S Nominating Committee from the membership of the GAMC; two (2) members nominated by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Foundation; three (3) members by the Board of Directors of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Investment and Loan Program; one (1) nominated from among the synods of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.); and one (1) member nominated from among the presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The Investment and Loan Program is a nonprofit Pennsylvania corporation whose sole member is the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), A Corporation.
Skills & Expertise Needed: The Program seeks people with financial skills, governing body, banking or brokerage experience, and knowledge of loan operations and marketing strategy. If you are committed to seeing the church grow and would like to use your skills and experience in assisting growing congregations come join us.
Time Requirement: The Investment and Loan Program's Board of Directors meets four times per year, usually in Cincinnati. Three meetings begin at 8:30 am on Saturday and conclude by 4:00 pm on Saturday. The July meeting begins on Friday afternoon and concludes by 4:00 PM on Saturday.
All nominees are presented to the GAMC for election and confirmed by the General Assembly. Eight (8) are nominated by the GANC: six (6) At-large, one (1) from the synods and one (1) from the presbyteries. Two (2) are nominated by the GAMC’S Nominating Committee from among the membership of the GAMC. Two (2) are nominated by the Board of Directors of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Foundation, three (3) by the Presbyterian Church Investment and Loan Program, Inc. Board. All terms are for four years and begin at the conclusion of the annual meeting in March. Nominees are eligible to be elected for two terms, full or partial.
Find out more about the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Investment and Loan Program, Inc.