Puritan Board Graduate
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.
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.
24-4. The voters being convened, the moderator shall explain the purpose
of the meeting and then put the question:
Are you now ready to proceed to the election of additional ruling
elders (or deacons) from the slate presented?
If they declare themselves ready, the election may proceed by private
ballot without nomination. In every case a majority of all the voters present
shall be required to elect.
How is the number of officers to be elected being predetermined in 24-1 reconciled with a majority of all voters present shall be required to elect? What happens if four candidates are approved by a majority, but the congregation only wanted three new officers? Is the majority requirement a necessary but not sufficient condition?