Skip Navigation LinksBoard-Addresses-Changes-in-Ordered-Ministry-Title

Board Addresses Changes in Ordered Ministry Titles


Effective June 25, 2017, ordered ministry titles changed as a result of amendments to the Book of Order of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), proposed by the 222nd General Assembly (2016) and ratified by the presbyteries.

Amendments 16-C.1–8 restored pre-2011 terminology:

  • Minister of the Word and Sacrament replaces teaching elder.
  • Elder replaces ruling elder.
  • Commissioned lay pastor replaces commissioned ruling elder.

In response, the Board of Pensions will incorporate these changes through updates across all communications channels, print and digital. Because of the extensive use of teaching elder throughout Board communications, and its prominence on Board websites, that title will remain in limited use into 2018. This will ensure the prudent use of resources as we transition to the new terminology.