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Constitutional Interpretation

Form of Government


New Form of Government became effective July 10, 2011

In seeking to be faithful and open to God’s continued reformation, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) implemented a new Form of Government in July 2011. With greater freedom and flexibility, the new Form of Government encourages congregations and councils to focus on God’s mission and how they can faithfully participate in this mission. In offering a structure that is more horizontal than hierarchical, the new Form of Government encourages the church to be open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit as it seeks to be Christ’s body and live out its calling as a community of faith, hope, love and witness. Below you will find various handouts, presentations and resources focused on the new Form of Government that are intended to provide helpful background information and generate church-wide discussions about key themes within the new Form of government.

Handouts and discussion tools for the new Form of Government

An Overview of the new Form of Government

The Missional Church

Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church

A Community of faith, hope, love and witness

The Session and the new Form of Government

PC(USA) Building Unity and Community


Weekly video series by Stated Clerk, Gradye Parsons

Resources related to the new Form of Government

The new Form of Government contains:
Foundations of Presbyterian Polity — lays out the principles that are foundational to government, worship, and discipline for the PC(USA).

Form of Government — spells out the constitutional framework for government of the PC(USA) as it seeks to respond to God’s call to life in mission.

Advisory Handbook for Councils for the Development of Policies and Procedures Required by the Form of Government — an aid to councils (governing bodies) of the church for developing the policies and procedures to carry out their mission.

Background articles on the new Form of Government

Ordination standards and procedures

Advisory handbooks

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