How to do Elder Nominations: PCA (ELDERS ONLY)

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Puritan Board Professor
All you PCA pastors/elders (ONLY) if you can help me out. What do you think would be the best process of starting Elder nominations for our church? I've never done it before nor does my ruling elder remember. :)

I'm looking for a definite Fred Greco post, and also through in some good materials, books for after nominations and the training.

Here is BCO 24:

Election, Ordination and Installation of Ruling Elders and Deacons
24-1. Every church shall elect persons to the offices of ruling elder and
deacon in the following manner: At such times as determined by the Session,
communicant members of the congregation may submit names to the Session,
keeping in mind that each prospective officer should be an active male member
who meets the qualifications set forth in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. After the
close of the nomination period nominees for the office of ruling elder and/or
deacon shall receive instruction in the qualifications and work of the office.
Each nominee shall then be examined in:
a. his Christian experience, especially his personal character and family
management (based on the qualifications set out in 1 Timothy 3:1-7
and Titus 1:6-9),
b. his knowledge of Bible content,
c. his knowledge of the system of doctrine, government, discipline
contained in the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church in America
(BCO Preface III, The Constitution Defined),
d. the duties of the office to which he has been nominated, and
e. his willingness to give assent to the questions required for ordination.
(BCO 24-6)
If there are candidates eligible for the election, the Session shall report to
the congregation those eligible, giving at least thirty (30) days prior notice of
the time and place of a congregational meeting for elections.
If one-fourth (1/4) of the persons entitled to vote shall at any time
request the Session to call a congregational meeting for the purpose of electing
additional officers, it shall be the duty of the Session to call such a meeting on
the above procedure. The number of officers to be elected shall be determined
by the congregation after hearing the Session’s recommendation.
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Puritan Board Junior
Start with BCO 24. The PCA specified nominations from the membership from the beginning because of the abuse to retain power in a clique that occurred in the PCUS with nominating committees.


Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member

Here is our process. I find it works quite well. We take nominations from the congregation, announcing that in advance. We take nominations for a month. I typically let people know that it is their duty to prayerfully consider and nominate men. We do not encourage (and actively discourage actually) "checking with a man to see if he is willing to serve." That usually leads to problems later, and is the Session's task anyway.

Once all the nominations are in, the Session considers the men nominated for character issues, manifestation of the qualifications, and also considers the breadth and depth of the nominations (i.e. how many nominations for a man, and the spread across various demographics of the congregation). The Session then tasks me with speaking to the men who are invited to officer training.

Once men accept entering into training, they begin a 12 week training course. After the course, they complete exams on character, willingness, and the subjects the BCO specifies. The man's wife is also give a comprehensive questionnaire related to his ability to serve.

The Session then reviews the exam, and conducts a face-to-face interview with each man. After that, the Session places the men who pass on the ballot for the congregation. The congregation then votes.

I've attached a copy of our nomination forms (each is a two sided sheet that should be cut in half).


Puritan Board Junior
Our church has only done elder nominations when we were in mission status, so the order was different (train, examine, nominate, elect). So . . . I'm of no help.

But thanks, Fred! Your post is very helpful.
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