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COMMISSIONED Lay pastors

When the presbytery, in consultation with the session or other responsible committee, determines that its strategy for mission requires it, the presbytery may authorize a ruling elder to be commissioned to limited pastoral service as assigned by the presbytery. A ruling elder so designated may be commissioned to serve in a validated ministry of the presbytery. Presbytery, in its commission, may authorize the ruling elder to moderate the session of the congregation to which he or she is commissioned, to administer the Sacraments, and to officiate at marriages where permitted by state law. This commission shall also specify the term of service, which shall not exceed three years but shall be renewable.

The 222nd General Assembly (2016) approved and the presbyteries took action to replace the Directory for Worship with a new Directory for Worship. The assembly also approved and the presbyteries took action to replace the following terms as follows: “teaching elder” with “minister” or “minister of the Word and Sacrament”; “ruling elder commissioned to pastoral service” with “commissioned pastor (also known as commissioned ruling elder)”.


 CLICK to visit the PCUSA site devoted to the ministries of Christian Educators

CLICK to visit the PCUSA site devoted to the ministries of Christian Educators

Christian Educators

Christian educators are persons called by God to a ministry of education who demonstrate their faith in and love for Jesus Christ, are dedicated to the life of faith and are serious in purpose, honest in character and joyful in service.


Ministers of word and sacrament

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"As the Lord has set aside through calling certain members to be ministers of the Word and Sacrament, so the church confirms that call through the action of the presbytery. The presbytery shall determine whether a particular work may be helpful to the church in mission and is a call to validated ministry requiring ordination as a minister of the Word and Sacrament. In the performance of that ministry, the minister of the Word and Sacrament shall be accountable to the presbytery. Ministers of the Word and Sacrament have membership in the presbytery by action of the presbytery itself, and no pastoral relationship may be established, changed, or dissolved without the approval of the presbytery." G-2.0502.

Forms and Reports from the Committee on Ministry