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222nd General Assembly (2016)

Way Forward Commission


“To study and identify a vision for the structure and function of the General Assembly agencies of the PC(USA).”

The 222nd General Assembly (2016) created the Way Forward Commission “to study and identify a vision for the structure and function of the General Assembly agencies of the PC(USA). That vision shall take into account the ministries of PMA and OGA, but shall not be bound by the current configuration of those ministries, except where mandated by the church’s Constitution.

The mandate of the commission is to engage/contract a qualified, examination team that may include some or all of the All Agency Review team, with the requisite skills and abilities to assess institutional performance, both internally among the agencies and externally as they interface with the congregations. This examination team is charged with conducting a comprehensive, detailed analysis that will provide clearly detailed, measurable recommendations for improvements to the commission for implementation by the agencies. 

The commission shall further describe and implement a General-Assembly level staffing pattern that will accomplish its vision. The commission shall be guided in its development and articulation of this vision and structure by Reformed ecclesiology as expressed in our Constitution.”


The commission shall be comprised of no more than 12 voting members (with a quorum to be a simple majority of 7) at least 2 of whom should be members of the 2016 Assembly Committee on the Way Forward, with every effort made to include an advisory delegate from that committee. The commission membership will include a representative from both the PMA Review Committee and the OGA Review Committee, a representative from both the current Presbyterian Mission Agency Board (PMAB) and the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly (COGA), and at least one mid council staff person.

  • Teaching Elder Mark Hostetter, moderator
  • Teaching Elders Eileen Lindner and Eliana Maxim, vice moderators
  • Full Commission membership (PDF)


The Commission has developed a process for receiving initial communications and suggestions from any interested PC(USA) groups or individuals. The online form is designed to assist the Commission in identifying areas for continued discernment about the ministries and structure of the national denomination. 


Tentatively scheduled meetings for 2017 are:

  • March 5–7 at Johnson C. Smith and Columbia Theological seminaries in Atlanta
  • May 15–17 at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago
  • September 17–19 at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Kentucky
  • January 17–19 at First Presbyterian Church in Seattle
  • The commission also plans to hold conference call meetings April 18, August 9,

    October 24, and November 29



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