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. 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 Presbyterian Mission Agency Board and directly to the General Assembly.
Twenty-three (23) voting members: 11 church-at- large, 2 from the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board, 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 with expertise in processes related to ministry formation in the PC(USA) for example, CPM, COM, board membership, new church development, and church transformation; persons who have a keen interest in theological education, and church leadership development.
Time Requirement: Annual Winter meeting from Tuesday to Thursday during the last full week of February, and bi-annually in the Fall (odd numbered years only) on Monday through Wednesday during the third week of September. 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 and connecting with Educator Certification Advisors in consultation with presbyteries, maintaining/establishing communication with certified educators, 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) Manager of Ruling Elder Resources and Educator Certification.
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 once a year for three days and at least once a year electronically, 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 Finance Committee develops policy and strategy for the administration of the functions that report to the Deputy Executive Director for Shared Services. Shared Services supports the mission of the church by providing the following services to the ministry areas and other entities of the church: Property Management; Finance/Accounting; Purchasing; Mail and Print Center; Hubbard Press/Presbyterian Distribution Service; and Information Technology.
Skills & Expertise Desired: Persons with strong business experience and a passion for effective church stewardship and efficient support operations. Financial or audit expertise is beneficial; knowledge of office support services, distribution, real estate, and management information systems, also helpful.
Time Requirement: The Finance Committee meets three times a year in even years and two times a year in odd years in conjunction with and just prior to the meetings of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board. Meetings are generally one day long. Time requirement for this entity is moderate with 2 to 3 face-to-face meetings, and 4 conference calls per year to review the Presbyterian Church, (U.S.A.), A Corporation quarterly consolidated financial statements.
Nominated by the GANC: Two 2 at large members. The Finance Committee is composed of nine (9) members of Presbyterian Mission Agency Board; two (2) At-Large members - Over two-year term.
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 Presbyterian Mission Agency Board; 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 Presbyterian Mission Agency Board 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 Book of Order section F-1.03 and ability to articulate a clear sense of the church and the quest for Christian unity.
Time Requirements: The General Assembly on Ecumenical and Interreligious 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 Constitutional responsibilities 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. Further elaboration on these functions is in the Manual of the General Assembly and the GACOR Manual. The committee maintains relationships with designated constituency groups, providing analysis 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, and age). The GACOR reports to the General Assembly and among its tasks, reviews the diversity and inclusiveness of decision-making bodies at the national level, reviews agency and entity implementation plans, recommends agency Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity (AA/EEO) and supplier diversity (SD) goals and advises national leaders on processes, structures and issues related to and supporting full participation and representation. The committee reviews reports from Synod Committees on Representation, and provides a training event for mid council leaders biennially. Members are expected to relate with (an) assigned synod(s) during their terms but serving on other bodies is not required. The committee employs technology, using electronic means for transacting committee business (sharing, writing, and editing materials) and communications (video conferencing, website, and social media). Access to the Internet, and a device that can read materials are a must.
Skills & Expertise Desired (skills list with spectrum of experience):
- Familiarity and expertise with parliamentary procedure
- Church polity or familiarity with decision-making processes beyond Robert’s Rules of Order
- HR experience, familiarity with employment policies and procedures
- Listening for understanding, empathy, flexibility, grace
- Appreciation for cultural change work and experience in translating it into resources
- Institutional/Societal systems analysis, power and privilege work
- Statistics, data examination/evaluation and interpretation
- Public speaking, writing and web communication in English, Spanish or Korean
- Experience serving on a council above session (presbytery, synod assembly)
- Networking, nurturing relationships
- Relating effectively across difference, cross-cultural communication skills
- Valuing Accountability Work: evaluating structures/systems for impact of actions/inactions
- Demonstrated commitment to inclusiveness and diversity
- Valuing inclusive communities, diverse perspectives and noticing who is missing
- Theological reflection and interpretation
- Curiosity, willingness to ask hard questions of systems and leaders
- Video and web training and education
- Knowledge of the work of representation/participation
- Experience utilizing cultural proficiency in church and/or workplace settings
- Have you served on a committee on representation of your presbytery or synod? If so, how do you understand the role of representation and participation in the church?
- Councils are responsible for doing representation work “by their own rule” [G-3.0103]. Describe a time when you helped a council understand its context of ministry.
- Are you proficient in more than one language? If so, what languages?
Time Requirement: Meets two or three times annually (differing in GA years), for two to four days each. Minimum annual time commitment of eight days (includes travel); subcommittees and task group work will include conference calls, time requirement is at least 2.5 hours a month beyond time in meetings (average of 4 hours a month).
Nominated by GANC: 14 At-Large, for a four year term, distributed as equal as possible from the regions in Standing Rule I.1.d. [Region 1: Alaska-Northwest, Pacific, Southern California & Hawaii, Rocky Mountains, and Southwest. Region 2: Sun, Lakes & Prairies, and Mid-America. Region 3: Living Waters, Lincoln Trails, and Covenant. Region 4: South Atlantic, Boriquén (Puerto Rico), Northeast, Trinity and Mid-Atlantic.] No two members shall reside in the same presbytery. Representation categories for membership 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.
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 councils 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 Presbyterian Mission Agency Board. This committee makes decisions on Church Loans, Walton Awards for excellent New Church Developments and Mission Program Grants (New Worshiping Communities, Presbytery-level Transformation). 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 spring and fall. Grants Team members will each have four additional scheduled conference call meetings. Loan Team members will have bi-weekly telephone conference calls throughout the year.
Nominated by GANC: 12 At-Large and 1 Foundation Representative – Members are eligible to serve up to two four-year terms.
Find out more about the Mission Development Resource Committee.
The Presbyterian Foundation raises, stewards and distributes funds for mission, and has developed gifts and managed funds on behalf of congregations, mid-councils of the General Assembly and other agencies of the Church. The Foundation adheres to a faith-based, balanced approach to investing and faithfully safeguards and distributes funds according to the instructions of the donors. In all the Foundation’s work, the focus remains on the Reformed values that have guided our stewardship and investment for more than 200 years.
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 Presbyterian Mission Agency 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 among 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.
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.
Collaborate with senior management to 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 four 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 four committees include:
Audit & Compliance
- Audit and fiscal responsibility
- Legal and compliance
- Information Systems
- Human Resources
- Gift Administration
- Responsible for development and oversight of Investment Policy
- Monitor and evaluate performance of outsourced CIO
- Develop portfolio objectives and monitor the achievement of these objectives
- Establish the policy portfolio, which is comprised of the long-term target asset/strategy allocation and acceptable ranges around the targets
- Establish suitable benchmarks for asset/strategy composite and total portfolio performance
- Monitor effects of the spending policy on the Fund and recommend modifications, as necessary
- Monitor the Fund’s compliance with the SRI Principles.
- Retain, evaluate and terminate the services of professional staff, investment consultants, a custodian bank, and legal advisors, to manage the Fund for the Foundation.
- The Investment Committee shall review the Investment Policy Statement and make recommendations as appropriate to the Board for consideration.
- Marketing direction and communications
- Strategic guidance and prioritization of resource allocation
- Promote full use of communications tools and technologies
- Effectively communicate the vision
- Funds Development
- Strategies for asset gathering, including Project Regeneration
- Collaborative efforts with agencies, institutions and other organization
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 Presbyterian Mission Agency Board’s Nominating Committee from the membership of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board; 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 Presbyterian Mission Agency Board 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 Presbyterian Mission Agency Board’s Nominating Committee from among the membership of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board. 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.