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
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.
- FAQ on the new Form of Government
- FoG 101 (PPT)(6.25mb)
- Navigating nFOG (PDF)(156kb)
- Previous Form Of Government for Transitional Manuals
- Sample bylaws for congregations
- Summary Checklist (PDF)(73kb)
- Suggested motions for councils (PDF)(70kb)
- Comparison chart of the previous Form of Government to the current Foundations & Form of Government
- Comparison chart of the current Foundations and Form of Government to the previous Form of Government
Background articles on the new Form of Government
- What Is Missional Ecclesiology? from Paul Hooker, minister member of the FOG Task Force, member of the Advisory Committee on the Constitution.
- A brief reflection on the Foundations of Presbyterian Polity by noted author William Chapman.
Ordination standards and procedures
- Advisory Opinion - Ordination Standards and Procedures (PDF)
- A conversation on PC(USA) ordination standards
- Examination processes and issues (PDF)(3.23mb) Implications of the new Form of Government for sessions and mid councils
- CoM and CPM since nFOG (PDF)(8.60mb)
- 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.
- Advisory Handbook of Preparing for Ministry in the PC(USA)
- Advisory Handbook for Ministry Committees/Commissions - From the Office of Vocation, new editions designed to provide guidance for our common life, rather than a regulatory manual. For use by those who are called to presbytery ministry committees or commissions and those involved in preparation for ministry.