Christianity Sections

Introduction Beliefs Comparison Charts Denominations Facts History Holidays Overview Biographies Practices and Rituals Symbols Texts Timeline

New and Featured in Christianity Section

Ten Plagues of the Exodus

History of Christmas Trees

New and Featured On Religion Facts


Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormonism Comparison Chart

Religion Facts offers downloadable charts. Click for more information.

Related books

Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church

Cross & Livingstone

Mere Christianity

C.S. Lewis

Introduction to Christianity

Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI)

Christian Theology

Alister McGrath

Christian Beliefs

Wayne Grudem

Catechism of the Catholic Church

U.S. Catholic Church

A Summary of Christian History

Robert Andrew Baker

Jesus Among Other Gods

Ravi Zacharias

Article Info:
published: 3/31/13
updated: 2/27/14

Presbyterian Organization and Leadership

How is the Presbyterian church organized?

Most Popular Pages for

1. Presbyterian beliefs

2. Presbyterianism
(main page)

3. John Calvin

4. Presbyterian history

5. Presbyterian practices

6. Chart of
Protestant Reformers

7. Presbyterian timeline

8. Jonathan Edwards

9. John Knox

10. George Whitefield

Presbyterian churches are characterized by a representational form of church government, in which authority is given to elected laypersons known as elders.

The word presbyterian comes from the Greek word for "elder."

Elders are both elected and ordained (set apart for ministry). An elder remains ordained after his or her term is complete.

The Book of Order describes the job of an elder this way:

Together with ministers of the Word and Sacrament, they exercise leadership, government, and discipline and have responsibilities for the life of a particular church as well as the church at large, including ecumenical relationships.

The governing body of a single Presbyterian congregation, which includes a group of elders and the congregation's minister, is called a session.

Sessions are charged with representing the members of the congregation as well as "discovering and representing the will of Christ as they govern."

Beyond the local congregation, several sessions constitute a presbytery, several presbyteries form a synod, and the General Assembly encompasses the entire denomination.




Recommended for You

More on Christianity

More Christian Denominations

World Religions - Main pages

Christian beliefs

Christian denominations

Christian fast facts

Christian history

Christian holidays

Christian biographies

Christian practices

Christian symbols





Roman Catholicism



Eastern Orthodoxy





Seventh-Day Adventists






Jehovah's Witnesses