Committees of the PCA General Assembly

Perhaps the only word more common that "Overture" in discussions of General Assembly is the word "Committee". The General Assembly is a maze of Committees - sometimes multiple Committees that seem to have the same name! This article will break down the Organization of General Assembly Committees.

A graphic is included at the end of the article to give a visual summary of the details outlined below.

Permanent Committees and Agencies

Some PCA Committees (or Agencies) operate year-round and are composed of members elected at General Assembly who serve multi-year terms. These Committee Members serve in "Classes" (i.e. "Class of 2026") so there are usually positions to fill on each Committee every year while other Committee members still have one or more years to fulfill their term.

Permanent Committees

The Administrative Committee of the General Assembly (AC)

The Administrative Committee (AC) supports the work of the General Assembly by facilitating administrative needs and communication and cooperation between committees.

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Committee on Discipleship Ministries (CDM)

Committee on Discipleship Ministries (CDM) is the publishing wing of the PCA providing resources and training to equip local ministry.

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Committee on Mission to North America (MNA)

Mission to North America (MNA) oversees outreach and in North America including mercy ministry, planting new churches, and overseeing the organization of Presbyteries. This is the PCA's "Domestic Missions" branch.

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Committee on Mission to the World (MTW)

Mission to the World (MTW) is the missionary sending agency of the PCA. This is the PCA's "International Missions" branch.

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Committee on Reformed University Fellowship (RUF)

Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) is the campus ministry wing of the PCA.

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(Program Committees)

Helpful Note: With the exception of the Administrative Committee (AC), all other Permanent Committees (CDM, MNA, MTW, and RUF) are known as Program Committees.

PCA Agencies

Covenant College (CC)

The Covenant College Agency (CC) oversees Covenant College, the PCA's undergraduate institution in Lookout Mountain, GA.

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Covenant Theological Seminary (CTS)

The Covenant Theological Seminary Agency (CTS) oversees Covenant Theological Seminary, the denomination's graduate theological school in St. Louis, MO.

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PCA Foundation (PCAF)

The PCA Foundation Agency (PCAF) facilitates the charitable work of the PCA by providing financial management of gifts.

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Geneva Benefits (GB) - Formerly PCA Retirement & Benefits, Inc. (RBI)

Geneva Benefits Group (GB) provides retirement, insurance, and other financial services for pastors and those in ministry in the PCA.

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Ridge Haven Conference Center (RH)

Ridge Haven Conference Center Agency (RH) oversees the Ridge Haven Conference Center in Brevard, NC, the PCA's conference and retreat center.

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Special Committees

Cooperative Ministries Committee (CMC)

The Cooperative Ministries Committee facilitates coordination between the Permanent Committees and Agencies of the PCA. It is comprised of leadership from all Permanent Committees and Agencies plus the current and past five moderators of General Assembly.

Interchurch Relations Committee (IRC)

The Interchurch Relations Committee corresponds and cooperates with other church denominations and organization. Membership is comprised of a balance of pastors and elders serving three year terms.

Committee on Constitutional Business (CCB)

The Committee on Constitutional Business (CCB) receives and answers requests from Sessions or Presbyteries for clarification or questions related to the PCA Constitution. Membership is comprised of a balance of pastors and elders serving four year terms.

Theological Examining Committee (TEC)

The Theological Examining Committee (TEC) examines candidates for higher level positions (such as Presidents, Vice Presidents, Coordinators, Directors) in the Permanent Committees and Agencies. Membership is comprised of a balance of pastors and elders serving three year terms.

Nominating Committee (NC)*

The Nominating Committee includes one representative from each Presbytery and chooses from names submitted by Presbyteries to present a slate of nominations for vacancies on each of the Permanent Committees and Agencies to the General Assembly.

Committee on Review of Presbytery Records (RPR)*

The Committee on Review of Presbytery Records includes one representative from each Presbytery and meets prior to each General Assembly to review the records of each Presbytery and note any inconsistencies with the PCA Constitution.

Ad Interim Committees (AIC)

Ad Interim Committees are temporary Committees delegated to study a particular issue, compose a report and deliver that report to the General Assembly. Members of Ad Interim Committees serve only for the duration of the work of that Committee.

* Representatives from Presbytery serving on the Nominating Committee or Committee on Review of Presbytery Records are not elected from the floor of General Assembly and serve only once unless nominated again.

Committees of Commissioners (COC)

The Committee on Review of Presbytery Records reviews the records of each Presbytery. A similar review of the records of each Permanent Committee and Agency is conducted each year by a Committee of Commissioners. Commissioners are voting representatives sent to General Assembly. There is one Committee of Commissioners to correspond to each Permanent Committee or Agency

This can become a little confusing during General Assembly because, for example, you may have a report from the head of a permanent committee, and also a report from the person elected chairman of the Committee of Commissioners for that Committee.

There is a Committee of Commissioners (CoC) for each of these ...

  • Administrative Committee (AC Coc)
  • Committee on Discipleship Ministries (CDM CoC)
  • Covenant College (CC CoC)
  • Covenant Theological Seminary (CTS CoC)
  • Interchurch Relations (IR CoC)
  • Mission to North America (MNA CoC)
  • Mission to the World (MTW CoC)
  • PCA Foundation (PCAF CoC)
  • PCA Retirement and Benefits (RBI CoC)
  • Reformed University Fellowship (RUF CoC)
  • Ridge Haven (RH CoC)

Overtures Committee (OC)

The Overtures Committee is comprised of one pastor and one elder from each Presbytery. It usually meets on the first day (Monday) of General Assembly to conduct its work before the main business meetings of General Assembly begin.

The Overtures Committee considers, amends if necessary, and makes recommendations about the various Overtures that have been submitted to General Assembly. Most Overtures are considered, discussed and voted on during the Overture Committee's report in the business meeting.

Standing Judicial Commission (SJC)

The Standing Judicial Commission is the highest court in the PCA. It does not technically belong in an article explaining PCA Committees since, as the name suggests, it is a Commission, not a Committee. This is the distinction:

  • A Committee is tasked with considering the business before it and making recommendations which the whole General Assembly votes on
  • A Commission is tasked with considering the business before it and making a final decision on that business

In other words, the Standing Judicial Commission has the authority to consider and decide cases. It does not report back to the General Assembly and make recommendations for the Assembly to vote on.

Committee of Thanks

Yes, every year at General Assembly, there is a Committee of Thanks which is tasked with the responsibility of thanking everyone who participated in the organization of General Assembly.

Visual Graphic of PCA Committees

Every Committee in the cream-colored box (the Administrative Committee, Program Committees, Agencies, and the Interchurch Relations Committee) has a corresponding Committee of Commissioners to review its records at General Assembly.

About the author 

Lynna Sutherland

Lynna has been in the PCA since 1982. Four generations of her family have participated in PCA church planting. Lynna has been around long enough to see the good, the bad, and the ugly and her particular calling is to equip the people in the pew to understand their church government and to advocate for victims of abuse in the PCA.

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