Presbytery Structure

What is a Presbytery?

The Presbytery is the governing body that has jurisdiction over the sessions of all Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregations within its bounds and all its minister members. When the Presbytery meets, its members include all ministers of the Word and Sacrament who are members of the Presbytery, all elders commissioned by their sessions to attend that meeting, and additional elder commissioner for parity as approved by the body. The Book of Order spells out 26 specific responsibilities of the Presbytery that fall into three general categories: those relating to congregations, those relating to ministers of the Word and Sacrament, and those relating to synod and the General Assembly. The Presbytery is responsible for ordaining, installing, removing, or transferring ministers.

Presbytery Design

Our Presbytery’s design seeks to provide a variety of ways to serve the Presbytery and support the member congregations. Some groups will continue to be nominated by the Committee on Representation, elected by the Presbytery, and serve three-year terms. Other groups will be brought together less formally and will organize around passion, interest, skills and experience. These Teams and Working Groups may be short- or long-term, focused on a particular shared concern or event, or an ongoing function of serving congregations. Participants may be self-identified or invited through Presbytery communications and by personal invitation. These groups may design a meeting schedule and structure scaled to the work they are doing. They will form and re-form as needed.


  • Team: A Team is a group of people linked in a common purpose to equip, empower, and support congregations and neighborhoods, or the work of the Presbytery
  • Working Groups: Working Groups are small groups of persons who agree to work together to accomplish identified responsibilities, objectives, and goals within a Team
  • Standing Committees of the Presbytery: Committees serve the Presbytery by doing the work assigned to them by the Presbytery; members of standing committees are nominated by the Committee on Representation, elected by the Presbytery, and ordinarily serve three-year terms on a rotational basis
  • Committee on Representation: Members are nominated by the Big Picture Team and elected by the Presbytery; the committee year begins each August 1; persons may be re-nominated and elected for a second term of 3 years; no committee member should serve longer than six consecutive years; chairs of the committee will be elected annually by the committee
  • Principles of Representation: Presbytery, through the work of the Committee on Representation and its Teams, shall give expression to the rich diversity within in its membership, and provide means to increase inclusiveness leading to wholeness in its emerging life; persons of all racial and ethnic groups, different ages and sexes, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation, varied abilities, geographical areas and theological understandings consistent within the Reformed tradition, as well as different marital conditions (single, married, widowed, divorced) shall be guaranteed full participation and access in the decision-making of the Presbytery. (Book of Order F-1.04013, G-3.0103


Gathering PGV churches into Neighborhoods invites pastoral leaders and congregations to engage in conversations about ministry in their region of the Presbytery, what they may want to address or learn together, how they might support each other, and whether they might be active in mission together.